You are analyzing a documentary “Citezenfour”. Research the basic background information about the topic, director, when and where the film was produced, and what you believe the director was attempting to achieve through the documentary (why did he or she make it?). (This information is the introduction of your paper.
WRITE YOUR ANALYSIS USING THE FORMAT THAT I ATTACHED BELOW. IT’S CRUCIAL TO WRITE THIS PAPER IN THE FORMAT THAT I GAVE YOU. BUT DON’T FORGET THAT YOU ARE STILL WRITING AN ESSAY JUST USING THIS SPECIFIC FORMAT.
Watch the documentary and analyze the following:
What is the film trying to convince us of? (what is the conclusion of the film’s central argument?)
What are the reasons offered in the film in support of that conclusion?
What evidence (if any) is presented to support those reasons?*
Is the film’s central argument a deductive one (it tries to prove) or an inductive one (it provides support)?
How did the film attempt to use experts and a connection of values to gain credibility with it audience?
Though any attempt at using an experts for credibility is ethos, if a genuine expert makes a claim that is relevant to the argument, it can be used as evidence in argument (logos). Was such expert testimony used in the film’s central argument?
Were the credentials of experts used appropriate to their claim for expertise? Was there any questionable use of “experts” in the film that would constitute an Inappropriate Appeal to Authority fallacy?
What did the documentary attempt to do to emotionally persuade its audience? What did it try to use emotion to persuade them of? (e.g. That they should empathize with X; that they should fear Y)
RHETORICAL DEVICES AND LOGICAL FALLACIES:
What rhetorical devices (e.g. downplayers, weaslers) did you find in the film?
Did you find any fallacies (e.g. straw man, hasty generalization) in the film?
Do you think this was an effective way to organize the information? If not, how could the information have been arranged differently to be more effective?
It’s not about whether you liked or were moved by the documentary, though such impact is important to your analysis of how successful it was in its aims.
It’s not about the subject matter of the documentary, what happens in it (it’s plot), etc. You can include these things only if they demonstrate how the documentary attempts to persuade its audience.
I want you to think about only two things:
(1) the tools the filmmaker is using to persuade you to believe something (logos/pathos/ethos);
(2) that persuasion’s shortcomings – mostly, whether it’s attempts at persuasion have logical flaws (lack of appropriate evidence, poorly structured arguments, questionable “experts”, rhetorical distractions that mask the truth, logical fallacies, etc.), but I also want you to note (though this is too much lesser importance and belong only in your conclusion) whether there are uses of ethos or pathos that would have helped the filmmaker better achieved his or her purpose.
Toward that end, your writing should be clear, precise, and analytic.