“The Fault in Our Stars” is a must-see

Fans of novelist John Green, also known as “nerdfighters,” are predicted to flock to see the film, “The Fault in Our Stars.” Green, who is known for his young adult novels and his popular YouTube videos, will likely enlarge his loyal following with this story of young lovers fighting cancer.

"The Fault in Our Stars" hits movie screens on June 6, 2014. (Credit: Tumblr)

“The Fault in Our Stars” hits movie screens on June 6, 2014. (Credit: Tumblr)

What could easily be a soppy and sentimental story rings with truth and real feeling. Green’s connection with his readers comes from his commitment to authenticity. Moviegoers will see that same commitment on the screen. Read more

What exactly does being a media studies major entail?

As a media studies major, there are many areas to choose from to study. (Credit: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk)

As a media studies major, there are many areas to choose from to study. (Credit: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk)

When you tell people that you’re majoring in media studies you may get blank stares. Few people really understand new media, media production or any of the other subject areas that fall within the media studies major. Perhaps you are also confused. So when it comes to choosing good research paper topics for your media studies papers you may need a little help. Here are a few ideas and resources to get you started on your next research paper assignment.

Media studies research paper topics

Start your search at Questia where you’ll be able to access millions of full-text books, articles, newspapers, magazines, academic journals and encyclopedias. Read more

Disneynature Bears movie celebrates Earth Day

Once again Earth Day is upon us and, once again, Disneynature chooses to honor the occasion with the release of a nature documentary, the Bears movie. While Earth Day activities like watching the Disneynature Bears movie are one way to mark the occasion and celebrate Mother Nature, on what is basically her worldwide holiday, do these anthropomorphized tales of animals actually increase interest and research on Earth Day and the environment? And what are some other ways to celebrate Mother Nature?

Disneynature's Bears movie illustrates the importance of Earth Day and Mother Nature. (Credit: Toni Spilsbury)

Disneynature’s Bears movie illustrates the importance of Earth Day and Mother Nature. (Credit: Toni Spilsbury)

Earth Day via Bears movie

If you prefer to experience Mother Nature indoors, then the Bears movie from Disneynature may be right for you. The nature documentary tells of a new mother bear and her two cubs. Read more

Dido Elizabeth Belle’s true story told in Belle movie

Based on an inspiring true story, Belle hits theaters on May 2nd. (Credit: IMDb)

Based on an inspiring true story, Belle hits theaters on May 2nd. (Credit: IMDb)

In 2013, two award-winning films highlighted the black historical experience in America. Chiwetel Ejiofor played Solomon Northup, a free man from upstate New York who is sold into slavery, in the Oscar award winning 12 Years a Slave. In director Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Forest Whitaker plays Cecil Gaines, who served as a butler in the White House over the course of eight presidential terms.

And in 2014, Amma Asante’s Belle movie tells the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, an illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral and an African slave woman. But rather than being brought up as a second-class citizen in England, her childless aunt and uncle, Lord and Lady Mansfield, raised her as a legitimate child and an aristocrat.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw brings the role of Dido Elizabeth Belle to the screen in a film that highlights race and class issues in Georgian England, and theorizes that Belle may have inspired Lord Mansfield’s opposition to slavery. Read more

Research topic: Is Divergent seen as a feminist movie?

The big screen release on March 21, 2014, of the first book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth tells the tale of teen heroine Tris, played by Shailene Woodley, making her way in a dystopian world. Both the book and movie provide excellent areas of research to discuss cinema and feminism. The topic of women in film, seems to be hot, once again, and many are asking if this latest teen novel-turned-film will finally turn the tide on how female-centered movies are perceived.

A movie still from Veronica Roth's Divergent film. (Credit: Shelley Johannes)

A movie still from Veronica Roth’s Divergent film. (Credit: Shelley Johannes)

Explaining gender constraints

One thing that the Divergent trilogy does well, according to blogger Teresa Johnson is offer a “compelling metaphor for young girls’ journey into feminism.” Read more

Hollywood success of biblical movies as a research topic

Biblical movies, like Noah, make for great research topics.

Biblical movies, like Noah, make for great research topics.

Hollywood has long made biblical movies: Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956), Charlton Heston in Ben-Hur (1959), and many more. A little research shows that these films were able to achieve success financially in Hollywood, particularly during the 1940s and 50s, but in recent years religious-based movies have proven to be more controversial and not as lucrative.

Christians stay away because the films don’t adhere closely enough to the Bible, while the non-religious can view the films as less entertaining than the latest action flick. Will Darren Aronofsky’s Noah the movie, which stars Russell Crowe and comes during a year of biblical movies, change that trend?

The film has faced a history of difficulties, according to a November 18, 2013, post on iCitations by Alana Joli Abbott, “The Bible in film: Darren Aronofsky and Russell Crowe bring Noah to the big screen,” and the box office will be its latest challenge. Take a look at these critical views of biblical films if you are looking for a good research paper topic in film studies or religion. Read more

Muppets Most Wanted: Perfect film studies research topic

Scene from Muppets' latest film Muppets Most Wanted. (Credit: YouTube screen shot)

Scene from Muppets’ latest film Muppets Most Wanted. (Credit: YouTube screen shot)

The Muppets have been around since the 1950s, and they became household icons in 1976, when The Muppet Show hit the air. Follow that with feature films, Webby-award winning YouTube videos, and a return to feature films with 2011’s The Muppets, and you’ve got more than sixty years of Muppet history. On March 21, 2014, the latest entry into the Muppet canon hit theaters with Muppets Most Wanted, starring (alongside the Muppets) Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey.

Like the many Muppet films before it, Muppets Most Wanted continues to rely on self-referential humor and breaking the fourth wall, engaging the audience as participants in the story rather than just watchers. Read more

Enter The Finals Countdown Blogging Contest for a chance to win $250!

The countdown to finals has begun! In order to help us count down the days until college finals we’re looking for college students to offer their best advice on homework help, research paper advice, tips and best practices for finals preparation. Enter our blogging contest and show us–and your fellow students–what your writing skills are made of for a chance at a published article and by-line on the Questia blog Citations, PLUS a $250 Visa gift card!

How to enter the blogging contest

  1. Submit your article via the submission form below anytime before April 25, 2014. One submission per person.
  2. Our editorial team will select 3 finalists to have their blog posts published live on the Questia blog – permanently.
  3. Next, it’s up to the public to vote on their favorite of the 3 finalists. Vote on your favorite blog post by commenting, “Vote!” as often as once per day before May 9, 2014.
  4. The writer of the post with the most votes will win a $250 Visa gift card!** We’ll announce the winner of the blogging contest on the Questia Facebook page on or after May 12, 2014.

These are the details… Read more

How to self-edit your college term paper

With the right tools and preparation, self-editing can be a simple task.

With the right tools and preparation, self-editing can be a simple task.

Being your own editor is often difficult. You know what your paper is supposed to say, and you tend to skim over your own writing without a critical eye. You need to make a clear thesis, include pertinent supporting information, write clearly and cut extraneous material. For a student advantage in writing term papers, here are some tips for college students for editing your paper into a professional scholarly article.

The basics of editing

As explained in “How to Self Edit (to Improve Writing),” by Dianne Bates in Practically Primary, October 2011, found on Questia.com, there are four major components of editing: adding words, deleting words, changing words and moving words. Read more

Fan-funded Veronica Mars movie: Film studies research topic on inspiring other filmmakers to use Kickstarter

Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars, 2007. (Credit: Tom Bell)

Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars, 2007. (Credit: Tom Bell)

If you missed the news in March 2013 about the tremendously successful Veronica Mars movie funded through Kickstarter, which raised close to 300% of its initial funding goal of $2 million, you can catch it in the newsstands again. Entertainment Weekly features star Kristen Bell (whose voice was recently in Disney’s Frozen) promoting the film, which creator Rob Thomas launched on Kickstarter, making it a highly publicized crowd-sourced, fan-funded film. Thomas’s success has led other filmmakers, including Terry Gilliam (best known as a member of Monty Python), to consider using Kickstarter as a funding platform for future films, including Gilliam’s unfundable project, “Don Quixote.” Considering what crowd-sourced films could mean for the future of Hollywood would be a good research paper topic for a film studies course. Read more