GUIDELINES FOR FINAL PAPER
This is a formal research paper which is based upon your research and reading on a topic related to the themes of this course. Your paper should be between 3,000 and 4,000 words and typed in 12-point Times New Roman font. It should be double-spaced and written in grammatically correct Standard English. Your paper should be based on a theme related to this course. Your topic must be approved by the TA no later than May 1rst. This assignment provides students with an opportunity to further study an issue that involves teen girls. Your paper should be organized in the following sections. All papers should have an:
I Introduction (300 – 1,000 words)
What is the rationale for your paper? Why did you choose this topic?
Define the issue, problem, challenge or inspiration for your topic? Explain how your paper engages with themes in this course. Why is this topic important when considering how girls transition between girlhood and adulthood? Why are you interested in this topic?
II Literature review (250-500 words)
What have academic researchers written about this topic/issue (must have at least 10 academic citations). Provide a summary of what we know about this subject.
III. Major research findings (2,000 words)
In this section explain WHAT DID YOU LEARN?
What evidence do you have for your analysis/arguments? (draw upon the readings and/or documentaries that you watched. These must be films that were not screened in this class.
IV What did you find surprising? What do you still want to know about this topic?
How did this research alter your perceptions and understandings of the experiences of girls? If you were going to continue to study this issue, what questions would you ask? What do you still want to learn?
You have two options for your final paper.
Option A: Choose a topic such as representations of incarcerated teen girls, immigrant girls, body image, teen motherhood, virginity loss and you write a paper based on your original reading and research.
Option B: Choose 2 television shows, feature films or documentaries and write a comparative analysis of the representation of girls in the media. In this paper, you must provide a comparative analysis of how teen girls of different racial, ethnic, class and religious backgrounds are represented. An example would be a comparative analysis of the film Quinceañera (2006) film about a Mexican American girl in Los Angeles and The Slums of Beverly Hi lls (1998) film about a Jewish girl being raised by her divorced father, who is financially unstable working-class family on the outskirts of Beverly Hills. In your analysis you must draw on themes and concept in this course such as the four forms of capital (economic, social, cultural, symbolic) in your analysis. You cannot select 2 television shows or 2 films that only feature white, cisgender, middle-class American girls. One of the television shows or films must feature girls who are either LGBTQ and/or from underrepresented racial or ethnic minorities as ‘main’ characters.
Some suggested films or TV shows for a comparative analysis (selected by students in previous
· Easy A (2010) – a film about an unpopular student who lies about her virginity status.
· Euphoria (2019) – a TV series that follows a group of high school students as they navigate drugs, sex, trauma, love and friendship
· Flirting (1991) – Coming of age comedy takes place in Australian boarding school – features African elite teen and white upper middle class teen
· Gossip Girls (2007-2012 – original series). Last episode or this series was in 2012. Upper East Side privileged girls who share text messages, gossip and scandals. This was a radical show when it first appeared. A sequel to the original premiered on HBO in 2021.
· Jinn (2018) – A 17 year old girl in final year of high school whose mother converts to Islam and forces her to convert
· Pariah (2011) – 17 year old LGBTQ Black girl in New York (Amazon Prime)
· Jezebel. (2019) – Tiffany is forced to move into her aunt’s home when her mothers dies. She becomes a webcam model.
· Juno (2007) – White teenage girl becomes pregnant who chooses a failed rock star and his wife to adopt her child
· Thirteen (2003) – 13 year-old White girl in junior high in Los Angeles – based on the diary of Nikki Reed one of the writers of the film
· Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life) – Girl gang negotiates love, friendship and teen motherhood in Echo Park, Los Angeles
· Quinceañera (2006) – Coming of age drama about a Mexican American teen in Los Angeles who learns that she is pregnant before her 15th birthday coming out ritual
· Mean Girls (2004) – Teen comedy about white girls negotiating high school cliques in Illinois
· Slums of Beverly Hills (1998) – Coming of age comedy in Los Angeles
· On My Block (2018-present) – Coming of Age comedy in high school
· Looking for Alaska (2019) – Takes place in an Alabama boarding school
· Pretty Little Liars. (2010-2017) Teen drama series middle-class suburban teens
· Skins (2007-2013) – British teen drama
NOTE: This is an upper division course so all students enrolled in this course are expected to know how to write a research paper, how to do citations and how to organize a paper. If you do not know how to write a paper or need assistance there are campus resources that you can access remotely. Please make an appointment with the Writing Lab if you need help. This course is not a writing course and does not provide writing services.