A report


An international development agency has been looking into attitudes to aging around the world. The research director has asked you to conduct a survey and write a report. Your report should discuss how young people where you live feel about older people in the community and the prospect of growing older themselves. You have also been asked to make recommendations about how attitudes could be changed.

Write your report in 300-400 words in an appropriate style.


An international development agency has been looking into building new restaurants in your area. The research director has asked you to conduct a survey and write a report. Your report should discuss the range of restaurants in terms of menu, cuisine,  interior style and what kind of customers they attract. Based on this analysis suggest new kinds of restaurants and suggest menu, cuisine or theme for the new restaurant(s).

Write your report in 300-400 words in an appropriate style.

Useful language for a report

Stating the purpose of the report

    • The principal aim/objective/purpose of this report is to provide a description of… / to provide/to present results of /to assess the importance of …
  • In this report I will provide a description of … / I will provide/present results of …/ I will assess the importance of…
  • This report describes/provides an assessment of… / describes/provides/presents results of…

Describing how you got the information

    • I conducted a survey of / I conducted interviews with local council officers …
  • … responded to an online questionnaire.
  • I visited three of the most popular …
  • … were invited to attend a focus group…

Reporting your results

    • Most of those responding to the survey stated that/expressed the opinion that …
  • According to …
  • A large/considerable/significant/ proportion of respondents/informants/those surveyed said that …
  • Nearly three quarters of the …

To learn more.

Gothic, continued

Excerpt from The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

I hesitated long before I put this theory to the test of practice. I knew well that I risked death; for any drug that so potently controlled and shook the very fortress of identity, might by the least scruple of an overdose or at the least inopportunity in the moment of exhibition, utterly blot out that immaterial tabernacle which I looked to it to change. But the temptation of a discovery so singular and profound, at last overcame the suggestions of alarm. I had long since prepared my tincture; I purchased at once, from a firm of wholesale chemists, a large quantity of a particular salt which I knew, from my experiments, to be the last ingredient required; and late one accursed night, I compounded the elements, watched them boil and smoke together in the glass, and when the ebullition had subsided, with a strong glow of courage, drank off the potion.
The most racking pangs succeeded: a grinding in the bones, deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded at the hour of birth or death. Then these agonies began swiftly to subside, and I came to myself as if out of a great sickness. There was something strange in my sensations, something indescribably new and, from its very novelty, incredibly sweet. I felt younger, lighter, happier in body; within I was conscious of a heady recklessness, a current of disordered sensual images running like a mill-race in my fancy, a solution of the bonds of obligation, an unknown but not an innocent freedom of the soul. I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil; and the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine. I stretched out my hands, exulting in the freshness of these sensations; and in the act, I was suddenly aware that I had lost in stature.
There was no mirror, at that date, in my room; that which stands beside me as I write, was brought there later on and for the very purpose of these transformations. The night, however, was far gone into the morning—the morning, black as it was, was nearly ripe for the conception of the day—the inmates of my house were locked in the most rigorous hours of slumber; and I determined, flushed as I was with hope and triumph, to venture in my new shape as far as to my bedroom. I crossed the yard, wherein the constellations looked down upon me, I could have thought, with wonder, the first creature of that sort that their unsleeping vigilance had yet disclosed to them; I stole through the corridors, a stranger in my own house; and coming to my room, I saw for the first time the appearance of Edward Hyde.


First page The Portrait of Dorian Gray

The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.

From the corner of the divan of Persian saddle-bags on which he was lying, smoking, as was his custom, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-coloured blossoms of a laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so flamelike as theirs; and now and then the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the long tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window, producing a kind of momentary Japanese effect, and making him think of those pallid, jade-faced painters of Tokyo who, through the medium of an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of swiftness and motion. The sullen murmur of the bees shouldering their way through the long unmown grass, or circling with monotonous insistence round the dusty gilt horns of the straggling woodbine, seemed to make the stillness more oppressive. The dim roar of London was like the bourdon note of a distant organ.

In the centre of the room, clamped to an upright easel, stood the full-length portrait of a young man of extraordinary personal beauty, and in front of it, some little distance away, was sitting the artist himself, Basil Hallward, whose sudden disappearance some years ago caused, at the time, such public excitement and gave rise to so many strange conjectures.

As the painter looked at the gracious and comely form he had so skilfully mirrored in his art, a smile of pleasure passed across his face, and seemed about to linger there. But he suddenly started up, and closing his eyes, placed his fingers upon the lids, as though he sought to imprison within his brain some curious dream from which he feared he might awake.

“It is your best work, Basil, the best thing you have ever done,” said Lord Henry languidly

Good and evil

The Holocaust is an interesting and scary landmark in history. But what does it tell us? Was this an aberration an exception or is this something typical or a rule, or something else? What lessons can be drawn from the Holocaust?

Milgram and Ash

Watch this and this:


Zygmunt Baumann says the nazis put engineers, doctors, and other advanced professionals in doing simple things like screws in their weapon factories, since you cannot force anyone to do a quality job, or to do complex things, like thinking qualitatively or creating – you can only force them to do simple and concrete things that you can measure and observed

Zygmunt Bauman sees the Holocaust as dependent on civilization, a bureaucracy and rational industrial processes to have happened

Bauman argues, following Arendt, that there is a basic ‘animal pity’ that all humans have which makes it hard for us to hurt others. And even harder to kill others. Thus, there needs to be a mechanism which allows people to overcome this natural moral abhorrence of killing and violence.

Zigmunt Bauman discusses the process of moral distancing that allows people to commit the kind of crimes described in the book. He starts by pointing out that Eichmann (one of the architects of the Holocaust strategy) defended himself by saying the deeds committed would have been praised if the Germans had won, and were condemned only because they had lost. That is, that moral decisions are arbitrary and contextual. He uses this point to lead in the discussion that most people who acted in the Holocaust were ‘normal’ people, doing what was ‘normal’ in very abnormal conditions.

He then identifies three conditions that erode moral inhibitions:

1) Authority (authorization of violence)
2) Routinization (make the work routine)
3) Dehumanization (make people seem less than human).

Read more here.


What does the clips tell you about good and evil leadership? What does this tell you about management? About teaching and leadership in school of even att home, in the family?

Continued writing

Most epistolary writing has some kind of foreword, preface or prologue from the editor, or similar (for increased suspension of disbelief).

This is the preface to Song of Kali by Dan Simmons:

Some places are too evil to be allowed to exist. Some cities are too wicked to be suffered. Calcutta is such a place. Before Calcutta I would have laughed at such an idea. Before Calcutta I did not believe in evil — certainly not as a force separate from the actions of men. Before Calcutta I was a fool.

After the Romans had conquered the city of Carthage, they killed the men, sold the women and children into slavery, pulled down the great buildings, broke up the stones, burned the rubble, and salted the earth so that nothing would ever grow there again. That is not enough for Calcutta. Calcuttashould be expunged.

Before Calcutta I took part in marches against nuclear weapons. Now I dream of nuclear mushroom clouds rising above a city. I see buildings melting into lakes of glass. I see paved streets flowing like rivers of lava and real rivers boiling away in great gouts of steam. I see human figures dancing like burning insects, like obscene praying mantises sputtering and bursting against a fiery red background of total destruction.

The city is Calcutta. The dreams are not unpleasant.

Some places are too evil to be allowed to exist.


”Today everything happens in Calcutta . . .
Who should I blame?”

— Sankha Ghosh

”Don’t go, Bobby,” said my friend. ”It’s not worth it.”

It was June of 1977, and I had come down to New York from New Hampshire in order to finalize the details of the  Calcutta trip with my editor at Harper’s. Afterward I decided to drop in to see my friend Abe Bronstein. The modest uptown office building that housed our little literary magazine, Other Voices, looked less than impressive after several hours of looking down on Madison Avenue from the rarefied heights of the suites at Harper’s.
Abe was in his cluttered office, alone, working on the autumn issue of Voices. The windows were open, but the air in the room was as stale and moist as the dead cigar that Abe was chewing on. ”Don’t go to Calcutta, Bobby,” Abe said again. ”Let someone else do it.”


Task 1

Write a preface to your epistolary short story.

After 20 minutes. Read aloud.


Task 2

Increase drama. New entry in your epistolary novel. We jump to the yellow


Byronic hero

Split hero. Good and bad in one. Moody. Mixed emotion in reader toward character.

Storytelling terminology

Frame story


Analepsis: ”flashing back” to an earlier point in the story

Prolepsis: flash forward or hinting at something in the future. A clip giving examples.


Gothic elements include the following:

1. Setting in a castle, ruin, asylum, church yard, bell tower, museum, tomb, mosque, church, wind mill, wild nature
2. An atmosphere of mystery and suspense.The work is pervaded by a threatening feeling, a fear enhanced by the unknown.
4. Omens, portents, visions.
5. Supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events.
7. Women in distress.
8. Women threatened by a powerful, impulsive, tyrannical male.

Imagery of the Gothic

wind, especially howling rain, especially blowing
doors grating on rusty hinges sighs, moans, howls, eerie sounds
footsteps approaching clanking chains
lights in abandoned rooms gusts of wind blowing out lights
characters trapped in a room doors suddenly slamming shut
ruins of buildings baying of distant dogs (or wolves?)
thunder and lightning crazed laughter

Vocabulary of the Gothic

diabolical, enchantment, ghost, goblins, haunted, infernal, magic, magician, miracle, necromancer, omens, ominous, portent, preternatural, prodigy, prophecy, secret, sorcerer, spectre, spirits, strangeness, talisman, vision
Fear, Terror, or Sorrow
afflicted, affliction, agony, anguish, apprehensions, apprehensive, commiseration, concern, despair, dismal, dismay, dread, dreaded, dreading, fearing, frantic, fright, frightened, grief, hopeless, horrid, horror, lamentable, melancholy, miserable, mournfully, panic, sadly, scared, shrieks, sorrow, sympathy, tears, terrible, terrified, terror, unhappy, wretched
alarm, amazement, astonished, astonishment, shocking, staring, surprise, surprised, thunderstruck, wonder
anxious, breathless, flight, frantic, hastened, hastily, impatience, impatient, impatiently, impetuosity, precipitately, running, sudden, suddenly
anger, angrily, choler, enraged, furious, fury, incense, incensed, provoked, rage, raving, resentment, temper, wrath, wrathful, wrathfully
enormous, gigantic, giant, large, tremendous, vast
Darkness dark, darkness, dismal, shaded, black, night


19th century literature, some samples

  1. Short intro on Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde

It is an epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entriesnewspaperclippings and other documents are sometimes used. Recently, electronic ”documents” such as recordings and radio, blogs, and e-mails have also come into use.

Key concept: suspension of disbelief, byronic hero

2. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

3. Slow paced and fast-paced epistolary narrative


by Bram Stoker

Chapter 1

Jonathan Harker’s Journal

3 May. Bistritz. __Left Munich at 8:35 P. M, on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got of it from the train and the little I could walk through the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we had arrived late and would start as near the correct time as possible.

The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the East; the most western of splendid bridges over the Danube, which is here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of Turkish rule.

We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh. Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or rather supper, a chicken done up some way with red pepper, which was very good but thirsty. (Mem. get recipe for Mina.) I asked the waiter, and he said it was called ”paprika hendl,” and that, as it was a national dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the Carpathians.

I found my smattering of German very useful here, indeed, I don’t know how I should be able to get on without it.

Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the British Museum, and made search among the books and maps in the library regarding Transylvania; it had struck me that some foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail to have some importance in dealing with a nobleman of that country.

I find that the district he named is in the extreme east of the country, just on the borders of three states, Transylvania, Moldavia, and Bukovina, in the midst of the Carpathian mountains; one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe.

I was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality of the Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this country as yet to compare with our own Ordance Survey Maps; but I found that Bistritz, the post town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place. I shall enter here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when I talk over my travels with Mina.

In the population of Transylvania there are four distinct nationalities: Saxons in the South, and mixed with them the Wallachs, who are the descendants of the Dacians; Magyars in the West, and Szekelys in the East and North. I am going among the latter, who claim to be descended from Attila and the Huns. This may be so, for when the Magyars conquered the country in the eleventh century they found the Huns settled in it.

I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting. (Mem., I must ask the Count all about them.)

I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had all sorts of queer dreams. There was a dog howling all night under my window, which may have had something to do with it; or it may have been the paprika, for I had to drink up all the water in my carafe, and was still thirsty. Towards morning I slept and was wakened by the continuous knocking at my door, so I guess I must have been sleeping soundly then.

I had for breakfast more paprika, and a sort of porridge of maize flour which they said was ”mamaliga”, and egg-plant stuffed with forcemeat, a very excellent dish, which they call ”impletata”. (Mem.,get recipe for this also.)

I had to hurry breakfast, for the train started a little before eight, or rather it ought to have done so, for after rushing to the station at 7:30 I had to sit in the carriage for more than an hour before we began to move.

It seems to me that the further east you go the more unpunctual are the trains. What ought they to be in China?


You are going to write a page from an epistolatory novel. You can be inspired by how Stoker and Tolkien does it.

In an epistolary novel there is often details such as dates, places, or equivalent, and the style is similar to that of which a tv reporter would use.

Post as a comment.

Suggestions for setting and mystery:

  • The tomb of Nyarlathotep in Egypt has been found
  • Numerous bodies are found in Calcutta, the thugee cult of Kali has returned?
  • Your own

Another example: Song of Kali

Life issues in debate and fiction

Tobias Hubinette, Swedish researcher

International adoption, sometimes known as intercountry or transnational adoption, the movement of predominantly non-white adoptees from the non-Western world to white adopters in the West, was born in the mid-1950s in the aftermath of the Korean War. The practice is hitherto involving an estimated number of half a million children, of whom almost one third come from Korea. In the receiving countries, the practice was initiated as a rescue mission with strong Christian undertones, while it came to be perceived as a progressive act of solidarity during the 1960s and 1970s. Today, in the leading adopting regions of North America, Western Europe and Oceania, international adoption has developed into the last resort to have a child for singles and hetero- or homosexual couples suffering from infertility, while a discourse of multiculturalism celebrates international adoptees as bridges between cultures, symbols of interethnic harmony and embodiments of global and postmodern cosmopolitans. On the other hand in the sending countries, international adoption is mostly conceived of as a mixture of a family planning method and a child welfare practice. Despite regular outbursts of criticism towards the practice coming from domestic oppositional circles, most governments in the countries of origin view international adoption as a degrading and humiliating business while they at the same time treat it as a necessary evil, well aware that the practice generates huge amounts of money and sustains a profitable adoption industry.

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

”Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould me Man? Did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me?”

Excerpt, chapter 20

Criticism based on Shelley’s Frankenstein


Issues to discuss

  • What right do we have to play God? Do we need a right? What are possible consequences of such play?
  • What affects our lives? Are we ”free”?
  • In what ways are we formed?

Particularly linked to adoption, in Swedish


Some 20th century poetry

Warm up


On modern poetry
We have now arrived in the 20th century. The poetry of the 20th century is simply immense and it is hard to chose a list of major works. But here we have a selection, anyway.

Task 1
Read one, or several, of the poems below. Write about their mood, message, and meaning.

Mood – How would you describe the feeling the poem has or is trying to portray?
Message – How would you interpret what the poem ”is trying to tell you”?
Meaning – What did you think about the language in the poem? Any particular line that was powerful or caught your attention? Why? Any particular line or word that you thought about or had to look up?

Post as a comment.

Task 2
Choose a poem, or song, with a lyrics that you find interesting. Comment on its mood, message, and meaning.

Post as a comment. Include the text and author in the posting.

List of modern poems
1. The Wasteland – T S Eliot

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.

Read the rest here

2. Howl – Allen Ginsberg. Ginsberg is best known for Howl (1956), a long poem about the self-destruction of his friends of the Beat Generation and what he saw as the destructive forces of materialism and conformity in United States at the time.

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
connection to the starry dynamo in the machin-
ery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat
up smoking in the supernatural darkness of
cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities
contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and
saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tene-
ment roofs illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes
hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy
among the scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy &
publishing obscene odes on the windows of the

Read the rest here

3. Daddy – Sylvia Plath. Along with Anne Sexton, Plath is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry.

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo. Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time–
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

Read the rest here

4. The Snow Man – Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves, Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

5. This is just to say – Carolos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox and which
you were probably
for breakfast. Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

6. The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

7. The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

8. O me! O life! – Walt Whitman (1892)

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.


Task – ”research paper”

  1. Submit a first draft of paper 22nd of March. Feedback 29th.
  2. Submit a second and final draft Friday 21st of April. This class you are expected to present your paper in group. The second half of the group will present on the 12th.

Task – ”Cuckoo’s Nest”

Deadline – 5th of April. Prepared to talk about topics like power, racism, misogyny, insanity, normality. Possibly also: sexuality and religion.