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MS1 - The ExamThe exam for media is onIt lasts for 2 ½ hours.You will need to answer all three questions.Question 1: (about 30 mins for notes + 50 mins writing)What will it be?The first question will be a general analysis. We know that the clip will be audio-visualthis session. This means it could be: a TV advert, a radio sequence, a film clip (any genre), a TV extract (could be drama, news, documentary…..), a music video, a computer game extract or trailer.There may be just one extract or there may be several that are linked (one year therewere three adverts all featuring interesting representations of men). It is likely thatyou will be expected to view and discuss about 5 minutes worth of clip.The Process and Timings:Look at the question before the viewing starts, so you know what THREE categories youare asked to analyse (you will get about 3 minutes to read the paper before viewingbegins). The most common options are three of the following: visual codes, technicalcodes, audio codes, narrative, genre, layout and design (the latter will really only applyto print texts, so shouldn’t figure this time round) You should also look at Qn 2 (a) and(b) during this initial 3 minutes, as these questions will link to these texts too.You will get to see the clip three times in all.For the first viewing, just watch and listen – take it all in!During the second viewing, you can make notes – it may help to divide your paper up intothree and use the headings suggested by the question. At this stage, all you need to do
is describe the media features you see under each category, as accurately as possibleand using the best terminology you can!You will then be given a 10 minute break to make notes on the extract. Towards theend of this, check to see if there are any of the three categories you have nothing/very little on and you can watch specifically for this during the final viewing.There will then be a final third viewing – you can just watch or you can make notes.This viewing and note-taking exercise will probably take about 25-30 minutes and theexam board advise you to spend about 50 minutes writing it up, as this question isworth the most marks – 40 out of 100. This first question should, therefore, takeyou about 75-80 minutes to complete.Writing It Up:When writing, start by introducing the text briefly – state what type of text it is andwho you think the target audience is and what you think its purpose is (to persuade/inform/ entertain/ make us feel or see things/ people in a certain way)Then start to write up your features – this time you need to describe a feature (beingspecific and precise and using correct terminology) AND offer some interpretation ofwhat it means/ suggests to us. You can also consider how it works/ what effect it aimsto have/ why the producers have opted for this choice. Remember that all mediafeatures are there because someone has chosen them and thinks that they get themessage across and they mean something.A good piece of analysis should look something like this:The camera uses a low-angle shot of the man after he has been placed in a cell – thiscreates an image of his weakness and powerlessness, so we feel sympathy for him atthis point. (accurate and precise description + interpretation of what it means/suggests to us/ impact on us)You can use each feature you talk about as the basis for a new aparagraph.Check that you are covering all three of the specified areas – if a feature does not addanything to any of these three categories, then leave them out!Finish by summing up the main thing you think the media language in this text istrying to achieve….A conclusion ties things up nicely and examiners like to see them!
Question 2 (about 35- 40 mins)This will either be on audience or representation. It will be worth 30 marks in total andwill probably be split into three parts worth 4 marks, 10 marks and 16 marksrespectively. Use the mark guide to determine the length of your answer. About 5minutes should be spent on (a), about 15 on (b) and 20 or so on (c).Parts (a) and (b) will probably relate to the text you have just analysed and will requireyou to refer to detail from these texts to illustrate what you are claiming.Part (c) will be more like a short essay and will require you to use your own case studymaterial – you must refer to at least 2 texts in detail and they must be from differenttypes of media e.g. a film clip and an advert would be fine but not two film clips. Startwith a brief introduction, develop your ideas in paragraphs with reference to textualdetail and theory and end with a conclusion. Focus on the question and keep relatingeverything to it.Question 3 (about 35 – 40 minutes)This will be on representation or audience - whichever was not used for Qn 2. It willtake the form of a longer essay and is worth 30 marks. As it is worth almost twice asmuch as 2 (c), this essay should about twice as long as that one to give you a roughguide!You must not refer to the text analysed in Qn 1 but must refer to your own casestudies – try to cover at least 3 and ensure they come from at least two differentmedia – three film clips would be bad but two film clips and a TV clip or two adverts anda web-page would be fine. You can refer to both print and audio-visual material.Again, offer an introduction, develop ideas that focus on the question clearly and endwith a summative conclusion, reflecting on what you have learnt or the key points inyour answer.Representation Essays2(c) or Qn 3 – start by explaining what representation is and how the media often usesfamiliar stereotypes in texts. Then use each text to form a sizeable block in youranswer – identify for each text how the focus group/ issue is represented and offersome detail from the text to prove this / illustrate this (one chunky paragraph); thenadd some comment on the representation – is it what we expect or is it different/ why?(a second paragraph to add depth). End with a conclusion, summing up what this shows
about representation in the media – bring it back to some general ideas aboutrepresentation.Audience Essays2(c) or Qn 3 – start by explaining what the question is asking you to explore – explainany technical terms. This answer will probably be structured more around theory andpoints than case studies. Plan your key points and then use case studies to illustratewhat you claim e.g. discuss Reception Theory and sue something like Slumdog Millionaireto illustrate how different groups could see the same text differently. End with aconclusion that sums up the main things you want to say in answer to the question.For both essays, keep linking ideas back to the question at the end of each section bystating clearly what you have just written reveals in relation to the question.