American Dream Individual Objectives and Financial Success Film Essay

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NOTE: You must complete this assignment in week 14 and no later than 6 a.m., Monday, immediately following week 14.


  1. Read the articles on the American Dream provided in the Unit and General Resources tab (at left) to help formulate ideas for an argument on the American Dream and its connection to film.
  2. Develop a thesis that is an argument for a 750-1250 word research paper based on the film your group selected. In this essay your thesis should make an argument about the way the film represents the American dream. This thesis should include a clear argument and main ideas that prove the argument (See Essay Overview above. Also see Sample Thesis statement below).
  3. Then create a topic sentence outline to support your thesis. Be sure your outline has clear topic sentences for each body paragraph and uses evidence to support the topic sentences.
  4. Include textual evidence (quotes/paraphrases) from at least FOUR sources to support your views,including a citation for the film. You may use any of the sources from the annotated bibliographies your group created. Feel free to research additional sources.
  5. Include MLA-formatted in-text citations for each quote/paraphrase.
  6. Finally, create an MLA-formatted works cited page; the works cited should include the sources you will use in the essay. (Remember you must not include sources in your works cited that are not used in the essay; nor may you use sources in the essay that are not cited in the works cited.)
  7. Save your file as a .doc or .docx and submit as an attachment using the BLUE link above. Be sure to click the Submit button or I won’t receive your file. When I have finished grading your essay, you may view my comments by re- clicking the link above.

Sample Thesis Statements

  • Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest shows the value of individualism in the American Dream by beingoptimistic and defiant in the face of hopelessly outdated rules and ” treatments” in the mental institution.
  • The hope that all the races, classes, and nationalities can coexist peacefully is the American Dream theme of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and it is portrayed in the film’s tension between Katherine’s liberalism and her parents’ prejudice


This assignment requires you to organize your thesis and supporting evidence to write a paper. Writing a thesis and outline enables you to clarify and collate your thoughts, strengthen the structure of your argument, and cite your sources. This assignment also requires you to organize your sources into a proper MLA formatted works cited page. Creating a works cited page teaches writers to cite their sources properly. Citing sources is a communication between scholars; when you write a works cited page, you share the documentation with a fellow scholar and have joined the scholarly conversation.


I will grade this assignment on how well you organize your argument, thesis, and key ideas; how you incorporate supporting examples; and how effectively you use the research sources. I will also take into account the strength of the sources you cite and the proper MLA style formatting of your works cited. (50 points)

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