Research Writing on a Documentary

English 11 







Write a research paper analyzing the methods the director uses to achieve a purpose in a documentary. Use MLA format to credit and document sources. 



  Paper Format: 

Title Page: include title, name, date, etc. (format in HandOut folder).


Nine (9) paragraph research paper:

  1. Introduction - thesis statement
  2. Director Information - background/quotes
  3. Documentary Summary/Information - 3 significant details
  4. Overall Issue Information - issue background/current state, 3 significant details (2 paragraphs)
  5. Evaluative Information - director's purpose (2 paragraphs)
  6. Film Critic Information - documentary reviews, 2 significant details
  7. Conclusion - summarize points
Works Cited Page:
  • Must include at least 5 sources (print and online).
  • Correct bibliography (works cited) format - see sample below
  • All citations must be parenthetically documented in your research paper


  • When researching at home using the MCPS Online Services, you will need to access usernames/passwords from your Edline account (in the Media Center folder).  MCPS Online Services are marked with an asterisk (*).
  • Most of the articles from MCPS Online Services have MLA citations already created at the bottom of the webpage.  Feel free to copy/paste the citations into a text file (ex. Word) as you compile your bibliography.


Documents:    Project Assignment/Research Format/Citation Template /Bibliography Sample 


Online Resources

 OS Brit Academic Ed   Britannica Online* - general reference with in-depth articles, images and graphics on a variety of subjects.general reference
 OS SIRS Know Source   SIRS Knowledge Source* - Searches reference materials, magazines, newpapers and other resesarch materials.  Also contains a Pro/Con section accessible from the main page.
 OS Stud Res in Context   Student Resource in Context* - A collection of primary and secondary resources to support the study of United States.
 OS WorldBook   WorldBook Online* - general reference with in-depth articles, images and graphics on a variety of subjects.
 OS Iss Contro (FoF)   Issues and Controversies* - Click on "Issues & Controversies" and enter search term(s).
OS OV in Context   Opposing Viewpoints* - Click on "proceed" and select Opposing Viewpoints.  Use the search box to locate your topic.
OS Hist Newspapers   Historical Newspapers* - Primary source historical newspapers from the New York Times from 1851 through 2005.
Infoplease   Infoplease - search through almanacs, encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, and a variety of other resources.



 Google   Google - Use Google to locate the official website of your documentary ONLY.  Other Google searches must be approved by the instructor.
 IMDB   Internet Movie Database - search your documentary title for summaries, director/cast biographies and other film information.  This is a wiki so be mindful to the information stored on this site.
 Pirate Monkey 


Documentary Reviews (FABULOUS site)

Documentary Reviews II (blog)

HBO Documentaries 

Documentary Filmmakers 


  Created by: Stephanie Schwinn, November 30, 2011
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