Using either Psycho or Citizen Kane, analyze the use of continuity editing (or discontinuity editing) as a means to reveal or conceal story information from the audience. You may select one scene or a series of related scenes to discuss the process of narrating through these editing systems.

Your analysis should engage at least two of the following elements of continuity editing or discontinuity editing that we covered in class for each scene, as appropriate:

You may wish to answer the questions: “How does using continuity editing in this scene work in the service of the narration and contribute to the plot of the film? How does departing from these continuity conventions contribute to the narration in this scene?”

Review the Editing outline for an overview of these concepts and Spadoni, chapter five, for more detailed descriptions.


I will evaluate your paper on the following criteria:

Outside sources are not required for this assignment, but please cite the page number when referencing any passages from the textbook. For example:

According to Spadoni, referential meaning is “everything that the film visibly and audibly presents to us” (19).


Although I didn’t like the film, I will resist evaluating the film in favor of analysis. Instead I will focus on “looking at film as a system of relationships and try to develop persuasive arguments about what that system is doing” (Spadoni 32).

Your paper should be about four-to-five pages in length and must be submitted as a hard copy in class on the date specified on the syllabus.