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Howard College Film Journal Entries



The journal is made up of three 3-Film entries

EACH entry needs to be 250 words (minimum) to 750 words, maximum.

The films you choose may be from our clips and/or the short films we screen in class, but they all need to be films we have seen in class.

This length limit exists only so that the journals are all comparable, as are our essay page length requirements so that we can compare “apples to apples.”

At the due dates, you want to submit your entries with a Title Page with your name, the course title, Cinema, and the heading, Journal. If you wish to create a title, that is a plus!

You do not need to number pages or title every page.

You want to write each entry informally, as you would speak: we do not consider grammar or style for the Course Journal, though each entry should be legible, or readable.

Please do not hand in-class notes as entries: these entries need to be written as if you, the author, are blogging or engaging in a conversation with your readers. You do NOT NEED to include director, date, etc. data about the films you write about. We know this information.

Each entry should include your thoughts, impressions, opinions, criticisms, takeaway, or in brief, your general, casual, informal feedback about films from the course.

Some questions to help you get started…

–What did you like or dislike about the film?

–Did you notice any details in the film that were not brought up in class?

–Is this film similar to films you usually watch? How/How not?

–What concepts from the lecture or readings apply to your film?

–Can you say something about how the film looks (art direction, framing, camerawork) rather than write only about the plot?

–Can you say something about how the film sounds (dialog [language style], a soundtrack [sound and music imbedded in the diegesis, or film world), and/or score [music composed for the film])?

–Would you recommend this film? If so, to what kind of viewer?

–(If the film you choose was released pre-1980) Does this film age well, or is it less relatable because it is dated?

Please discuss readings and lecture material on at least one entry for each three-entry submission.

We really enjoy these and grade them with that in mind: your opinions and how you think about the course material is important

Four Point Journal Questions you may want to ask yourself while reading entries over:

1–Is the author (YOU) communicating clearly, i.e., if we read this aloud, does it make sense? Can a reader understand what s/h/ze is saying?

2–Does the author (YOU) engage, or go into detail and use examples concerning what s/h/ze uses as an entry topic?

3–Has the author (YOU) put thought into the entry or does this seem to reflect internet, IMDB, or “canned” ideas? For example, does the author offer an insight or point of view, positive or negative, about the entry topic.

4–Is each entry “full”: for example, is it clear that the author had something to say, rather than banging this out at the last minute and trying to hit the page limit?

Film Journal Grading Rubric

These apply to each of the three submissions

94% to 100%

All three entries are at least one full page long. At least one of the entries (one per each due date group) includes the texts assigned and the lecture material in the response to the film. Written readably and coherently.

These need not be revised for grammar.

86% to 93%

All three entries are at least one full page long. None of the entries include the texts assigned and the lecture material in the response to the film. Written readably and coherently.

Need not be revised for grammar.

79% to 85%

All three entries are finished, but maybe under one page. Written readably and coherently.

Need not be revised for grammar.

73% to 78%

Less than three entries are finished, and some are under one page in length. Writing may be difficult to read or to understand.

Need not be revised for grammar.

63% to 72%

This was thrown together quickly and maybe incoherent and unfinished. Still, some entries look engaged…

Below 72%

Journal unsubmitted or completely incoherent (notes)


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