Unit 4 – background research

Unit 4 requires candidates to integrate evidence of research and background reading as well as the more expected critical opinion. You need to start making relevant notes from essays, articles, blog discussion, radio interviews, autobiographical or biographical information for the texts/ideas you intend to write about. The aim is to use pertinent (but brief) references to your research in your essay to illuminate your argument.

Here is a link to the Radio 4 Woman’s Hour programme featuring Margaret Atwood talking about The Handmaid’s Tale (broadcast in 2010 – 25 years after the novel’s publication)


Be generous with your links and share them here

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5 Responses to Unit 4 – background research

  1. Mrs Taylor says:

    Jess -thanks for the tip off. Here is the article Jess mentions elsewhere in blogsphere – Margaret Attwood on science fiction from Saturday’s Guardian:


  2. criddle says:

    I thought this page about the “rape” scene was interesting. It has links to other bits in the book as well but this put forward some good arguments for rape and seduction.


  3. Alex Shaw says:

    I found this site which is really interesting, especially the suggested topics for contemplation bit: http://www.randomhouse.com/resources/bookgroup/handmaidstale_bgc.html

    http://literature.britishcouncil.org/margaret-atwood – has some useful information about Atwood’s life.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/writers/12274.shtml – shows Atwood talking about her life and methods of writing: more relevant from 5.40, but not focused on any particular novel.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn2pq3SiqHc&feature=related – is a really good video for context – she evaluates her influences (11mins in) and defines ‘speculative fiction’ (5.46) but it is a little boring in places… 🙂

  4. Mrs Taylor says:

    For anyone who is writnig about Thousand Splendid Suns and the figure of the oppressed woman or oppressive societies, this may be useful….I am currently reading the non fiction text (but written in a prose style) ‘The Bookseller of Kabul’ which is a fascinating insight into the family life of an Afghani family. An easy and engaging read which would be a helpful secondary source for your essays.

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