Film Adaptation Project Rough Draft Instructions

The rough draft for your Film Adaptation Project is due on Monday October 3, by 12:00 PM (the start of our class). 

Most of what you need to know is in the project’s instructions. Read them carefully.

What you must produce with your first draft:

A full, 1,200 word draft (including citations). 

Basically, your goal for your rough draft is to get all your ideas down. Get ’em down. By the time you’re finished your rough draft, you should know which aspect of the novel you think the film adaptation should focus on. You should know which citations you’re going to be discussing, and what you’re going to be saying about them. You should have all of your points and ideas down on paper.

You do not need to have a clear idea of what your main point is while you’re writing your rough draft. Don’t worry about a main point yet. It’ll come to you. One of the purposes of a rough draft, as I see it, is to discover what your main point. Through a careful examination of the evidence in the book, and in writing about it, your main point will emerge.

It’s like one of those pictures that contain a hidden image. Once you stare it for long enough, and allow your focus to soften, you start to see a picture hidden within a pattern. Same thing with a novel. Once you allow yourself to stare at it long enough, and write about it, a main idea for your paper will emerge. The fun part is that a novel is like one of those images where everyone can see something different.

So, rather than making sure you have a main idea or a thesis before you begin, think of your rough draft as a journey to try and find your main idea. Must less pressure!

What you need to know before you start your rough draft: which aspect you wish to focus on.

What should be clearer after you finish your rough draft: How does this aspect add depth and meaning to the novel?

Bullet points for rough draft:

  • Length? 1,200 words (including citations)
  • Do we need citations from the novel? Yes. Figure around ten. Your citations should come from as many different parts of the novel as possible. Try to integrate them properly. Here is a PDF document explaining how to integrate citations.
  • How should I structure it? Up to you. Figure that 1,200 words is about 5-7 paragraphs. Ish.
  • Do we need an intro and conclusion? You need an opening and a closing. Doesn’t need to adhere to rigid academic intro and conclusion. Piece of advice: Openings and closings should be the last things you write. You can worry more about these for the final draft.
  • How “rough” can it be? As I said, you should try to get your ideas down on paper, your citations, etc. It doesn’t necessarily have to be structured into a logical order yet. Figure that you’ll move things around for your final draft. Otherwise, don’t sweat the writing or expression yet. I’m looking for your ideas, not the style or the quality of the writing. The purpose of a rough draft is to be a messy, exploratory exercise. I prefer the French word, “brouillon.”
  • I don’t need a main idea? It should be totally clear which aspect of the novel from the list in the instructions that you’re discussing. For the final draft, you’ll need to say something specific about this aspect: how and why does it depth to the novel? You can keep that question in mind as you’re writing your rough draft, but you don’t need to have a fully formulated thesis statement or main idea yet. You can write in a disorganized way about the aspect you’ve chosen, and see what comes to you.
  • Can we include hyperlinks and photos? It should be clear by now how much I love hyperlinks and photos. Go nuts.
  • Can we show you a copy of our draft at any part of the process? PLEASE DO.
  • Do we need a list of Works Cited? You sure do.
  • Can I use secondary sources? Of course. You always can. You don’t have to, but you can. If you use any secondary sources, simply cite them in your text and in your list of Works Cited. Refer to the Dawson Library for instructions on how to do that, or ask me. If you use any secondary sources and don’t cite them, it’s plagiarism and blah, blah, blah… Let’s all behave like responsible academics here. Thanks.
  • Publish as a post. Include a title, feature image, and write your name in the body of the post. Category: FA Project Rough Draft
  • Please print a copy and bring it to class on Oct. 3. You’re not handing it in, but we’re going to do a peer review/idea sharing session.


How you will be graded for rough draft

Total marks: 10

  • You’ve written about 1,200 words: 2 marks
  • You’ve included enough citations (about 10) from different parts of the novel: 2 marks
  • It’s clear which aspect of the novel you’re discussing: 2 marks
  • You’re providing substantial analysis of the citations you provide, you are making connections, considering the context of each citation, discussing literary devices, writing at the height of your intelligence: 4 marks



One thought on “Film Adaptation Project Rough Draft Instructions

  1. In my opinion, Lionel does get what he wants in the end of the story. Originally, his objective was to find “Minna’s Killer” thus, after the encounter between Gerard and himself, his objective shifted. Something clicked in his head, not only did he wanted to find the assassin behind the man he truly admired but also the causes that were implied in it. In the end, the fog that laid in the murder was uncovered. It was illustrated by Lionel when he said, “Fujisaki must have told Gerard to take care of it, as a show of good faith. So Gerard hired the killer.”(293) Lionel remains faithful toward Minna even till the end because Frank was the only one who truly cared about him, “ those soft places that caused him to collect freaks like me or that finally led him astray.”(296) Aside from the plot, it can be seen that Lionel character has grown tremendously. During the last pages, as a reader, we are able to see that he is not bothered by his Tourette’s syndrome. He accepts his tics as a part of him.

    In my perspective, the ending of Motherless Brooklyn was a satisfying one. All the unclear mysteries were resolved even though, the explanation behind it was pretty complex.

    Amanda Ging Sze Chan


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