Documentaries are useful as research sources. They are also used quite frequently as supplemental learning tools in the classroom. A common writing assignment is a critical review or analysis of films. A good review will explain how the film has enhanced the learning experience, but it should also provide an account of your personal response. There are several standard components of a review: Step 1 Give details of the documentary
•Title of the film or documentary: Be sure to name the film in your first paragraph. State the date of its release.
Step 2 Explain the purpose of the documentary
•What is the purpose of the documentary?
•What is the main message the director wants to get across to the audience?
•What sources are used?
Step 3 State your prior knowledge of the subject
•Did you know anything about the subject before you watched the documentary?
•What did you expect to see?
•What questions did you have about the subject?
Step 4 Summarize the documentary
•Who/what is the subject of the documentary?
•What happened in the documentary?
•What are the main events?
•Where was it filmed?
Step 5 Talk about the sound effects, camera work, interviews, special effects
•Do you like the sound effects?
•Are the images sharp?
•How is the filming? What camera angles were used?
•Do you like the interviews? What have you learned from the interviews?
•Are there any special effects?
Step 6 Give personal comments and recommendation
•Which part of the documentary do you like most? Include specific reasons for likes and dislikes. You can’t say “it was boring” unless you provide justification.
•What have you learned from it?
•Was there anything that surprised you?
•What are the drawbacks of the documentary? Again, include specific reasons.
•Would you recommend this documentary to your friends? Why?...