National University




General Course Information for MDC660: Narrative Structure in Film

Course: MDC660 - Narrative Structure in Film
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to: http://www.nutextdirect.com

Course Description: This seminar examines the characteristics of cinematic storytelling found in popular genre and independent films, including the conventional three-act structure and variations on those structural elements.
Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Analyze the origins of storytelling
  • Analyze the three-act narrative structure and conventions and evaluate how they work together to express genre and style
  • Analyze non-conventional film structures such as ensemble, non-linear storylines and complex structures and evaluate how they function in cinematic storytelling
  • Integrate an understanding of cinematic narrative structures into original critiques of specific films.
Specified Program Learning Outcomes:
  • MASTER OF FINE ARTS IN DIGITAL CINEMA
    • Critique the creative works of others using relevant critical models and professional vocabulary
    • Evaluate professional and theoretical issues and processes pertaining to movies and aspects of digital filmmaking based on recognized industry models and standards
    • Incorporate research from primary and secondary sources into sustained analyses and interpretations of screenplays, films and television programs
  • MASTER OF FINE ARTS IN PROFESSIONAL SCREENWRITING
    • Demonstrate critical reflection and viewpoint in evaluating the work of peers and others.
    • Differentiate critical points of view in the analyses and interpretation of films, television shows, screenplays and other entertainment content.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like: http://nu.libguides.com/citations

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:

URL: http://www.nu.edu/library.

Contact the Library:

  • RefDesk@nu.edu
  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism:
Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty: http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.shtml

Ethics:
Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Technology:
Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Diversity:
Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

Civility:
As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures