jadeyuu
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#1
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#1
Hi everyone,
For my EPQ, my question is, 'Have people of different races been villainised in English Literature?'. If you could tell me your view on this, whether you agree, disagree or even both, would be great help!

The literature I am looking at is classical literature like from Shakespeare's time and modern literature like YA's, children's fiction and etc. Some texts I have covered are To Kill A Mockingbird, Othello, Noughts and Crosses and etc. Thank you for your help!

Edit- I unfortunately cannot change my title though it is a vast topic
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Cote1
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#2
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#2
Can you narrow it down or is your question set in stone? Shylock springs to mind.
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EOData
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#3
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Have you discussed this with your teacher? It is a huge topic and I think you need to narrow the focus. I think it may struggle to hit some of the criteria for a dissertation too.

If you're going to seek views you probably need to do it in a more structured way.

The texts you mention all involve black people (admittedly Noughts and Crosses is in reverse), but your stated topic is much wider - Shylock in the Merchant of Venice and Fagin in Oliver Twist are classic portrayals of Jews as villains and there are plenty of other options too.
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McGinger
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#4
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You need a much 'smaller' topic - this has the breadth of a PhD thesis.
Try just one author or era of literature and it will be much more manageable.
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jadeyuu
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Cote1)
Can you narrow it down or is your question cast in stone? Shylock springs to mind.
Hello, unfortunately I can't narrow it down
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Cote1
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#6
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(Original post by jadeyuu)
Hello, unfortunately I can't narrow it down
Are you at the stage where it absolutely can't be changed? Are you at midterm review?
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jadeyuu
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#7
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(Original post by EOData)
Have you discussed this with your teacher? It is a huge topic and I think you need to narrow the focus. I think it may struggle to hit some of the criteria for a dissertation too.

If you're going to seek views you probably need to do it in a more structured way.

The texts you mention all involve black people (admittedly Noughts and Crosses is in reverse), but your stated topic is much wider - Shylock in the Merchant of Venice and Fagin in Oliver Twist are classic portrayals of Jews as villains and there are plenty of other options too.
Hi, sadly the title is fixed and I can't change it now. The examples you have suggested are helpful, thank you! Would you suggest any others? Perhaps some that include people of an Asian or Hispanic background?
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jadeyuu
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#8
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(Original post by Cote1)
Are you at the stage where it absolutely can't be changed? At midterm review?
Yes, I doubt it can be changed now
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Cote1
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#9
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If you can't change the title you could talk to your teacher about narrowing the focus by defining your terms in a more focused way.
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jadeyuu
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Cote1)
If you can't change the title you could talk to your teacher about narrowing the focus by defining your terms in a more focused way.
Could you explain what you mean by defining my terms in a more focused way?
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Cote1
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#11
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I am surprised your teacher didn't suggest narrowing the topic.
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Cote1
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#12
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(Original post by jadeyuu)
Could you explain what you mean by defining my terms in a more focused way?
Has the exact wording of the title been finally agreed or can you tweak it to narrow it?
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Cote1
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#13
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(Original post by jadeyuu)
Yes, I doubt it can be changed now
I would check then to be certain. If the title can still be tweaked, then change it and narrow it down a lot and come back on TSR. 🙂

If the exact wording is set in stone now, you will need to try and find a way of coping with a question that is unfortunately very broad (though very interesting). You will need to decide how you try and narrow down how you approach 'English Literature'. You can't cover all eras and all types of literature as said above. If you have an abstract in the essay as well as introduction and conclusion this will leave you with very very roughly 4000 words or so for the main body of the essay. The focus will have to be on coping with the broadness of it whilst still answering the question. It will be important to have analysis in it and if it is too broad it will be harder for you to do this as you won't have enough words available and there is a risk of just touching the surface.

Maybe speak to your supervisor urgently and if you can't adjust the wording see if they can suggest how to approach it?
It will be easier for people to give suggestions then, hopefully.

If you can't alter the title words, you might, for example, choose to outline the way that you will approach the question in the introduction by choosing an era to focus on, just as a possible suggestion, as was also mentioned above though obviously this is not ideal as it will only be one era of English literature. You don't want to be penalised for not answering your question but equally you can't cover all eras, all types and too many different writers or characters. Or you could try interpreting it by choosing characters from a play, a novel and a poem maybe and explain the era choices. These are some badly thought out ideas of mine. The most challenging bit will be to narrow the approach and focus of the essay whilst still attempting to answer the broad topic question. Otherwise, the danger is it will be a scatter gun approach. Maybe think about how you will write your conclusion and whether the approach you choose to take will answer the question and allow you to reach an evidenced conclusion.

You will need to address the 'different races' part too. You need to bring analysis in to the essay. Would you argue that races have been represented as villainised but also put another argument that in some literature different races have not been villainised, for example?

Don't forget all the marks you can pick up for your log and presentation, reflection etc and for showing time management. Reflecting and learning from it is all part of the process so record all of it in your log.
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EOData
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#14
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#14
(Original post by jadeyuu)
Hi, sadly the title is fixed and I can't change it now. The examples you have suggested are helpful, thank you! Would you suggest any others? Perhaps some that include people of an Asian or Hispanic background?
Altering your title in the light of your literature review is often a good strategy to gain more marks - are you CERTAIN it can't be changed now? Your topic is way too big to do justice to.
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Cote1
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#15
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#15
(Original post by EOData)
Altering your title in the light of your literature review is often a good strategy to gain more marks - are you CERTAIN it can't be changed now? Your topic is way too big to do justice to.
Totally agree. If it can POSSIBLY be changed it would be better to squeeze this in if there is any way to do this. You could, for example, stick with the topic if you like it but alter the wording of the title (in such a way that your title becomes manageable). Maybe you could find out if you can do this?

If you can change the wording of the title I would take the opportunity to narrow it down as much as possible.
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