Properly identify the primary text
and the secondary texts. This will
enable you to explore, critique and
analyse the theory.
For example, for an essay for the
question or topic “What is Cinema?”
The primary text is film theory and the
secondary texts are the film or films.
Another example is in the essay “Visual
Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” by
First, she develops her account of
psychoanalysis and film theory.
Then, she tests it against brief
examples (von Sternberg).
And then, tests it against an
account of aspects of a key film.
❖ Avoid or limit to minimum
giving an account of the film's
❖ Rather, concentrate on framing,
editing, actor position and actor
❖ Each time you cite an aspect of
the film, relate it to the
theoretical account that you
have constructed in the first part
of the essay.
❖ It is like merely creating a list
wherein you break down the
elements of a theory and test each
against the film. Doing this is not
developing an argument. You can
notice that you are going towards
this structure if you start to write
wordings of the like as “another
aspect of genre theory.”
STRUCTURING AND ARGUING:STRUCTURING AND ARGUING:
INSTEAD, CREATE A SYNTACTIC STRUCTURE.INSTEAD, CREATE A SYNTACTIC STRUCTURE.
See to it that your introduction
states your argument clearly. If it
does not, just continue writing until
you finish the current draft and you
will have an overall picture of
what argument you are
really writing about.
❖ Writing or rewriting a diffe-
rent version of your introduction
after you have written the
discussion body (even including the
conclusion) will enable you to
evaluate whether you have
created a cumulative
To guide you such evaluation,
you can try to answer the question
“Does one idea lead into the next?”