English MLA
Research Your Topic
We watched the movie “Jaws”
What can you tell me about this
movie in general?
General Facts About Our Topic
 Movie came out in 1975
 Based on the novel “Jaws” by Peter Benchley
 Genre: Horror/thriller
 Directed by Steven Spielberg
 Takes place in an island community called Amity
 Jaws is a great white shark
 Threatens the safety of the summer tourists in the community
 Used a mechanical shark to illustrate the attacks
 The film went over budget and surpassed the original timelines
 “Jaws” music was minimalistic but is now famous for
demonstrating an impending shark attack
Technical Elements in the Film Jaws:
--- Look at your notes that you took while we watched
the movie!
Creating a Thesis:
 All essays that involve the development of an
argument require a thesis: the point you are arguing.
 While the topic is your subject, the thesis defines
your position on that subject.
 Your essay will take a position and will provide
convincing evidence to support that view.
Thesis Continued:
 Once you have chosen your topic, you can begin to
formulate your thesis by thinking closely about it,
doing some exploratory reading, or research. In our
case we watched the movie “Jaws”
 One way to develop a thesis is to ask yourself questions
about the topic and to focus on a central issue or
problem, which the topic raises. Your answer to this
question will be your thesis.
Ask yourself?
 What makes the movie “Jaws” scary or suspenseful?
 Remember we want to incorporate our answers from
our charts on technical film elements
 You need to have three reasons why “Jaws” is scary… for
each reason you must have a minimum of three
examples to prove that it is a contributing factor in
creating fear in the audience of this film.
Class Brainstorm:
Building a Strong Thesis:
Your thesis should have a strong stand, conclude your thesis
with strong statements.
For example
 A vague thesis statement
- The movie “Jaws” is scary for many reasons.
 Strong thesis statement
- The movie “Jaws” creates elements of fear and
suspense through use of camera angles, music and
sounds and the creation of dangerous conflict for the
main characters to solve.
Thesis Building Continued:
 Give your thesis a justification
 Your thesis should not be a simple sentence, make it in a form that discussion
arises from it which is duly justified by proper reasoning.
 A strong thesis follows only one main idea, ie. “Jaws” is scary because… If you
start to contradict yourself it will weaken your argument.
 Never confuse a reader given him more than one idea, try to focus your thesis
statement on one main idea and work on it the whole way.
 Make your thesis specific
 Try to make your thesis specific and to the point, don’t let your point stray in
the opposite direction this will help in making your essay manageable.
Working towards a Thesis:
 The movie “Jaws” creates elements of fear and
suspense through its use of _________________,
_________________________, and
______________________________________.
Ms. Storkey’s Thesis:
 The movie “Jaws” creates elements of fear
and suspense through use of special
effects, camera angles, and a variety of
music and sounds.
Writing your Introductory
Paragraph:
 A good introduction to an essay grabs the readers
attention quickly.
 Then the writer will introduce general facts about the
topic until they narrow into their argument and
introduce their thesis (look back at the facts we wrote
down together…)
 Our essay’s will argue “What makes the film “Jaws”
scary”
Example of an Intro Paragraph:
 “Jaws”: Fear Through the Elements of Suspense

The movie “Jaws” was a frightening movie created in
1975; directed by Steven Spielberg. It was a remake of the
novel “Jaws” by Peter Benchley. The movie “Jaws” focuses
on a conflict created by a Great White shark. The shark
terrorizes the people of Amity. Amity is a small island that
is known for its beaches and tourism in the summer
months. This movie is known for its place in the thriller
genre and it was designed to create fear in its viewers.
“Jaws” has always been known as a scary movie. The movie
“Jaws” creates elements of fear and suspense through use of
special effects, camera angles, and a variety of music and
sounds.
Body Paragraph # 1
 Topic Sentence
 Point One, Example, Analysis
 Point Two, Example, Analysis
 Point Three, Example, Analysis
 Concluding Sentence
BODY PARAGRAPH # 1
 In the movie “Jaws” special effects are used to heighten the elements of fear
and suspense through the use of artificial limbs, fake blood and the giant
mechanical shark. First, the director chose to incorporate a very realistic
human limbs. Examples of this are when the girls remains are found washed
up on the beach and they show the severed hand. Also, when the man is
attacked by the Great White shark in the “pond” and the leg drops to the
bottom of the ocean floor. The use of these limbs that appear real in terms of
colour, texture and shape helps to increase the audiences fear in the monster
when they see the damage it does. Next, they use artificial blood whenever
the shark attacks a victim in the water. An example of this is when the little
boy gets eaten when he is out on his swim raft. The blood fills the water and
makes it look cloudy creating an element of suspense as it makes it difficult to
see what the shark is doing and what has happened to the victim. Lastly,
special effects were used to create the mechanical shark. The shark itself was
made to replicate the size of a Great White shark. In the movie the shark
could move its mouth and actually swim around. The use of this mechanical
shark in the film adds to the audiences fears because there is a sense of reality
in the attacks of the victims they did not use a green screen to make it look
like a shark attack they were actually able to have the shark in the water. The
movie “Jaws” is a scary movie particularly due to the creativity of the special
effects implored.
BODY PARAGRAPH # 2
 Topic Sentence
 Point One, Example, Analysis
 Point Two, Example, Analysis
 Point Three, Example, Analysis
 Concluding Sentence
BODY PARAGRAPH # 3
 Topic Sentence
 Point One, Example, Analysis
 Point Two, Example, Analysis
 Point Three, Example, Analysis
 Concluding Sentence
CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH
 The function of the essay's Conclusion is to
restate the main argument/thesis in a new and
exciting way.
 It reminds the reader of the strengths of the
argument: that is, it reiterates the most
important evidence supporting the argument.
 Make sure, however, that your conclusion is not
simply a repetitive summary as this reduces the
impact of the argument you have developed in
your essay.
Remember you must follow MLA:
 Set up your header with your LAST NAME Pg#
 Storkey 1
 Double space your work
 12 pt. font
 Times New Roman
 Indent the start of each of your paragraphs
 SPELL CHECK AND PROOFREAD YOUR WORK!
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Writing a Five Paragraph Essay