Returning the exams is one of the first things I want to do, and I say “first” because I’d like to use them as a starting point for a discussion of choosing sources and ideas that make logical sense for your overall topic; many essays seemed to draw from the background information without much regard to the actual utility of that information, given the topic on the table. This should lead into a discussion of project 3, which deals with secondary source analysis, and project 4, an argumentative essay about one of the two remaining class films.
I then want to break with a bit of discussion about what students thought about the Hays code and the Motion Picture guidelines contained in their coursepack, which should lead in to a good portion of time working on critically analyzing sources, one of the general areas of weakness in the thematic essay. I have a handout on the basic three-pronged technique for analysis, which shows how to support a claim with an illustration and then, the most important part, the explanation of how the illustration exemplifies the claim. I want to give students some time, after we go over this, to revise a section of their essay 2 in class. Finally, I need to make sure that the students who had problems using sources are clear on the issue!