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Documentaries or Educational Films

Watch a documentary or educational film, or clips from them, when you are looking for facts and accounts about any topic. These are nonfiction motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record.

Educational films are produced to teach about a topic, and generally they try to maintain a neutral viewpoint. 

Documentaries are often used to reveal an unusual, interesting, or unknown angle. Documentary filmmakers are often motivated to make their films because they feel a particular story or viewpoint is not being adequately covered by mainstream media. Therefore, documentaries often have a strong viewpoint. 

When do I use a documentary or educational film?
Use them like you would any source, but especially when you need the following:

  • in-depth information about a topic
  • Information from a specific viewpoint or perspective
  • to be able to "see" a situation or get a visual representation of a topic 

Where do I find a documentary or educational film?
Look for films in your library, on the Internet, from streaming sources, or on television. 

How do I use a documentary or educational film?
Read the description or reviews of the film, and preview it to get an idea of its content and purpose. Think about what information you need. View the documentary or educational film and take notes. You may even want to use a clip in your presentation.

For more information about this topic, take a look at the eBook, Watch It! Researching with Videos