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I need guidance on how to write an essay about the movie Freedom Writers, and it must...

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abiraj | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted July 24, 2010 at 7:04 AM via web

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I need guidance on how to write an essay about the movie Freedom Writers, and it must contain discussion of a social issue.

Here are the assignment instructions:

Topic Sentence (hook,claim and thesis)

paragraph 1: description of the true-life story your non-fiction piece is based on.

paragraph 2: state the similarities and difference between the non-fiction piece and the true-life story.

paragraph 3: give your explanation and analysis of the social issue the two pieces you are trying to address and raise awarness about.

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Top Answer

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 24, 2010 at 10:46 AM (Answer #1)

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Much of this is going to have to come from your own understanding of the film and how you feel about it.  This subjective and personalized nature of the prompt is going to prevent anyone from really being able to "write it" for you.  I think that there are some elements upon which you can place focus.  The idea of individuals and their social circumstance is really important in the film.  The idea of being able to rise above one's condition and empower themselves against the overwhelming social and economic context is probably one of the most intense elements present.  Being able to discuss how the film showed individuals having power against dire social conditions would be one approach to take.  If you wanted to play with this a bit more, perhaps you could discuss how the film might actually be evading criticism of these social structures in emphasizing how individuals hold their socio- economic realities accountable.  In other words, the film shows that the students can "write" about their lives and gain power over their own consciousness.  Yet, there is little in the film that suggests that a better or more equitable distribution of wealth and resources would help these kids out immensely.  The film does not focus on that because "you cannot control that."  While this is true, the film might be actually apologizing and excusing this disproportionate wealth and resource allocation by not calling for such a situation to change.  This might be another topic about which compose thoughts, as well.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 24, 2010 at 8:12 AM (Answer #2)

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First of all, there needs to be some clarification.  These directions have you comparing and contrasting two pieces.  One of these pieces is Freedom Writers.  What is the other?

As far as Freedom Writers goes, I encourage you to brainstorm some real life issues presented in the movie that you can also write about in terms of (I'm guessing) the other non-fiction piece.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • how to get largely underprivileged kids who have been treated as such for most of their academic lives, to be interested in academics - and specifically, literature
  • struggles of a new (female, young, white) teacher in a difficult school and how she overcomes them by building relationships with her students and consistently working to make literature relevant to their lives
  • the universal desire of all teenagers to tell their stories to someone who will listen

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