Story Evaluation Assignment (Ch.1)

*Here is your grading rubric for this assignment: story evaluation rubric

After you view your assigned film address the following sections, and load your reflections onto your personal film blog. 

*When dissecting a novel or story – use the following outline to help you answer key questions about the film:

the-book-of-eli-poster_630x420Part I – Reflections and Interpretations:

  1. Describe the story – summary (synopsis). Don’t tell everything. Offer the highlights and overview only. Brevity is key here; capture the synopsis of the film, not each scene. Try to keep this to a paragraph. That may be tougher than you think.
  2. Don’t forget to mention the inciting incident somewhere in your summary.
  3. What was the story question?
  4. What approach does the author take –what genre (Comedy, Drama, Action, Family, Animation, Adventure, etc.) – or is it a combination of several? Explain why you feel this way?
  5. Does the story seek to entertain or is there a deeper meaning (or both)? If there is a deeper meaning, what is the message? Did the story feel complete?
  6. The Wizard of Oz
    Margaret Hamilton (1902 – 1985) as the Wicked Witch and Judy Garland (1922 – 1969) as Dorothy Gale in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, 1939. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

    Why is this story considered worthy of award recognition?

  7. Discuss the impact of the characters.
  8. What literary hero best represents the protagonist(s)?
  9. Think about character arc when evaluating.
  10. Where the characters round? Flat? Dynamic? Static?


Part II – Author’s intent and focus. Which one of the following was the most important aspect for you? Why? (Sometimes there may be more than one).

  1. Focus on Plot – the Story.
  2. Focus on Emotional effect or mood (does the story seek mainly to convey or elicit emotions – sadness, joy, anger).
  3. Focus on Character.gollum-the-hobbit
  4. Focus on style or Texture – (unique style in writing or conveying mood, overly figurative language, is it written to convey language of a certain time or place, strong symbolism, etc.).
  5. Focus on ideas – (the story tries to convey a moral or social statement or message. Human nature, coming of age stories, human relationships, politics). These stories are meant to leave a lasting impression.


Part III – Explore the Character Conflicts – examine why they are important

(All stories have a character conflict – it is this conflict that should drive the story)

  1. Man vs. Man (Characters against characters)
  2. Man vs. Nature (do characters faces storms, earthquakes, tornados, natural rs-hand-of-stone-2f99b898-5a28-4085-97b0-53a981b79e1bdisasters, etc?).
  3. Man vs. Himself (internal battles & struggles with one’s feelings, desires, physical or mental limitations, etc).
  4. Man vs. Society (battles with culture, education, politics).
  5. Man vs. The Unknown or Supernatural (any unknown future, enemy, situation, feelings, etc.).
  6. Man vs. God/Religion (battles and struggles with one’s understanding and/or relationship to religion, God and/or figures representing religion).
  7. Man vs. Machine (or technology) – (when mankind battles the power of technology and that results in machine taking on or taking over for man).


Part IV – Personal Response and Recommendations (combines reflections and interpretations with ‘how the movie made you feel’)

  1. What are the weakest and strongest points to the story?
  2. Does the story succeed or fail? Why do you think so? (Did it make you laugh? Did it make you cry? Did it scare you?)
  1. What are your overall personal reactions to the story (if you haven’t already answered this above)?
  2. Who is this story’s appropriate audience (families, children, adults, men, women, college educated, foreign culture, etc.)?
  3. If you gave it a report card grade –what would that grade be? Make sure the grade matches your evaluation.giphy-facebook_s.jpg

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