Religious/Spiritual Film or Documentary Analysis;

Religious/Spiritual Film or Documentary Analysis;

Final Project: Religious/Spiritual Film or Documentary Analysis
This assignment provides an opportunity to apply the theories, research and/or commentary
included in your required readings AND scholarly research from peer-reviewed psychology journals.
Below is a summary of your tasks and guidelines for writing the analysis:
1. Choose a film or documentary that has religious/spiritual theme(s) or as the topic of
exploration. Explore religious/spiritual themed films and/or documentaries from the
following websites:
a. Guide to Religious Movies
http://www.adherents.com/movies/
b. Films about Religion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Films_about_religion
c. Top Documentary Films: Religion
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/category/religion/
d. Other suggested films and/or documentaries:
? The Life of Pi (2012)
? Kumare (2011)
? Religulous (2008)
? The Apostle (1997)
? The Color Purple (1985)
? Other film or documentary of your choice not included in the above suggestions
and/or links.
2. Include a brief summary of the film or documentary (1– ¾ of a page)
3. Be sure that the film or documentary is of interest to you and has content that can be used to
apply theories, research or other commentary included in your required course readings and
relevant research from psychological journals
4. Prior to writing your paper and choosing a film or documentary–briefly review some of the
course content so that you have some ideas about which topics and information will be most
meaningful to your analysis of the film or documentary
? It is your responsibility to choose information and chapters that are most helpful for
better understanding or describing content in the film. You might consider exploring:
o Whether or not the main character undergoes a “conversion” experience?
Experiment or explore religious spiritual alternatives etc.?
o Does the main character’s or other supporting characters experience changes in
their religious/ spiritual devotion or practice?
Dr. Andrea Brown
University of Maryland University College
Page 1
o Does the main character’s religious or spiritual practice contribute to his or her
health or subjective sense of well- being in some way?
o Does the documentary focus on a specific religious or spiritual belief or practice
o Is the history (origins) of a particular religious or spiritual belief explored in the
documentary
o Are there religious or spiritual themes expressed through storytelling? Myth?
Creativity?
The aforementioned questions are merely suggestions! You are encouraged to be creative with
your interpretations and analyses. You ARE NOT limited to the above suggestions.
5. Remember this is also a research-based paper. You are expected to cite specific passages
and/or apply concepts from the assigned/required course readings (at least 3 different
readings) AND to cite/integrate research from 2 psychological, peer-reviewed journals.
(Students are welcomed to refer to peer-reviewed journal articles included in the course
and/or locate and integrate other acceptable references.) The majority of the paper’s content
should be application of concepts, research etc. that help to explain, support or challenge
aspects of the film or documentary.
6. Remember aspects of the film or documentary should be put in context using information
from the scholarly, peer-reviewed psychological journals and from required course readings.
7. Avoid excessive summarizing—in other words your introduction should include a BRIEF
overview or summary of the film or documentary and tell the reader (your instructor) which
aspects of the film or documentary your will focus on throughout the paper.
8. As a guide, your paper should be between 4 ½ -5 pages in length and written using APA Style.
(The Title Page and Reference Page are not included in the 4 ½-5 page requirement)
9. This Final Project—Religious/Spiritual Film or Documentary Analysis is worth 50 points and
is 25% of your final grade.
Below you will find the grading rubric and criteria that will be used to grade your paper.
Final Project: Religious/Spiritual Film or Documentary Analysis
Rubric—50 points
45-50 points (A)
? Paper was well organized and adequately and accurately applied concepts from 3 required
reading sources and 2 peer-reviewed psychology journals
? Met 4 ½ -5 page and APA Style requirements
? Contained few, if any, errors
40-44 points (B)
? Paper contained minor organization problems and/or inaccuracies in the interpretation or
application of concepts from 1-2 of the 3 sources (required readings)
? Met 4 ½-5 page and APA Style requirements
? Contained few minor, if any errors
? Successfully or adequately integrated current research from 2 peer reviewed journal
Dr. Andrea Brown
University of Maryland University College
Page 2
articles
21-23 points (C)
? Paper contained some organization problems,
? Minor inaccuracies in interpretation and/or application of concepts (e.g. theory or research
from required readings)
? Excessive summarizing or detailed plot descriptions and too little discussion/application
of psychological concepts in some sections of paper.
? Met 4 ½-5 page requirement
? Included minor problems with APA Style; other errors
? Failed to adequately integrate relevant research from 1-2 of the 2 required peer-reviewed
journal articles
? Might have included research information that failed to support aspects of overall analysis
0-20 points (D, F)
? Paper contained major inaccuracies in interpretation and application of concepts from
required readings
? Or failed to apply information from 3 specific required readings
? Excessive summarizing or detailed plot descriptions and too little discussion/application
of psychological concepts in some sections of paper.
? Paper was poorly organized and/or did not meet 4 ½ -5 page requirement
? Major problems with APA Style
? Failed to integrate research from 2 peer-reviewed journal articles and/or included research
information that failed to support aspects of overall analysis
Dr. Andrea Brown
University of Maryland University College
Page 3

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