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  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring Oliver Payne, a Los Angeles-based artist. Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Please join the Digital Media Department for a lecture by  Alina Chau.
    Chau is an Animator, Illustrator and Storyboard artist who has worked with Lucasfilm Animation, Technicolor Interactive Services, and Electronic Arts.  
    Alina Chau received her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles. She spent over a decade working in the animation industry. Her most notable credit is on LucasFilm’s Emmy Award Winning program, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”
  • Kimberli Meyer trained as an architect and an artist, and has been the director of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House in West Hollywood since 2002. She has initiated and curated many programs there, including the exhibitions How Many Billboards?

  • Industry Spotlight

    Oct 15| Special Event

    An advertising creative director for more than 25 years, Otis alumnus Josh Weltman was the Mad Men co-producer responsible for Don Draper's credibility as an advertising genius.

    Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at the hit series, plus hear key insights from Weltman's new book Seducing Strangers: How to Get People to Buy What You're Selling.

  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring Yutaka Makino. He lives and works in Berlin.  Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2010, the inaugural winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, Choi lives in Brooklyn.

  • Joe Sola (‘99)’s work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and museums including: The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Hammer Museum, The Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Andy Warhol Museum  and Kunsthaus Gras, Austria, Museum of Modern Art Jean-Duc, Luxembourg. Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City.  His performances have taken place at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, MOT International in London, 356 Mission Rd, Los Angeles.


English Composition

Step 1: Pick Your Terms

Your assignment will vary depending on your instructor, but you will probably be asked to research a subject and compare what you learn about it with its film treatment. The first step should be to get clear on the terms you want to search. This may not be an easy task. Ideas can be expressed in many ways. For instance the topic of "gender" could be researched using terms such as feminism, feminist theory, masculinity, gay, women, woman, men, sexuality, homosexuality, androgyny, etc. Depending on the database used and how it searches, you may have to do multiple searches trying various keywords.

To begin, brainstorm and create a list of possible terms you may use in researching. First, try a preliminary search in a database and look carefully at the results. From the first set of results, you can find other terms you may not have thought of. Add them to your list. Then modify your keywords and your strategy to clarify your topic.

A definition of a term could be a good way to start off a paper. The Oxford English Dictionary would be a good starting point for that.

Step 2: What Kind of Information Do You Want?

Identifying the type of information that you need will help in formulating a search strategy. Think about this and get as specific as you can. Here are some examples:

Information Needed: Try terms like these in various combinations: You could look for: Recommended Database:

A psychological interpretation of the horror film genre Horror, horror tales, cinema, movies, films, interpretation, history, criticism, analysis, morality, morality tale(s), psychoanalysis, psychological, gender, sexuality, feminism, feminist, masculinity, Gore Verbinski, Alfred Hitchcock, etc. Articles in psychological journals, scholarly film journals, or journals about popular culture or chapters in books For articles:

For Books:

Moral or religious tales implied within Westerns Western films, Westerns, heroes in motion pictures, allegory, myth, mythology, Clint Eastwood, morality, masculinity, cinema, movies, films, interpretation, history, criticism, etc. Articles in mythology journals, scholarly film journals, history journals or chapters in books For articles:

For Books:

Analysis of the portrayal of suburbia in popular culture suburban life, suburb(s), suburbia, urban sprawl, social life and customs, America, 1950s, postwar, popular culture, Los Angeles, history Articles in history journals, scholarly film journals, or journals about American studies or chapters in books For articles:

For Books:

Step 3: The Annotated Bibliography

You'll need to create an annotated bibliography or "works cited page" similar to the one you created for Introduction to Visual Culture. There's an excellent guide to Citing Sources online.

Many faculty at Otis require annotations in bibliographies. They're looking for brief descriptions that evaluate the quality and credibility of your sources. Include the following information:

  1. Description of the author's credentials
  2. Type of information the source represents
  3. How the source was located. (database, search engine, terms)
  4. Specifically how the source will be useful in writing your paper. Give examples.

Example of an annotation:

Arnault, Lynne S. "Cruelty, Horror, and the Will to Redemption." Hypatia 18:2 (Spring 2003) 155-88. Wilson OmniFile Full Text Select. Otis College Library. Los Angeles. 11 Sept. 2003.

How located: As a research tool, I used OmniFile through Wilson Web to find this citation. Author's credentials: I first clicked on her name to see if she had written other articles that appear in this database. But there weren't any others. So I looked her up on Google. There's a professor by this name, a Phd. in the Communications Department with a specialty in Feminist Theory at Leymoyne College in NY.

Type of information: This article would be considered "scholarly" because it's long, in-depth. It was somewhat difficult to read and seems to be directed towards educated readers. Also, there were many footnotes. Why what's written will be of benefit in your paper: From the abstract it says that "Americans cherish the idea that good eventually triumphs over evil" and that she argues that "a proper understanding of the moral harm of cruelty calls into question the credibility of popular American idioms of redemption." This seems to be directly related to the role of horror films in Americans culture.

Run Your Paper through Grammarly

Grammarly will assist you with grammar, but also help prevent plagiarism!


The librarians and the library staff are available. Ask for reference/research assistance at any time. It's our job. You're not bothering us.

The LAS department also has tutors available to assist you with the writing or word processing. Start early so that you will have time to avail yourself of these services. We all want to support your learning experience.