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Miranda L.
Theatrical costume technician
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Writing
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Question:

How should I come up with a structure for my research paper?

Miranda L.
Answer:

In a research paper, your structure should be determined by common themes picked up in your research. As you read the materials you will be using to write your paper, try typing up any possibly relevant quotes you see into a document. As you type in more quotes, start arranging them into categories. Once you've been through all your research material, you'll have a large grouping of quotes that have formed patterns - you can use these patterns to give a logical structure to your paper and therefore form your paper around your research.

Fashion
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Question:

How did women's fashion change at the turn of the 20th century, and how did these changes reflect societal changes?

Miranda L.
Answer:

Women's fashion of the 1880s was at a peak of impracticality that hadn't been seen since the late 1700s. Enormous bustles made movement difficult, and every inch of fabric on a gown was expected to be decorated ornately. Tight wasp-waisted corsets restricted movement, and the ideal woman stood or sat quietly in place. However, in the 1890s women's fashion changed drastically. The focus of the silhouette quickly shifted upward from the hips to the shoulders, resulting in sleek gowns with great, puffed sleeves that seemed to emphasize women's strength and mobility rather than impractical beauty. It's no coincidence that this change occurred just as the first wave of feminism was picking up speed. This more free style continued into the 20th century, and became more drastic in the 1910s when gowns began to loosen. By the 1920s, women's clothing was little more than shapeless tubes, and the corset began to be supplanted by the brassiere, a garment which offered far more bodily freedom. This free-flowing clothing was a visual representation of the first-wave feminist movement that reached its peak in the 1920s.

Film and Theater
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Question:

How have approaches to realism changed throughout the history of theatre?

Miranda L.
Answer:

Early theatre was unconcerned with what we would today qualify as realism. From Greek and Roman theatre to Elizabethan theatre and up to the 18th century, a combination of necessity and philosophy created a performance style that in this time would seem wooden and overly demonstrative. In a world before amplification and stage lights, actors' movement was limited, and loud declarations were more important than nuanced acting. However, with the turn of the 20th century came a new approach and desire for strict realism, even gritty naturalism - but just as quickly, playwrights turned away from plain realism and toward styles that could dig under the surface to try to express feelings beyond reality. Postmodernism has blended these two schools of thought into theatre that is often realistic, but just as often surrealistic or magical.

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