Logistics: Each essay is two pages. Bibliography when included is on a third page.
Organization: Single space top matter (name, date, etc.)
Title your essay (be creative!)
Conclude first paragraph with topic sentence (=thesis) (see examples below)
Develop the topic/argument sentence in 2-3 subsequent paragraphs
Your conclusion sums up your argument and explains why it matters
Style, syntax, punctuation, grammar all matter, e.g., titles of films in italics
Double-spaced Times New Roman 12 pt font
Cite all ideas not your own/quotes/research in footnotes or parenthetically Include bibliography
Word order, etc.
In Fellini’s film “Roma” he weaves a story from his childhood images of Rome.
In his film Roma, Fellini weaves a story from his childhood images of Rome.
Rome has its own grandeur. It’s a grand city.
Italicize titles of works/films:
Fellini’s film “Roma” depicted the three Rome’s within the first 8 minutes.
Fellini’s film Roma depicted the three Romes within the first eight minutes.
Like vs. as
The first scene showed school children crossing the Rubicon just like/as Julius
Fellini showed ecclesiastical Rome like/as a series of prostitutes modeling on a
runway. He showed fascist Rome to be like/as the dictatorship of Julius Caesar. He showed ancient Rome like/as a shadowy presence in the collective consciousness.
Fellini has great affection for Rome’s folk traditions, and even his peasants walk
like/as stars. But his ecclesiastical models walk like/as peasants walk.
Fellini has little respect for ecclesiastical Rome, like/as the man who coughs and
spits and defiles the statue of Julius Caesar.
Colloquialisms Should Be Avoided:
Avoid overused/abused words, e.g., incredible, awesome, fantastic
Avoid colloquialisms: Caesar was able to kick start his career when he crossed
Topic Sentence: Your topic sentence is the final sentence in the first paragraph and sets up your thesis. The topic sentence should alert readers to the general theme and be inclusive enough to reveal the essay’s overall organization. Subsequent paragraphs should elaborate upon the thesis and your final paragraph should reflect back upon the thesis and, in some cases, suggest a new line of inquiry.
Sample topic sentences:
“The reason Fellini chose to include all three Romes in his film was to show the influence that
Rome has had on subsequent civilizations.”
“Fellini viewed Rome as an historical, political and religious entity that was omnipresent in his
“Rome was a complex, multi-layered entity in the minds of Italians during Fellini’s childhood,
simultaneously a religious authoritarian, a rich and treasured ancient empire, and a source of political disharmony.”
“Like most people, the main character has never been to Rome, but, like most people, he has a
Rome in his mind. His imaginings of Rome are derived from Rome’s ancient empire, its
ecclesiastic centrality, and Mussolini’s twentieth-century political evocation of the past.”
A little longer, but here is one more excellent example of a topic sentence:
Fellini’s childhood dreams, memories, imaginings of Rome in these early scenes suggest that
Rome itself and its republican and/or imperial leaders in the consciousness of Italians in
the twentieth and twenty-first centuries are at the crossroads of three histories and
identities: imperial Rome, Catholic Rome, and fascist Rome.
Accuracy in Historical Details:
Fellini crossed the Rubicon and said, “Alea iacta est!” (true)
Mussolini was saved by the geese whose honking wakened the guards. (false)
Different from vs. different than:
The way Fellini depicted Rome was different FROM the way I read about it in Kelly’s
Hyperbole Should Be Avoided:
Fellini’s Rome was the wildest, most extravagantly incredible culture in the history of