You should start your research from an idea, reading or film in the course. It does not matter where you start, just choose something that strikes your interest. Alternatively, you could choose a key question that has arisen during the course.
Although the aim is to understand what research is, and to find a possible research question for the final assignment that reflects your own interests, it does not matter where you start (or finish) because this task is about learning to be a good researcher. While you might begin in one place, you are likely to end up in a different one. This is intended to be a lateral and thoughtful process, that illustrates that you can use each source to find another one. So where you end up does not have to be with this particular person or film text. The only specification is that you keep a focus on documentary whilst you are doing this (don’t go off on other tangents; for example, if you started with The Thin Blue Line, you might have noticed the use of footage from a film noir feature, but you don’t want to let that take you away from research about documentary). If I started with The Thin Blue Line, my next idea might be to find other documentaries that have caused change in the real world, that might lead me to Supersize Me (Morgan Spurlock, 2004) and an article by someone about this issue—the world is your oyster.
You must undertake this research across a number of different texts and should be engaging with the concepts discussed in class—think about these while you are doing the research.
However, central to the task is your use of the research sources you have found to find further research and this is what will be assessed.
The research (notes and photocopy material) are to be handed in as is, but should be organized with a cover sheet listing full citation details for each source/text and, the material could be arranged under research headings. The annotated bibliography can be the cover sheet (contents), or can be separate to it. Notes should indicate whether material is quotations (word for word) or rewritten. Material from the internet should have a citation with the web address. This work can be hand-written but must be legible. There should be evidence of active reading—so photocopied material should be highlighted or underlined and annotated. The purpose of this is to show active reading and illustrate your research pathway and engagement with key ideas—it is integral to this task that you use research to find more research and that what you submit shows evidence of this or allows your lecturer to follow your journey.
Also being assessed in this task is your ability to find and apply (or generate) relevant and/or useful information (from a variety of sources). References should be from a range of sources including journals, the internet, and could include your own original investigations: for example, contact with the filmmaker or his/her agent (or other members of the creative team—you may choose to focus on the work of a cinematographer or editor). There should be at least 8 references of varied length and media. In addition, watching films themselves is research and you can include this as a research source. Your notes from watching films can be included as the films themselves are research sources, and if a filmmaker claims to have been influenced by someone else, you can look at the person’s films for clues!). You are strongly advised to visit the AFI Research collection in building 21—your lecturer has information on where and when this invaluable collection can be assessed (green book mark handed out in weeks 1 & 3).
List of Filmmakers
SOME OF THE FILMMAKERS IN THE COURSE:
D.A Pennebaker, John Grierson, Luis Bunuel, Anna Broinowski, Kevin Macdonald, Ross McElwee, Errol Morris, Harry Watt, Basil Wright, John Smith, Ari Folman, Dziga Vertov, Leni Riefenstahl, Su Friedrich, Connie Field, Robert Flaherty, Peter Jackson, Rob Reiner, Rebecca Barry.
* Remember that the context for this is documentary cinema and you will therefore need to keep this a focus and not go too far away from this at the centre. Note that this is only a list of directors or writer directors and you will need to look up other key creatives as appropriate.
Here is an example of the way in which research on a given filmmaker might be approached:
Broinowski has been able to make documentaries in Australia for television and film festival screenings. Her latest film Man in Creation was financed through the MIFF Premiere Fund and screened at MIFF in 2013. Her most significant work is Forbidden Lie$, screened in this course. You could begin by thinking about the ways Broinowski could be regarded, for example: as a contemporary, feminist, postmodern, woman filmmaker—if you were researching her, you could start off by going in any of these directions. During the research on any filmmaker, the research will suggest further directions and this is an important function of this task--follow the leads the suggested by the research.
Part B: Annotated Bibliography
An annotated bibliography would normally be a summary of the contents of a reference, and key points. However, for this assignment, that will be a minor part of the task. The purpose of your annotation is to outline how this reference related to your research journey, how it was useful, what questions it raised, and what directions it pointed you in. Although an annotated bibliography would normally be in alphabetical order (by author), in this instance, please place it in the order that you encountered the research material.
Craven, Ian, Australian Cinema in the 1990s, Frank Cass, London/Portland/Oregon, 2001.
This is a edited collection of essays with a broad coverage on Australian cinema in the 1990s. Chapters include material on funding, exhibition, policy, sexuality, disability, masculinity, ethnicity, mythology and focus on particular incarnations in cinema such as suburbia, the 'glitter' cycle, landscape, 'battlers', and indigenous cinema.
- Then, you might add a comment on why this book is useful—or a particular section of it—for your own research pathway.
- You should identify the particular ideas offered in the source (in relation to your particular research journey), and even indicate if you think this is a contradictory point of view to another source, or links to something else.
- The purpose of this annotation is not just to show content, but also to illustrate the particular usefulness of this source, and the place it occupies in your research pathway.
Part C: Essay questions
Write a list of possible essay questions for your major essay. Your lecturer will give you feedback of on the feasibility of these questions for an essay of the size you will be writing. You should write at least three. You will not be required to write your essay on any of these questions given that you might develop a better one in relation to feedback, you might develop a further interest after the research, or you might wish to choose a question from the list of questions that will be given to you.
Attach the university cover sheet to the front of your work and ensure that extension forms are attached if you have one.
You will need to arrange your so that it can be easily accessed and read for assessment. It is suggested that you make a contents page and number every page of the submission.
Part A (the research) can be in any form but loose in a folder is preferred (plastic pockets are slower to read through and thus your lecturer will be dissuaded from making any comments).
All research should have the citation details written directly on to it (this is a good academic habit to get into).
Parts B-C: can be in any format that suits you.
Essay Questions and Annotated Bibliography should be typed or word-processed. Leave a wide margin to accommodate assessment comments (3cm minimum from binding allowance). Write on one side of the page and double-space material. Keep a copy.
Assignment 1 - Assessment criteria:
- Evidence of research used to find additional research (research pathway)
- Critical and analytical approach to the research and the forming of questions
- Application and understanding of theories, material and/or concepts dealt with in this course and the research material
- Annotated bibliography (appropriate referencing style and synthesis of key ideas rather than global generic description)
- Originality of thought and expression in your work
- Appropriate academic approach and writing style
You will know you have done this task well if you really enjoyed it—research is fun if you do it properly and connect it with your own knowledge and discovery!
COMM1034 – TRUE LIESAus