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Professor Al Smith: Learning Outcomes in History & Social Science: Social Science 154

A guide to help students navigate successfully through Professor Smith's Assessment Project

Course Learning Outcomes

Sociology 154: Movies with a Message

Theme: FILM AS A METAPHOR   Exploring film and mythology as motivators for political change. 

 Upon satisfactory completion of this course, the student should be prepared to:

  • Students will be able to demonstrate factual knowledge of key political, economic, social and cultural events and issues in film.
  • Students will be able to apply critical thinking (including causal analysis and skeptical inquiry) to historical concepts and developments in film. 
  • Students will be able to evaluate, analyze and interpret primary and secondary historical sources and make historical arguments based on these sources about Movies With a Message

Find Books & Articles

Below you'll find links to the MJC Library Catalog (WorldCat) and a selection of library databases that give researchers a  great place to find full-text, academically appropriate books and articles. Each source  provides access to different publications, so be experiment with a variety of databases. 

Know Your Sources

Searching databases is not always as easy as searching Google. Keyword searches that work well in Google sometimes fail to yield as good as results in WorldCat and the library databases. Should you get stuck, below are some search terms that should help you find relevant sources. These terms provide a launching point for your research.  MJC Research Librarians can always help you identify more terms.

  • Motion pictures
  • Culture in motion pictures
  • Social problems in motion pictures
  • Sex role in motion pictures
  • Race relations in motion pictures
  • African Americans in motion pictures
  • Mass media

Citing Films

From MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers:

An MLA citation of a film typically begins with the title of the film, italicized, and includes the director, the distributor, the year of release, and the medium on which you viewed the film. If  you've viewed the film on DVD, you should include the DVD release date, though you may still choose to still include the original release date. 


It's a Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. 1946. Republic, 2001. DVD.

The Great Train Robbery. Dir. Edward Porter. 1903. YouTube. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.