Writing your Research Report Introduction

1. Explain the focus of your research and, if need be, define the idea you are discussing (you may need to define ‘identity’ for example).
My investigation examined the portrayal of sexism in texts from different cultures and time periods.

2. Name the texts (and poets/authors/directors/etc) that you used in your research.
3. You should discuss what you expected to find and why you expected that. I felt that older texts, such as Little Women, would portray sexism as prevalent in society, whereas more modern texts, such as Bridget Jones’ Diary, would portray a less sexist society. I expected this because of the changes brought about by the women’s movement in western society in the last fifty years.

Body Paragraphs
1. Use your Key Questions as headings for each section. 2. The first two questions should be answered with details from the texts and this will enable you to make judgements. How does the writer/director use characters to portray sexism in the text?
Give details from the texts you researched.

Make judgements drawn from your research

Little Women questions the fairness of gender stereotypes. Jo, at times, does not want to be a conventional female. In her desires and her actions, she fights against typical gender expectations. She wants to earn a living, for example—a duty conventionally left to men in the 19th Century American culture. Also, she wears a dress with a burn mark to a party, which shows she doesn’t care for ‘womanly’ things. Alcott uses Jo’s character to show how women had to fight against the sexist stereotypes of the times. The fact that the men and other women are shocked by Jo’s behaviour shows how deep set these stereotypes were in this society. Jo eventually settles for the conventional life of marriage, so it seems challenging stereotypes was all women could manage in those times. 3. Use your final question (which should be about the links between texts – similarities and points of difference) to make wider judgements about the portrayal of your chosen idea. You should discuss why these similarities and differences exist. For example, in the report above you could discuss how the setting is extremely important to the portrayal of sexism given the rights won by women in the 20th century. There would also be a difference between texts drawn from the liberal western world and other, more conservative cultures. It is easy to see how these basic differences in setting and context could lead to similar judgements about racism, identity, politics, class, love, etc. These observations and judgements, if supported by your research on the texts, are what push the grades up. 4. Bibliography – you must have a bibliography or your report will not be marked. See the reverse of this page for instructions.

How to compile a bibliography Because of the nature of different text-types, there are many variations in the way different texts are recorded within a bibliography. A novel has different requirements from a short story, for example. Both have different requirements from a film. Entries need to be ordered alphabetically according to the surnames of the authors/directors. This is a BASIC requirement of a bibliography. Punctuation IS important in a bibliography. Take care to use full stops, commas, and colons in the correct places, as demonstrated in the examples on the page opposite. As you compile your bibliography, keep in mind what its purpose is: to make your research process transparent. Your readers should be able to look your sources up if they feel the urge. By providing a detailed bibliography, you are providing them with the means to do this. For a novel: Hill, David. The Name of the Game. Wellington: Mallinson Rendel, 2001. (ie. Author. Title. City of publication: Publisher, Year of Publication.) For a short story: Marshall, Owen. ‘The Tsunami’. In Supper Waltz Wilson and Other Stories. Dunedin: John McIndoe, 1979. pp 21-34. (ie. Author. ‘Title’. In Title of the book that the story is published in. City of publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Pages on which the story is found.) For a poem (taken from an anthology): Adcock, Fleur. ‘For a Five Year-Old’. In An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English. Jenny Bornholdt, Gregory O’Brien and Mark Williams (ed.s). Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1997. pp 267-268. (ie. Poet. ‘Title of poem’. In… Title of the book in which the poem is published. Names of the book’s editors (ed.s). City of publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Page(s) on which the poem is found.) For a film: Tamahori, Lee. Once Were Warriors. Communicado, 1994. (ie. Director. Title of film. Production company, Year of Production. For a TV programme: Mulheron, Danny. ‘Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby’. Direct Hit Productions, 2005. Producer. ‘Title of TV programme’. Production company, Year of Production. For a website: The Onion. http://www.theonion.com/. Page accessed on Thursday 5 May, 2005. (ie. Title of website. Web address. Date on which you accessed the web page. NB: As websites do not have a particular author, and often the identity of article-writers is not given, list these at the bottom of your bibliography in alphabetical order according to website title.

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