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ART 150: History of Film and Animation (Cesa-Loudoun)

Guide by Eliza Selander. Direct comments to

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For individual research help, schedule an appointment to meet with a librarian.

Basic Information about the Research Project


  • Your oral presentation must last from 10 to 15 minutes (practice, time yourself, do not go longer).  
  • It should have a clear structure: introduction, middle and conclusion.
  • You can use PowerPoint, Google Slides, Prezi, or any other audiovisual media available in the classroom.
  • Your presentation must include at least three pictures and two film clips relevant to your topic (use only films made before 1948, do not include trailers, compilations or documentaries unless you have discussed this possibility with me).  More film clips and pictures are encouraged.
  • A page with at least three sources is also required (use MLA format. A url alone is not a proper citation).  
  • While Wikipedia and the IMDB are good reference sites, you are expected to go deeper than that.  Your listed sources cannot be Wikipedia, IMDB or any other reference only sites.
  • Paper books are still around!  Use them.

Focus on Film, Not on Personal Information

If your topic is a person (a director, an actor, a writer), please do not focus your presentation on his/her biography. Rather center your research on this person's contributions to film, film career and style, and influences on other filmmakers and the industry. To do this, you will need to find scholarly articles and books on film theory and criticism, they will usually not be the top entries on the search page.  Please consult with me or with a librarian if you are not sure your sources are suitable for the project.

Do Not Use Trailers, Mini Docs or Other Re-edited Materials

The production and editing of trailers are done by people other than the director of the film, so often trailers are not truthful to the spirit of a movie, they are devices to put people in theater seats. Please do not use trailers or other materials produced by people other than the original filmmakers.  Find clips from films that support what you have researched. Yes, this means you might have to watch a whole movie to find them. After all, this is a film appreciation class, you are expected to watch as many films as possible.

Give Credit, Plagiarism is penalized!

You need to let us know where the material you used to create your presentation came from.  Your last slide must contain your sources in MLA format (reference sources as Wikipedia and IMDB are not acceptable).  Do not forget to mention the source of your pictures too. Avoid using other people's phrasing but if you must, they must be in quotes.