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Representation essay template

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  • 1. Representation Essay Template AS Media Studies 2014 Page 1 of 4 Don’t forget in the exam you could be asked about representations of: Gender (women and men) Age (young and old) Ethnicity National & Regional Identity Events & Issues If representation is the focus you will be expected to:  Recognise and analyse representations evident in the stimulus material.  Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of representation & its importance in analysing and understanding media texts.  Develop their response beyond a description of simple representations.  Be aware of the more complex issues underpinning discussion of representation e.g. issues surrounding stereotypes, construction, mediation and ideology.  General points:  In the final part of question 2 (c) and question 3, students will be asked to refer to their own examples. It is suggested that students discuss approximately 2/3 examples relevant to the question and covering more than one media form or format. ‘Downloading’ of opinion and generalised examples, e.g. newspapers offer negative representations of youth’ should be avoided.  Students must not rely on the stimulus material for this part of the question.  Remember the key points (refer to your case study templates)
  • 2. Representation Essay Template AS Media Studies 2014 Page 2 of 4 Introduction – this can be the same for all representation essays. Explain what representation is – define it. ‘Representation refers to the way in which aspects of society are presented (or re-presented) to an audience by media texts’. Try and ensure you get across the fact it is a construction – a built up version of reality and reflects a view of the producers of the text. The media text cannot show the whole event, issue or celebrity and therefore the finished text is a result of a process of selection and construction by media producers. Remember mediation! Explain that during the process of mediation any media text can carry and convey ideological messages. Some ideas are presented as being correct or normal without any debate, this is known as dominant ideology or hegemony Explain how certain representations become dominant through repetition and stereotypes are the most common of these. Explain what a stereotype is and why the media is so fond of using them. (Try to ensure this takes no more than 9-10 lines) Explain what the focus term is e.g. ethnicity, gender, issue/ event etc, and clarify what you will focus on in the essay
  • 3. Representation Essay Template AS Media Studies 2014 Page 3 of 4 Give an overview of the main stereotypes for that group or event/issue – the most common ways such ideas are represented – for example, young people are usually shown as teen-as- trouble or teen-as-fun (Hebdige). Know if these are positive or negative, traditional or more modern/ progressive. Note any useful terms linked to this particular type of representation e.g. tokenism (ethnicity), patriarchy (gender), Name the text you will look at first – put the date of release and, if a film, the director’s name in brackets after the name e.g. Four Lions (Chris Morris; 2010), Fame perfume campaign (2011). Remember, too, that titles should go in quotation marks and be given capital letters at the start of each word. Give a one sentence summary of the text – its storyline or, in the case of a print ad or magazine cover, what we can see.
  • 4. Representation Essay Template AS Media Studies 2014 Page 4 of 4 For each text (you need 2/3!) sum up the way this group/ place/ thing is represented, add some textual detail that show how this is shown to us, add some comment on the type of representation (stereotype/ dominant representation/ alternative representation/ traditional/ modern) and some suggestions about WHY this text has opted for this way of representing this group (this latter is vital for anyone aspiring to a B or above). e.g. think about audience response, preferred reading etc and ideology of the text Sum up the main points from the essay and highlight the representations e.g. stereotypical or alternative, modern or traditional which have been discussed.