How to write a movie synopsis essay

How to write a movie synopsis essay

Writing a movie synopsis can be an interesting assignment for many students. However, some have no idea where to start, what to include and what to avoid in writing a movie synopsis. This article has provided a guideline on how to write a movie synopsis: How to write a movie synopsis essay.

What is a movie synopsis?

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How to write a movie synopsis essay

A movie synopsis is a summary of a complete screenplays concept, main characters, and major plot points.  Generally, a movie synopsis is a type of journalism and art criticism. It is done by professionals on upcoming movies and films to help people decide on which ones to watch.

Everyone can find what they want in a movie. This includes may include; drama, adrenaline, humor, a journey back through time, love, or alternative reality. To write a movie synopsis, you need to exhaust all the facts about it.

A movie synopsis helps in increasing sales of a film as people get to know about the movie, its characters, and the main themes. There is a difference between movie synopsis done by professionals and those done by amateurs.

Movie synopsis done by professionals have fine details, are more structured, sharper, and more compact in wording. In a professional movie synopsis, you will know about the film directors and their previous works.

The purpose of a movie synopsis

  1. To discuss the film plot briefly

A movie synopsis aims at sharing information about events, characters, and their relations without writing a whole movie. Reading a movie synopsis should not replace watching the movie. However, you can mention important turning points and moments that are worth watching for the film.

  1. To analyze the movie

A movie synopsis aims at analyzing certain films. This includes looking into some aspects such as music, theme, special effects, and role of the director, among others. If the main goal of a movie was implemented duly, you can conclude your movie synopsis. While writing a movie synopsis, it is important to conduct detailed evaluations.

  1. To share your opinion

A movie synopsis helps in showing the opinions of the writer towards a certain film. While writing a movie synopsis essay, feel free to describe your feelings, during the movie and after watching it.

Specify what interested you and what you did not like about the movie. Provide expressions about the movie based on descriptions, comparisons, and examples to give the reader space to make their decisions.

  1. To recommend a film

While writing a movie synopsis, do not be categorical. Let the readers get the details in the movie to decide if they are interested in it or not. Explain whether the movie matches the official description of films and the declared type. A movie synopsis is also aimed at showing the weaknesses of a movie,

  1. To entertain the reader

A movie synopsis helps in entertaining the reader. Reading a movie is some type of fun. Through reading the movie synopsis, a reader will select the one to watch.

A full guide on how to write a movie synopsis

Writing a movie synopsis might appear challenging but is not. It is not a complicated essay though it has its peculiarities. If you get them right, you will be successful. To write a compelling movie synopsis, it is important to know the characteristics of a good movie synopsis.

Characteristics of a good movie synopsis

  • It provides all bibliographic information
  • A good movie synopsis provides a clear and concise characterization of a particular movie
  • It describes a plot without providing a way for any spoilers
  • A movie synopsis helps in identifying key actors and characters of a movie
  • Helps in identifying and evaluating themes, conflicts, settings, and other details available in a movie
  • A movie synopsis helps in comparing a movie to other related ones
  • It helps in identifying the key weak and strong points of a movie
  • A movie synopsis provides an evaluation of the overall movie

Similar to other academic papers, a movie synopsis has a specific style, structure, and formatting. You should also understand that a movie synopsis should follow the correct organization and formatting style.

How to format your movie synopsis essay

  • Apply 1-inch margin on both sides of a page
  • Use readable and clear writing font {example time’s new roman, bookman, courier among others}
  • Use 12 point font size
  • Place the title of the paper and your name at the center of a page

Remember to follow the correct sequence of actions to reach the desired results of your movie review essay. Many people ask how long should a movie synopsis be? There is no definite answer.

The length of a movie synopsis will depend on the instructions provided by your instructor and the length of the movie. The following includes a step-by-step guide on writing a movie synopsis.

How to write a synopsis for a movie

  1. Choose a movie/film

Your instructor might choose a movie or allow you to write about a movie of your choice. If you have to choose a movie, think of a movie that you are comfortable analyzing. Many people choose their favorite movies though it’s not mandatory.

You can choose a movie that you do not like. Explain why you do not like it. Such an idea is refreshing and different and can give you extra credit.

  1. Watch the movie

Even if you have watched the chosen movie many times, watch it again to get fine details for our synopsis. Also, to understand the characters and their intentions in the movie. You should watch it two or three times before writing a synopsis.

While watching for the first time, concentrate on the storyline, main heroes, and emotions. During the second time, try to concentrate on the minor characters and their roles in the movie. Note their stories, locations, decorations, costumes, music, and timelines.

All the above-mentioned aspects contribute to the perception you get about the movie. Be keen on every detail even the most minute.

  1. Make notes from the movie

Pick a pen and a paper and note down anything you notice from the movie. Where you do not understand, pause and rewind the part. Write every idea that comes to your mind while watching the movie.

  1. Conduct research on the movie

Acting in a movie is a long process that involves many people Try to find out enough information about the movie. Find whether the movie is acted based on a real-life scenario, a remake, or a retelling.

Explain how the cast changed the process of acting, where the plot is based on, the budget that the movie was acted on among other details. Select the most interesting facts about the movie and share them in your movie synopsis essay.

  1. Analyze the movie

Check at everything that you saw in the selected movie and know your impressions about the movie. Check whether the pictures consist of any social context. Check the original idea of the movie and the success of the producers in implementing it.

Pay attention to the techniques that were used in filming and how it was a success. If the producer has some previous works, you can compare them with the movie and see similarities and differences. Think of the actors that impressed you most and provide the reasons why them.

You can discuss the movie with your family and friends to get new and more ideas about it. This may also help you get another point of view about the movie.

  1. Draft an outline

It’s always good to plan for your activities as it leads to half the success. Before writing your movie synopsis essay, structure your work using an outline. Organize your arguments and thoughts. Read a movie synopsis example online to get the idea of the outline.

  1. Choose a title

Develop an interesting title for your movie synopsis essay. This will give the readers an urge to continue reading the entire synopsis.

  1. Write your synopsis

After watching your screenplay and conducting relevant research, it’s time to compose everything and write your movie synopsis.  Stick to your outline while writing. This will help you to place the necessary information in the right place.

Write the general overview of the movie so that the readers understand any problems that might arise from watching a movie. Reinforce the examples, evidence, and thoughts.

  1. Edit your final synopsis essay draft

After writing the movie synopsis, take a little pause and come back with a fresh mind to edit and proofread your essay. Reread several times to check for any grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, poorly constructed sentences among others.

Ensure your paper follows the right formatting style and outline. You can give your friends to edit and proofread the movie synopsis essay for you. They might spot errors that you can’t. 

Movie synopsis essay outline

The structure is an important factor in any type of academic paper. Many people ask, how does a synopsis look like? Just like any other academic paper, a movie synopsis essay has its special features.

If you do not follow the structure, it cannot be referred to as a complete synopsis. The following shows how to write a movie synopsis from a screenplay;

  1. Introduction

An introduction is the first part of any essay. It should start with a hook sentence that connects the reader to the entire essay. In your introduction, provide general information about your movie synopsis essay title, main actors, and filmmakers. Also include the date of release, filming company, and the budget that was used in production.

2 Summary of the movie

This is a brief description of the movie plot, characters, and their interaction. The following shows the spruces of summarizing a movie;

  • Begin with a logline
  • Write the lead character in motion
  • Establish cause and effect and clear connections
  • Focus on any emotions
  • Show the major set pieces
  • Put yourself in the shoes of the film director
  • Go out with a band
  • Keep it short


  1. Movie analysis

This involves analyzing the plot elements. That is; the point of start, the rising action, and the climax of a movie. Analyze all the creative elements including the characters, dialogues, colors use, symbols, mood, symbols among others. Also, analyze anything that takes part in the overall plot of the movie.

Finally, analyze the topics addressed and their implementation. Explain the relevance of the topic and its comparison with the other similar works.

  1. Opinion

After analyzing the movie, provide your point of view about the movie. Support your opinion with evidence and examples from the film and its plot. You can speak to your friends and family members to get their opinions about the movie.

  1. Conclusion

In your conclusion, tell whether the filmmaker was successful in implementing ideas in the movie. Explain how the motion picture helped in understanding the general topic.

Mistakes to avoid while writing your movie synopsis essay

  1. Retelling the plot of the movie in details

The main idea of a movie synopsis is not to write about a film. It aims at giving the readers an idea of what the movie is about to make them curious about watching it.

  1. Giving a general opinion about the movie

When writing a movie synopsis essay, remember that the reader might disagree with your opinion. Even if you do not like the movie, do not forget to mention anything good in the movie. For Example, music, a certain character among others.

  1. Lack of evidence

Do not present an idea without evidence in your movie synopsis essay. If you do, it will not be considered a reliable one.

  1. Failing to research about a movie

Ensure you do thorough research about a movie before writing a synopsis essay.  Do not force the readers to look for another synopsis to get some facts about the movie.

  1. Failing to use the correct structure

If you write your movie synopsis without following the correct structure, you might lose marks. Every academic paper has a specific structure that must be followed while writing. A good structure will help in delivering the message in a better way.

  1. Not including recommendations and conclusions

As mentioned earlier, one of the main purposes of a movie synopsis essay is to provide recommendations and conclusions. Ensure you give your point of view and a conclusion about a movie. You may make someone’s evening by recommending a movie to watch.

 To sum up

Many students do not know how to write a movie synopsis essay.  Although it sounds like an easy task, if you do not have the tips at hand, it is one of the most complicated papers to write. This article has provided a step-by-step guide on writing a compelling movie synopsis essay.

It is important to know its characteristics, outline, and mistakes to avoid while writing a movie synopsis essay. After writing, edit and proofread it before submitting it for marking.

If you still need help in writing a movie synopsis or any other essay type, feel free to contact us now.


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