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Writing Essays Assignment 3 | Essays

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Assignment Three

2000 words equivalent--40%

For assignment three, you may choose between writing:

*A picture book text and report

*An essay (2000 words)

Option 1: Picture book text and report 

Your task in this assignment is to write a text suitable for a picture book. Using picture book conventions (i.e. endpapers, title page, etc), create a dummy showing how you would format and sequence the text. Put as much information as you can on the dummy to convey your ideas as clearly as possible. Suggest, in pencil, how you would illustrate the book. You may simply write notes on the page or sketch the proposed illustrations. 

Report (500-600 words)

You are asked to read your story to an audience, and in a separate brief report you should:

1. describe the art techniques you would employ to illustrate the book

2. report on your experience of reading your story to an audience, what you learned from the reception of the book (i.e. how your audience reacted) and what you might do to enhance your story.

Note: Module 5 of your Study Guide provides suggestions on carrying out this part of the assessment. You should read this Module carefully, giving yourself ample time to develop ideas and refine them.

Option 2: Essay (2000 words)

Your assignment should include some engagement with relevant scholarly sources (at least 5 scholarly sources) either from the unit readings or your own research. 

NB: If you choose this option, you may not choose the same essay topic that you wrote on for assignment one. In addition, you cannot write on the books that your group reviewed for assignment 2. 

1. Select one nineteenth-century or early-twentieth-century illustrator or author-illustrator who interests you. Discuss his/her work, focusing on two or three key texts, and referring to particular examples of text and/or illustrations. Briefly relate the work of the person you have chosen to discuss to the artistic and cultural context in which s/he worked.

2. Select one of the following elements of picture book art: colour, line, perspective, texture/pattern, shape, space. With reference to two or three picture books, show how this aspect of art constructs meaning.

3. Select two or three contemporary picture books which focus on representations of gendered behaviors and practices, and consider the extent to which they contest traditional ideas of masculinity and the feminine.

4. Picture books are now being used, more than in the past, as vehicles for social comment and political satire. Choose three or four picture books which belong to this category and discuss the ways in which authors and illustrators convey their messages.

5. In chapter four of Language and Ideology in Children's Fiction (available in the unit eReadings), John Stephens discusses various children's texts which demonstrate some of the features of the carnivalesque. Select one or two picture books which fall into this category and discuss the ways in which these books work to subvert received ideas and ideologies. You should read Stephens's discussion as part of your preparation for this topic.

6. Select any two picture books, apart from those discussed in the Study Guide, which you think exploit the form's possibilities for multiple narratives, for ironic play between narratives and/or for the kinds of postmodern play discussed in Cherie Allan's chapter "Looking Beneath the Surface" from Playing with Picturebooks (available in the unit eReadings). Identify the ways in which these books work, focusing closely on particular examples of visual and verbal text.

7. Select any two picture books which present the perspectives of cultures and characters other than white. How is difference represented in these texts, and what do they propose about relations between people of different ethnicities and/or cultures?

8. Consider the use of humour in two or three picture books. How does humour work in visual and verbal texts, and what purposes does it serve?

9. Select two or three picture books which advocate environmental values and actions. How do these books promote these values through narrative and images, and what forms of environmentalism do they advocate? How do they position readers?

10. You may follow your own interest to devise a topic in which you consider a few picture books or a particular subset of works, or a theme followed in several picture books. If you choose to develop your own topic, you should consult with your tutor well before the due date.

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