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Alfred Hitchcock and the Gothic Genre: Analytical Writing

Year 10 English

The Birds Writing Tasks

Task:
Choose ONE element of suspense (dramatic irony, foreshadowing, symbolism, OR realistic characters) from the film and create a formal paragraph identifying WHERE Hitchcock used it and explaining HOW and WHY he used the element to effectively create suspense.

General Essay Tips

Comparative Analysis

A comparative essay asks that you compare at least two (possibly more) items. These items will differ depending on the assignment. You might be asked to compare

  • positions on an issue (e.g., responses to midwifery in Canada and the United States)
  • theories (e.g., capitalism and communism)
  • texts (e.g., Shakespeare’s Hamletand Macbeth)

Although the assignment may say “compare,” the assumption is that you will consider both the similarities and differences; in other words, you will compare and contrast. [source]

Below are some resources to help you plan and write a comparative essay.

Essential Vocabulary

Metalanguage is language that describes language.  In films, we also need to consider the language of cinematography – technical language to describe film making. 

 Genre
Adventure
Anime
Biographical
Cartoon
Comic
Crime
Cult
Epic
Epistolary
Fantasy
Historical
Horror
Independent
Musical
Mystery
Philosophical
Political
Romance
Satire
Science fiction
Supernatural
Thriller
War film
Western

Narrative mode
Alternating narrative view
First person view
Linear narrative
Narrator
Voice-over

Narrative tense
Past
Present
Future

Character
Antagonist
False protagonist
Major character
Minor character
Protagonist
Secondary character
Supporting character

Plot
Anti-climax
Climax
Conflict
Denouement
Dialogue
Exposition
Subplot
Trope-cliché
Turning point

Setting
Culture
Historical
Geographical
Social
Dystopia
Utopia

Shot type
Aerial shot
Bridging shot
Close-up shot
Dolly shot
Extreme long shot
Long shot

Master shot
Medium shot
Over-the-shoulder shot
Point-of-view shot
Pull back shot
Shot-reverse shot

Camera lens
Normal lens
Telephoto lens
Wide-angle lens

Camera movement
Camera rotation
Crane
Pan
Rack focus
Shaking
Tilt
Tracking
Zooming

Lighting
Artificial lighting
Backlighting
Backlighting
Fill light
Frontal lighting
High-key lighting
Key light
Lighting intensity
Low-key lighting
Natural lighting
Side lighting
Three-point lighting
Top lighting
Under-lighting

Mise-en-Scene
Blocking
Framing
Offscreen space

Sound
Dialogue
Music
Sound effects

Editing
Continuity cut
Cross-cutting
Cut
Jump cut
Montage

Optical effects
Fade-in
Wipe
Dissolve

Focus
Iris in
Iris out


Metalanguage
Adaptation
Allegory
Allusion
Bildungsroman
Characterisation
Cliffhanger
Colloquialism
Connotation
Context
Denouement
Dialect
Dialogue
Epiphany
Euphemism
Flash back
Flash forward
Foreshadowing
Hyperbole
Imagery
Informal
Intonation
Irony
Juxtaposition
Metaphor
Meter
Mood
Motif
Personification
Pitch
Positioning
Soliloquy
Stereotype
Symbols
Tone
Tragedy
Vernacular