The Blog Response Post assignment is described here:
1. Focusing on characters and plot rather than themes and formal film elements in your film analysis paragraph.
2. Falling into “review mode” in your film analysis paragraph. That is, you evaluate whether the film (in your opinion) was good or bad, successful or unsuccessful, rather than analyzing the themes presented in the film, or considering the critical problems suggested by the film.
3. Lack of critical context in your main topic focus paragraph. In other words, it’s evident that you haven’t attentively read the weekly assigned reading (the textbook and my posts on the course blog). Remember: A good Blog Response Post will engage the main ideas of the course, as discussed in assigned reading. You don’t have to quote or cite assigned reading, but you should be familiar with the main ideas found in them, and find opportunities to mention them in your blog posts.
4. Lack of thesis statement in your critical argument paragraph: You should begin your critical argument paragraph with a thesis statement, which is a debatable point that needs to be supported with evidence from the film and citations from critical authorities (such as my film essays posted on the course blog, and the course textbook). The rest of the critical argument paragraph should be a development of your thesis statement. Without a thesis statement, and a paragraph that flows out of the thesis statement, the critical argument paragraph gets taken over by description, and the argument tends to ramble, making it difficult for the reader to follow what you’re trying to say.
I have noticed over the years that students often end their critical argument paragraph with a thesis statement (as a kind of summing up). That’s often how people write a first draft. This suggests you need to write another draft. You can just take the concluding thesis, rephrase it, and put it at the beginning of your paragraph. Then tweak the rest of the paragraph so that it flows from the thesis statement. Often time, if you do this enough, you’ll get in the habit of coming up with a thesis statement first, and learn to develop it into an paragraph-length critical argument.
5. Using “I” language: Particularly in your critical argument paragraph, when you qualify your statements with phrases such as “I believe…” and “in my opinion…”, you undercut the persuasiveness of your argument. Generally, once you take the “I” language out, you realize you don’t really need it. It also forces you to take a position in a debate, and defend that position. Remember: your job is to analyze the film rather than state your opinion, discuss how the film personally affected you, or determine whether the film was successful or not.