Disney Research Paper


Writing Assignment #4: Disney Research Paper

If you’ve taken Binghamton University’s WRIT-111 course, you’ve learned that argumentative research papers are the epicenter of academic writing. Argumentative research papers include a specific, clear, and direct argument that you support and develop with outside sources to convince your audience. You need to successfully communicate to persuade your audience, make them see your point of view.

The Argumentative Researched Essay overview sums up an argument research paper the best:

Making an argument—expressing a point of view on a subject and supporting it with evidence—is the aim of academic writing, even if the word “argument” is never used. In fact, in academic writing contexts you will almost always do more than report on information that you have gathered through research. You will also need to construct a point of view and provide evidence to develop your own considered argument. As part of constructing your [Disney Research Paper], you should examine scholarly sources that explore a range of perspectives on contemporary issues being debated in various academic disciplines. You will put scholarly sources into conversation with one another by drawing connections or pointing out disparities among and between them, which is what synthesis is all about. As a new member of the academic community, you should find where your voice, perspective, and argument fit into the existing conversation, and offer your own creative insights that extend that conversation in some new direction.

For your fourth and final essay, you will pick a debatable topic related to Disney’s films and various textual sources—e.g. scholarly articles, fairy tales, novels, etc.—and develop an argument that you want to explore in that area. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • The evolution (or lack thereof) of gender roles and stereotypes in Disney princess films.
  • The types of animation—e.g., 2D, stop motion, and CGI—and how they help make the movie. (E.g.

Would The Nightmare Before Christmas be as profound and effective if it were 2D?)

  • Discrimination and/or cultural appropriation in Disney movies, like the overt racism in Song of the


  • Disney’s portrayal of mothers and powerful women, like Mother Gothel or Cruella DeVil.
  • Sexism through anthropomorphosis in Disney films and children’s literature.
  • How animals define a character’s identity.
  • Psychological abuse of children/young characters in Disney films.
  • Ableism in Disney films.
  • Shakespearean relationships in Disney films.

You do not need to pick one of these topics; they are merely examples. When you pick a topic, ask yourself what problems exist in this area. What are the gender roles of women in Snow White v. Tangled v. Frozen? What are the depths of some Disney characters to psychologically manipulate others? How does Disney use complex Shakespearean relationships in its movies yet still keep them kid-friendly? You need to find something to prove.

This paper requires the following:

  • A >five-page rough draft due on 20 June 2021;
  • A ten to twelve-page revision due on 2 July 2021, after I post feedback;
  • A thesis (i.e. claim) that is debatable and a reasonable person could disagree with;
  • A variety of sources, including scholarly journal articles, reputable newspaper or magazine articles, the

film, and the original text (e.g. if you’re including Frozen, read “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian

Andersen); and

  • A “so what” that is identifiable in your thesis and your argument.

You cannot make arguments similar to what you wrote about in previous essays. Please do not use more than two movies in a paper. You can analyze two movies deeply within 12 pages, and adding a third (or fourth, or fifth) will lead to shallow analysis.

This essay, like the others, must be in 12pt Times New Roman font (every single character), double-spaced (no more, no less), with your last name and page numbers on the top right corner (in the header). This paper must be MLA formatted, with the correct heading and an appropriately organized Works Cited page. You must in-text cite. Refer to Purdue OWL for more information on MLA citations. Please proofread. Refer to the rubric for grading guidelines and email me if you have any further questions.

Form: This paper requires basic MLA formatting and its length is a (full) ten to twelve pages. That being said, an introduction, several well-developed body paragraphs (with synthesis), and a mic-drop conclusion are necessary. One option for a strong introduction is to summarize your argument and the film you are using to prevent you from summarizing in your paper. You can perhaps use your conclusion to transcend outside the essay by drawing inferences as to how your topic relates to society in a broader sense. (You do not have to; it’s just a suggestion.)

Challenges: This is the final paper you are writing for this class and, again, I have expectations as an English professor and as someone who wants to teach you more than merely the C class requirements. I again suggest if you want a taste of a basic paper I accept from my students, you see “Shape of the Expository Essay” under Additional Documents. Additionally, please remember not use contractions (isn’t, don’t, won’t, etc.) in your formal papers. Contractions are slang, and they do not belong in academic writing. You also might want to throw some ideas at me via email in the week leading up to the draft’s due date to make sure you’re on the right track.


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