Planning an A2 Media Studies answer

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Planning an A2 Media Studies answer

  1. 1. Essay planningChoosing the right question Section B Theoretical Perspectives will offer you several topic areas. Ensure you answer from the section entitled ‘Collective Identity’ - and no other. You will then have a choice of two questions from this section. Pause for a moment to ensure you are making the right choice. The ‘right choice’ is the question which you may better understand, for which you can make the more convincing arguments and which in turn you can support by good and wide ranging evidence. It’s very easy to dash headlong into an answer without fully considering these points because the question sounds more ‘friendly’ and you may feel requires less thought and preparation. This is fine until the ideas dry up and you end up with a short response and/or you end up just repeating earlier points as ‘filler’.
  2. 2. Essay planningHaving enough to saySo how do you know you have enough to say? The answer is planning.Allow up to 10 minutes of your hour for this. Planning will help you to check outwhat you know and help you structure it into some sort of clear and logical order.With this thinking and shaping time, writing should become quicker and morefluent... And even if you never look at your plan again as you write, the processitself will set you in good stead for writing since your brain will have already donemuch of the generating and organising of ideas and can then concentrate muchmore on the ‘secretarial’ side of writing e.g. managing grammar, accuracy andhandwriting.
  3. 3. Essay planningHow do I plan?Planning will be different for different people. You might use techniques likebrainstorming, circling points in your brainstorm, highlighting points, bulletingpoints, linking with arrows, ordering with numbers or colours or symbols andshapes.What is ‘right’ is what is best for you which is why planning practice is valuablebecause it helps you to decide way ahead of the exams what works best for you.
  4. 4. Essay planning The checklist Your plan should take account of what the examiners will be looking for in the answer – the checklist we have worked with this year which by now you should know and be familiar with ... Here it is again: Checklist• Personal opinions and response• Relevant observations which are well constructed and connected• Use of media ideas and theories which help to inform the answer• Use of appropriate media terminology• A context set for the points made (social historical economic political)• A range of contemporary examples (last five years) drawn from at least two areas of the media• ‘Light touch’ reference to earlier texts to inform context and for the purposes of comparison• Reference to the future/future developments
  5. 5. Essay planningThe ProcessThe process might go something like this:What is the question asking?What do I know? What are the big points I want to make?Is there a context to support these points?Where is the contemporary evidence to support what I want to say?Are there links that can be made with earlier times and texts?What theory do I know that I can use to support or explain what I am saying?
  6. 6. Essay planningThe ProcessKnowing these things...In what order do I want to make my points?How will I link sections?How do I want to start my essay?How do I want to conclude my essay?Is everything relevant to the question?Has every section made a fresh point that will score me marks?Have I included irrelevancies or repetitions?Now I am ready to write!
  7. 7. Essay Planning Brainstorm of Identifying key and possible ideas relevant points Adding examples and Arranging points in theories to points a coherent order Main points Details (incl. Context) Media examples Theory1.2.3.4.
  8. 8. Essay PlanningNow try planning this question. You have twenty minutes only.Work alone.At the end of the time be prepared to share your plan with a partner. Let themmake suggestions and additions to what you have planned.QuestionAre media representations always accurate and fair? Can you account forvariations that might occur in the representations of a social group you havestudied? Answer with reference to at least two areas of the media.
  9. 9. Planning practiceTry planning this question. You have fifteen minutes only.Work alone.At the end of the time be prepared to share your plan with a partner. Let themmake suggestions and additions to what you have planned.Question“Media representations are complex, not simple and straightforward”. How far do you agree with this statement in relation to any one group of people that you have studied? Answer drawing examples from at least two areas of the media. (OCR)

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