Objective: clarify the central question of your scholarly research essay by problematizing your exhibit.
Estimated time: 2-3 hrs
Due by 9:30 a.m. Monday, April 6th
Part 1—Watch and Read
- Watch your film OR read the coverage on current event you have selected and take careful notes on patterns and anomalies you observe. You will use these observations and your preliminary research to create a clear, focused research question for your scholarly research essay.
- Read and annotate Simon During’s introduction to Stuart Hall’s “Encoding, Decoding.” The reading is dense, so remember that you’re looking for ideas and concepts, which are outlined in the videos. One key concept that Hall explores is re-presentation, so think about how groups of people are represented in your film or the media. The reading is in your course pack, but in case you lost that, you can download a copy.
- Review the five ways of identifying an intellectual or interpretive described in the Identifying Problems writing guide.
- Review the Strong Research Questions writing guide.
- Read Functions of Sources writing guide
Part 2—Write a Summary of Your Film (Journal 3.2)
Write a summary of your film as soon as you finish watching it. Doing so will help you to record what you think is important about the film without (accidentally) plagiarizing another summary of the film. OR write an overview that summarizes the media coverage you have observed.
Part 3—Preliminary Research
- Conduct preliminary research on your exhibit and also analyze it in order to determine the main question you want to explore in your scholarly research essay. Therefore, make sure to look up existing opinions about your film. Find out how the film is categorized as a genre and how that genre is defined.
Example: A past student noticed that central female characters in the animated film Inside Out seemed to be based on common female stereotypes, yet the film was universally praised as a feminist masterpiece. Therefore, in her research essay, she asked: Do the stereotypical depictions of Joy and Sadness undermine the film’s reputation as a “feminist” film?
Part 3—Draft Your Research Question
- Write your research question, using the guidelines in the Strong Research Questions writing guide. Post your question as a comment below.
Library Class Virtual Visit
Because our classes are now online, the library has created this guide to help you with your research, which is a required learning objective of our English 110 class. You will complete this work as part of your classwork on Monday, April 6th.
The guide includes a chat box for questions, and a library instructor, Max Thorn, will be available to answer your questions during our class time on April 6, 1:40 to 3:30 p.m. and 4:40 to 6:30 p.m. You can also chat online with a librarian chat online with a Queens College librarian Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.
And, of course, I will be helping you with the research for this essay.