How to write a scene analysis

Written by pharaba witt
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How to write a scene analysis
Analysing scenes can help you better understand a movie. (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

Writing a scene analysis requires a thorough understanding of not only the scene you choose to dissect but also the overall film or play. Scenes need to move the story forward and reveal information about the characters. When you break down a scene, you uncover the writer's intention as well as how the work resonates with you.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • DVD
  • DVD player
  • Television

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Watch the entire movie and choose the scene you wish to analyse. Pick something with an analyzable theme.

  2. 2

    Focus on the scene you have chosen. Watch it a few times in a row.

  3. 3

    Take notes on the scene. Study the way the characters interact and what that says about each character. Dissect the choice of camera angles and the scene's setting and overall purpose.

  4. 4

    Formulate a hypothesis based on a fact you want to prove about the scene you chose.

  5. 5

    Write an introductory paragraph stating your hypothesis as well as the relationship of this scene to the rest of the film.

  6. 6

    Formulate three supporting paragraphs. Each one should bring to light a different point to prove your theory. Include quotes to strengthen your analysis.

  7. 7

    Summarise the scene analysis in a conclusion paragraph. Tie together your points with the hypothesis and the theme of the film you have focused on.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not get too specific, as you need enough information to write the paper. Start with a broader hypothesis, and break down the smaller parts to prove the more general idea.
  • Remember that characters add to the theme as much as the words and actions do. Think about breaking down your supporting paragraphs to examine a different part of the scene in each. One section for character, one for setting and one for cinematography is an example.
  • Typical scene analysis comes in the form of a five-paragraph essay. You can expand out your points if you need to write a longer paper.
  • Pick a scene many are familiar with or at least a movie most can relate to. If someone has not seen or read what you are talking about, he will find it difficult to understand your point of view. If you want to choose something obscure, bring in a copy of the scene you have analysed.

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