Film Analysis And Essay

WATCH: Film “13th  “(





Film Analysis



  • Style: Formal essay, written from sociological perspective
  • Suggested Word Count: 800-1,200 words
  • Minimum of 5 in-text citations and a corresponding reference page is required for this assignment


  • Read/take notes on Chapters 1, 7, 8, and 11.
  • Take notes while watching the 2016 documentary, 13th.
  • After watching the film, use the questions below to conduct a sociological analysis of the mass incarceration through the intersectional lens of economics, media, politics and race.
  • Yes # 3-5 below are asking your opinion, but you should write your entire essay from the third-person perspective.
    • Do not use I, Me, My, We, Us, Our.
    • Instead you use phrases like, “One can easily disagree with the the quote from Kevin Gannon because…” or “Statistical and anecdotal evidence supports the idea that prisons are the modern versions of slavery because…

This essay is composed of five (5) sections. The five required sections are detailed below. Use complete sentences, do not write your essay in outline form. Your essay is should be written in a paragraph format using each of the subheadings below (Introduction; Race and Media; Historical Byproducts or Otherwise?; Modern Slavery or Not?; Media and Its Influences)

  1. Introduction: Using your textbook, provide an introduction explaining what sociology is and how sociologist study things.
  2. Race and Media: Using your textbook, sociologically define race and discuss why understanding it is important to society. Then sociologically define media and discuss the role media plays on shaping ideas.
  3. Historical Byproducts or Otherwise?: What are your sociological thoughts on the quote below? Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?
    • History is not just stuff that happens by accident. We are the products of history that our ancestors choose, if we’re white. If we are black, we are the products of the history that our ancestors most likely did not choose. Yet here we are all together, the products of that set of choices. And we have to understand that in order to escape from it”. — Kevin Gannon, 13t
  1. Modern Slavery or Not?: The film argues that there is a direct link between American slavery and the modern American prison system. What is your sociological take on this argument?
  2. Media and Its Influences: “Super predator”. “Criminal”. Think about the power of media and the power of words. Sociologically discuss media and how words impact the perception and criminalization of people of color, both in the past and the present (animalistic, violent, to be feared, threat to white people, criminals, etc.). Give modern-day examples.






In-Text Citations & Reference Page [Video Tutorial]


An in-text citation is a reference made within the body of [text] of an academic essay. The in-text citation alerts the reader to a source that has informed your own writing.

  • In-text citations and cited evidence is what separates a college student from someone just giving their opinion.
  • In-text citations show confidence in our work, as if to say, “if you don’t believe me, check out these other people”.
  • In-text citations keeps us honest to make sure we are using verifiable evidence.

Below are examples of how to use in-text citation in your Film Analysis assignment. Students are expected to use textual evidence from approved sources (our textbook, audio lectures, PowerPoints and approved journal articles provided) to support their ideas.

A minimum of 5 in-text citations is required for this assignment. In other words, students should have at least one in-text citation for each section of the paper and  a reference page at the end of the paper. The reference page provides an entry (in alphabetical order) of each source (citation) used in the paper. *The color used below are not required, they illustrate the type of source, how its used inside the paper (in-text citation) and how it appears on the reference page.

You all can use your textbook as a reference multiple times. The letters next to the year [i.e. (2015a)] indicates the order that the same reference (the textbook) was used in the paper. The letter “a” is when the textbook was first used as a source in your paper, the letter “b” is the second time the textbook was used, and so on.

In-Text Citation Examples:

  • Paraphrase statement with in-text citation at beginning of sentence
    • According to Chambliss & Eglitis (2020a), a single person working 40 hours a week at $8.00 an hour makes under $17,000 before taxes and deductions—this is only compounded for families with children who may not be able to afford ever increasing rents (p. 192).
  • Paraphrase statement with in-text citation at end of sentence
    • The role of a sociologist is to explain why and how social issues occur and the groups most affected by a particular issue —this is important because the discipline uses evidence-based research to draw connections and make observations (Chambliss & Eglitis, 2015b, p. 2).
  • Quotation with in-text citation at end of sentence
    • Credentialism can be defined as an over “emphasis on certificates or degrees to show that a person has a certain skill, has attained a certain level of education, or has met certain job qualifications” (Chambliss & Eglitis, 2015c, p.363).
  • In-text citation using quote from audio lecture at beginning on sentence
    • According to Grice (2020), “theory informs research and research informs theory” both are necessary to understand and explain human group behavior.
  • Paraphrase statement with in-text citation from PowerPoint Presentation at end of sentence
    • Moreover, this perspective does not view inequality an inevitable feature of society but as “an output of intentional policies and structures that seemingly thrive on the illusion of scarcity” (Grice, 2020).

Reference Page Example:

  • Averick, S., Barish, H. (Producers), & DuVernay A. (Director). (2016). 13th [Motion Picture]. United States: Netflix
  • Doe, J. & Sample I.A. (2018). Mass Incarceration. Journal of Student Examples, 1 (3) 256-277.
  • Grice, C.E. (2020 September). Theory and Research: Two-Sides to Same Coin. Lecture presented in SOCI1301- Introduction to Sociology. Dallas College, Brookhaven, Farmers Branch, TX.
  • Grice, C. E. (2017). The Big 3: Sociological Perspectives [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from
  • Chambliss, W. J & Eglitis, D.S. (2020a). Social Inequality in the United States. In Discover Sociology, 4th Edition (p. 192) Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
  • Chambliss, W.J. & Eglitis, D.S. (2020b). Overview of Sociology. In Discover Sociology, 4th Edition (p. 2). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Chambliss, W.J. & Eglitis, D.S. (2020c). Education. In Introduction to Sociology (p. 363) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications


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