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Movie – Silence of the Lambs




How should you write?


You should explore your thoughts/reactions to the book/movie and psychopathology portrayed in depth, using class resources (e.g., text, lecture) to provide evidence for your review/critique.  You may also incorporate outside scholarly resources (e.g., peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters) to support your analysis. Your paper should read like any well-conceived essay.  This means that your writing should be clear, follow rules of grammar and spelling, begin with a clear thesis, and support that thesis in each of the subsequent paragraphs. Pay attention to detail, and support the logic of your paper with adequate documentation and examples. Please do not ramble or change margins/font size/etc. to make your paper longer just to meet the page quota.



  • Organize your paper around issues and principles of psychopathology, not around events or characters in the movie/book. You can then elaborate on principles, findings or theories we have discussed in class that are relevant to the movie/book.


  • Pay attention to organization (e.g., introduction, topic sentence, conclusion, etc.) and grammar. Leave yourself enough time to read and reread your ideas, improve the organization of key points, etc.  Your paper should be organized, coherent, and easily understandable; typos and incorrect spelling are inexcusable.


  • Use as much evidence as possible from the lecture, text, and outside resources – ensuring that, where relevant, you cite these materials appropriately, in your text and in your references section.


  • Have a friend or classmate PROOFREAD your paper for technical or substantive errors.


  • Cite appropriately using APA style (see next page)




  • Write 4-5 pages chatting about the memoir or about your personal experiences as they pertain to the movie/memoir/psychological disorder.


  • Use conversational writing or contractions. This is a professional paper and your writing needs to reflect this.  Pay attention to your use of language (e.g., children instead of kids, cannot instead of can’t)


  • Do your work at the last minute. This assignment requires that you incorporate your knowledge from the course, a task that may take some time. You may also need to watch the movie/read the memoir more than once and/or you may need to research material from chapters we haven’t covered yet.


  • Use someone else’s work without giving them due credit (i.e., plagiarism).


Students are reminded to consider the following when completing final papers and assignments

  • Review the guidelines outlined in the syllabus and/or the grading criteria.
  • Keep careful notes, as you are researching, regarding all of your sources of information and ideas, including accurate bibliographic information on each source.
  • Put quotation marks around EVERY word, phrase or larger section that is quoted from a published source (whether print or electronic), and including unpublished lectures, media presentations, and peer collaborations.  Also provide accurate citation of the source, APA style preferred. NOTE:  APA style requires a page number when directly quoting a source (Example:  (Ford, 2016, p. 5)
  • Paraphrase sources entirely in your own words AND provide a citation for each paraphrase, APA style preferred.
  • Employ a clear and consistent method of documenting all of your sources (print, oral, electronic, web-based). (WHEN IN DOUBT; ASK YOUR PROFESSOR)
  • Provide a full reference list of all sources, again APA style preferred.
  • Check once again to be sure the difference between your own contributions to the paper and the contributions of others is unmistakably clear.
  • Send your assignment as an attachment to an email.  You are responsiblefor making sure that the paper you send is the paper you wish to have evaluated.


This checklist has been adapted from “Academic Integrity Checklist”, Skidmore College, 2004.


Grading Rubric for Movie/Book Review


Introduction/Organization (10 points):  Provides basic information about the movie/book (e.g., description, why it was selected, author/filmmaker’s qualification where relevant), introduces the thesis of your review, provides a framework for the organization of your paper.


9-10: Meets or exceeds the criteria listed above.

8: Good introduction is provided; more/less information could have been included.  Thesis is good.

7: Basic introduction provided; could be developed more

6:  Poor introduction of your topic/thesis; need to more clearly state the point of your paper.

<6: Little to no introduction included.


Summary (10 points):  Provides a summary of the movie/book, including relevant points and information, to provide a foundation for the further review and critique of the psychopathology portrayed.


9-10:  Excellent, succinct summary of the book/movie; enough information is provided to provide a context for the review that follows.

8:  Good summary of the book/movie; more/less information could have been included

7: Average summary is provided; important details have been misunderstood or omitted

6: Poor attempt at summarizing the book/movie; summary does not make sense or does not include the necessary information.

<6:  Little to no summary included


Review/Critique (50 points): Provides a well thought out discussion of the movie/memoir based on issues that have been addressed in class or in your text (e.g., stigma, assessment, diagnosis, diagnostic criteria, treatment, etc.) using evidence from your movie/memoir, as well as from class materials and/or outside sources to back up your claims.


45-50:  Excellent review/critique of your book/movie; review conveys a well thought out discussion of information as well as a comprehensive understanding of the material from class.  Points are supportive by evidence from the book/movie

40-44:  Good review/critique of the book/movie; writing conveys that you have a solid understanding of the book/material and its relationship to the material in class.

35-39:  Average review/critique of the book/movie; at times you misinterpret important points in the book/movie and/or points are not substantiated by evidence from your book/movie.

30-34:  Poor review/critique of the book/movie.  Your review does not indicate a good understanding of the book/movie and/or its relationship to the concepts discussed in class.

<30 Little to no real review/critique provided.


Conclusions (10 points):Provides a summary of your main points, and may also address how the movie/book could be improved, etc.


9-10:  Excellent, comprehensive conclusion of your review; synthesizes all of the information in your paper

8:  Good conclusion of the book/movie; more/less information could have been included

7: Average conclusion provided; a better attempt to synthesize the material could have been made

6: Poor conclusion; lacks a summary of your main points or concluding thoughts

<6:  Little to no conclusion included


Structure and Organization (10 points): The paper is well-organized, well written, proper paragraph and sentence structure, coherent, etc.


9-10:  Excellent, structure.  Sentences and paragraphs are organized appropriately and coherently.  Information flows logically and seamlessly from one thought to the next.

8:  Good sentence/paragraph structure.  Most thoughts/ideas are conveyed in a logical, understandable manner.

7: Structure of your paper (e.g., sentences, paragraphs, thoughts) is average and could be developed more.

6: Structure and organization is poor; at times sentences and paragraphs run too long (or too short) and thoughts are sometimes hard to follow.

<6:  Little to no coherent structure or organization


Mechanics (10 points): The paper is properly formatted (e.g., types, double-spaced, etc.), is cited appropriately, appears to have been proofread, free of typos, etc.


9-10:  Excellent, formatting and citation; paper is nearly flawless.

8:  Good formatting/citations; minor typos/error present.

7: Formatting/citations could be improved; a number of typos present

6: Paper is improperly formatted/information is incorrectly cited; many typos present

<6:  Information is not cited; many typos present which makes it distracting to read


Last Updated on February 7, 2018

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