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Narrative paper, we are going to plot a character from a movie’s arc.

This is a character who has the opportunity to change and/or do something and then either does or doesn’t do it. It doesn’t have to be the main character in the movie. The classic example is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which isn’t a movie about Ferris, who is static (the same from start to finish without ever changing/desiring to change). The movie is really about his friend, Cameron, and the arc he experiences on Ferris’s day off.

And I probably dated myself again with a movie you’ve never seen. The Karate Kid…Ferris Bueller’s Day Off…What About Bob?…Groundhog’s Day. These are all movies you should watch one day!

Anyway, pick a movie, pick a character with an arc, and then jot down notes on that arc. Work on what your thesis is going to be. Think about the bigger meaning to the thesis. And think about what key events in the movie illustrate the struggle and what is the overall conflict.

Remember, the struggle will be the longest part of your paper. The outcome will be the shortest.

THIS IS NOT A SUMMARY OF THE ENTIRE MOVIE. There may be entire scenes or characters that are left out of your paper because they are unimportant to your character’s arc. It is up to you to decide what details are important and help to best back up your thesis.

ALSO, choose your movie wisely. Comedies, dramas, and Disney films tend to have the easiest to explain character arcs, whereas action films and horror films are instead a chain of cause and effect with the main characters happy to survive and not enduring any real arc.