Mac201 assessment 2 guidance

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Essay advice for MAC201
Updated Nov 2013

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Mac201 assessment 2 guidance

  1. 1. Assessment 2 MAC 201 Media Studies
  2. 2. Media audiences • This unit begins by examining early work on media consumption within ‘mainstream’ mass communication research, before going on to explore issues raised by more recent work in the cultural studies tradition. • A range of academic and industry perspectives on media consumption is considered, and you are invited to reflect on appropriate theory and method in audience research. • You are also introduced to debates about specific cultural audiences for contemporary media output.
  3. 3. Learning outcomes • Knowledge • Knowledge and detailed understanding of key theories and debates relating to audience consumption practices
  4. 4. Learning outcomes • Knowledge • Knowledge and detailed understanding of key theories and debates relating to audience consumption practices • Knowledge of your chosen subject • Knowledge of the historical and contemporary debates informing your chosen subject • Knowledge of how your chosen subject fits within a broad tradition of conducting effective audience research
  5. 5. Learning outcomes • Skills • The ability to evaluate and apply appropriate theoretical perspectives and research methods in analysing specific areas of media output and consumption • The ability to communicate information, arguments and analysis cogently and fluently
  6. 6. Learning outcomes • Skills • The ability to evaluate and apply appropriate theoretical perspectives and research methods in analysing specific areas of media output and consumption • The ability to communicate information, arguments and analysis cogently and fluently • • • • Skills in analysis of data and interpretation Skills in research Skills in planning projects Skills in persuasive writing
  7. 7. Due date: 8 Jan 2014 th • One written assignment • 2000-2500 words (no more, no less) • Think of this more as a report than an essay
  8. 8. Generic assessment • Students should be able to pick an area that matches their own interest or their specific programme
  9. 9. Assignment 2 • This assignment requires students to design a small-scale research project seeking to investigate a form of media/cultural consumption of the student’s choosing, whilst being sensitive to the appropriateness of the research.
  10. 10. The assignment should include suitable space dedicated to a consideration of the following (from the module guide): • An appropriate area of media consumption and a rationale for investigation • The development of a key research question • A critical reflection upon and an engagement with relevant literature regarding the study of audience consumption practices • An appropriate methodology to investigate the form of consumption/engagement • A consideration of the limitations of the study (eg what will be considered? What will be ignored? How justifiable is this?) • A consideration of indicative areas that might be difficult to engage with and the measures required to address these concerns (eg how might you gather data regarding consumption of internet pornography given that respondents might be difficult to obtain?).
  11. 11. The assignment should include suitable space dedicated to a consideration of the following (from the module guide): • An appropriate area of media consumption and a rationale for investigation • The development of a key research question • A critical reflection upon and an engagement with relevant literature regarding the study of audience consumption practices • An appropriate methodology to investigate the form of consumption/engagement • A consideration of the limitations of the study (eg what will be considered? What will be ignored? How justifiable is this?) • A consideration of indicative areas that might be difficult to engage with and the measures required to address these concerns (eg how might you gather data regarding consumption of internet pornography given that respondents might be difficult to obtain?).
  12. 12. The assignment should include suitable space dedicated to a consideration of the following (from the module guide): • An appropriate area of media consumption and a rationale for investigation • The development of a key research question • A critical reflection upon and an engagement with relevant literature regarding the study of audience consumption practices • An appropriate methodology to investigate the form of consumption/engagement • A consideration of the limitations of the study (eg what will be considered? What will be ignored? How justifiable is this?) • A consideration of indicative areas that might be difficult to engage with and the measures required to address these concerns (eg how might you gather data regarding consumption of internet pornography given that respondents might be difficult to obtain?).
  13. 13. The assignment should include suitable space dedicated to a consideration of the following (from the module guide): • An appropriate area of media consumption and a rationale for investigation • The development of a key research question • A critical reflection upon and an engagement with relevant literature regarding the study of audience consumption practices • An appropriate methodology to investigate the form of consumption/engagement • A consideration of the limitations of the study (eg what will be considered? What will be ignored? How justifiable is this?) • A consideration of indicative areas that might be difficult to engage with and the measures required to address these concerns (eg how might you gather data regarding consumption of internet pornography given that respondents might be difficult to obtain?).
  14. 14. The assignment should include suitable space dedicated to a consideration of the following (from the module guide): • An appropriate area of media consumption and a rationale for investigation • The development of a key research question • A critical reflection upon and an engagement with relevant literature regarding the study of audience consumption practices • An appropriate methodology to investigate the form of consumption/engagement • A consideration of the limitations of the study (eg what will be considered? What will be ignored? How justifiable is this?) • A consideration of indicative areas that might be difficult to engage with and the measures required to address these concerns (eg how might you gather data regarding consumption of internet pornography given that respondents might be difficult to obtain?).
  15. 15. The assignment should include suitable space dedicated to a consideration of the following (from the module guide): • An appropriate area of media consumption and a rationale for investigation • The development of a key research question • A critical reflection upon and an engagement with relevant literature regarding the study of audience consumption practices • An appropriate methodology to investigate the form of consumption/engagement • A consideration of the limitations of the study (eg what will be considered? What will be ignored? How justifiable is this?) • A consideration of indicative areas that might be difficult to engage with and the measures required to address these concerns (eg how might you gather data regarding consumption of internet pornography given that respondents might be difficult to obtain?).
  16. 16. Structure? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. A key research question Relevant literature Methodology Limitations of the study Expectations (hypothesis)
  17. 17. • Students should be mindful of the different methods that can be employed to undertake research – eg qualitative research, quantitative research, participant observation, self-selection, etc – background reading is essential • Audience research can be time and labour intensive – you will need to provide a feasible time-frame for the data gathering, processing and summary of findings. • You are encouraged to reflect upon the type of questions you build into the project: • • • • • • • • Are surveys/focus groups/lab tests appropriate? Are ‘open’ or ‘closed’ questions appropriate? Are multiple choice questions appropriate? Do the questions presume a specific behaviour rather than seek to identify that behaviour? Are the questions consistent in delivery? Are the questions likely to cause offence? How will the project be targeted? Will the project involve a mixture of involve focus groups, online surveys, questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, etc?
  18. 18. • Students should be mindful of the different methods that can be employed to undertake research – eg qualitative research, quantitative research, participant observation, self-selection, etc – background reading is essential • Audience research can be time and labour intensive – you will need to provide a feasible time-frame for the data gathering, processing and summary of findings. • You are encouraged to reflect upon the type of questions you build into the project: • • • • • • • • Are surveys/focus groups/lab tests appropriate? Are ‘open’ or ‘closed’ questions appropriate? Are multiple choice questions appropriate? Do the questions presume a specific behaviour rather than seek to identify that behaviour? Are the questions consistent in delivery? Are the questions likely to cause offence? How will the project be targeted? Will the project involve a mixture of focus groups, online surveys, questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, etc?
  19. 19. • Students should be mindful of the different methods that can be employed to undertake research – eg qualitative research, quantitative research, participant observation, self-selection, etc – background reading is essential • Audience research can be time and labour intensive – you will need to provide a feasible time-frame for the data gathering, processing and summary of findings. • You are encouraged to reflect upon the type of questions you build into the project: • • • • • • • • Are surveys/focus groups/lab tests appropriate? Are ‘open’ or ‘closed’ questions appropriate? Are multiple choice questions appropriate? Do the questions presume a specific behaviour rather than seek to identify that behaviour? Are the questions consistent in delivery? Are the questions likely to cause offence? How will the project be targeted? Will the project involve a mixture of focus groups, online surveys, questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, etc?
  20. 20. • Pick an area of interest • Here’s an example…
  21. 21. Celebrity culture? • The “extortion of celebrity across contemporary culture” (Johansson, 2006: 344) • How pervasive is it? What forms does it take? How is celebrity performance managed? • What kind of methods or approaches would enable us to discuss the impact of celebrity culture? • How could you conduct audience research into this area?
  22. 22. Further Reading • Analysis of fans and celebrities on social networks • Research methodology is worth looking at • Offers a systematic way of exploring the ways in which celebrities and fans interact • Celebrity image management
  23. 23. What you will need to know… 1. Demonstrate an awareness of different audience research methods. 2. Be aware of the positives/negatives associated with various methodologies 3. Be able to identify an area worth investigating and plan how best to carry out the investigation Chapter 4 & 5 of this book will help! Ebook available from library
  24. 24. What you could do… • If you are thinking about your final year major project, you might want to use this module assessment as a test-bed for the research into that work: • Journalism students may want to look at reader comments in relationship to target markets (ie readership ‘stickiness’, loyalty, trust, etc) • Production students may want to explore niche audience tastes to support their pitches (ie pitching zombie film/documentary) • PR students may want to gauge audience perception of key events in order to strategically plan (ie campaigns around brand/issue awareness)
  25. 25. Suggested Plan • 3 part structure: 1. identifying the subject • Identify a behaviour or practice of interest • Provide a rationale for looking at this 2. establishing a hypothesis • Consider the literature in this area • Formulate a set of key concerns • Develop theoretically informed questions that can be tested empirically 3. developing a methodology • Identify the most appropriate methodological tools • Demonstrate an awareness of methodological concerns • Identify the limits of the projects
  26. 26. The next few slides will feature new examples
  27. 27. Example 1 – ‘RIP trolling’ • Much has been made recently in the press about the role of internet ‘trolling’ 1. 2. 3. An interesting research project might want to consider this phenomena. The essay might start with examples of high profile examples drawn from the news (eg the rationale), as well as an explanation as to what the behaviour entails Having summarised the practice above, it might be worth attempting to narrow down your focus to quite specific incidents or key concerns (eg you can’t research the entire internet in 2500 words, so you might focus on ‘RIP trolling’ or YouTube abuse, etc). You could draw on academic work in the area of cyberbullying or bullying more generally to establish some key questions worth investigating Finally, you need to sketch out how you would attempt to gather your data, picking approaches that help get reliable responses (ie your methodology), within self-imposed limits
  28. 28. Example 2 – rebooted TV drama • There seems to be a vogue to reinvent old TV franchises, giving them a fresh creative spin. 1. 2. 3. A project might want to consider this phenomena (eg to support a ‘pitch’). The essay might start with high profile examples drawn from the last decade of TV (eg the rationale), as well as an explanation as to what consumer reaction (eg behaviour) has been. Following that, it might be worth attempting to narrow down your focus to quite specific genres or key concerns (eg you can’t cover every rebooted series ever). You could draw on industry figures or academic work in the area of reboots or genre cycles to establish some key questions worth investigating Finally, you need to sketch out how you would attempt to gather your audience data, picking approaches that help get reliable responses (ie your methodology), within self-imposed limits
  29. 29. Example 3 – Journalistic trust • Many reports have indicated that the public has lost faith in journalists to report the ‘truth’ 1. 2. 3. A project in this area might want to consider the spate of industry and academic reports that have suggested that journalists are the least trustworthy professionals. It might start with an investigation into those claims (eg the rationale) by looking at notable behavior (decline in print sales?) It may be worth contextualising this decline in trust against an increase in public cynicism of several professions, increased (media) literacy, and historical trends in order to identify what trust means in this context. You could draw on high profile examples to illustrate those key concerns Finally, you need to sketch out how you would attempt to gather your audience data, picking approaches that help get reliable responses (ie your methodology), within self-imposed limits
  30. 30. Example 4 – product rebrand • Frequently, when a company or a product receives negative media attention it may be beneficial to strategically rebrand 1. 2. 3. A project might want to consider effectiveness of high profile rebranding. The essay might start with case studies of high profile examples of good and bad rebranding projects (eg the rationale), as well as an explanation as to what consumer/market reaction (eg behaviour) has been. Following that, it might be worth attempting to narrow down your focus to a specific product/brand/incident outlining the key concerns (eg, what risks are involved?). You could draw on industry/academic research in the area of rebranding or corporate communication to establish some key questions Finally, you need to sketch out how you would attempt to gather your audience data, picking approaches that help get reliable responses (ie your methodology), within self-imposed limits
  31. 31. Example 5 – 2-screen viewing • Recent ‘hype’ exists about the role played by 2-screen viewing of TV content, often taking place on tablets and smartphones 1. 2. 3. A project might want to consider this claims made about this phenomena. It might start with high profile examples drawn from tablet manufacturer claims (eg the rationale) about changing consumer habits. (eg behaviour) Subsequently, it may be worth attempting to narrow down your focus to quite specific platforms in order to assess the key concerns (eg are viewers more distracted or engaged?). You could draw on industry figures/academic work in the area of media/technology consumption to establish some key questions for the future of content creation (eg is less time spent looking at the screen, and if so, does content need to be less complex?) Finally, you need to sketch out how you would attempt to gather your audience data, picking approaches that help get reliable responses (ie your methodology), within self-imposed limits
  32. 32. Remember! • You don’t have to do the actual research • You just have to plan for it • This is a small-scale project so be sure to limit the scope of the project to something feasible (carried out by 1 person) • Don’t be afraid to include an appendix if appropriate • What you are NOT doing is measuring ‘effects’ (see forthcoming week’s lectures)
  33. 33. To consider • The better assignments will demonstrate an engagement with critical reading in the area of audience research. • Several examples of research on SunSpace • See also: • Keywords: • quantitative; qualitative; ethnography; methodology; sampling;
  34. 34. To consider • There are several sample essays in SunSpace to consider
  35. 35. Extensions • AQH-F6-13 • Regulations Governing Extension of Assessment Deadlines and Consideration of Extenuating Circumstances
  36. 36. Extensions • AQH-F6-13 • 1.1 All assignments have hand in dates set in advance and published in the module guide. It is a student's responsibility to meet these deadlines. If the assignment is not submitted on time the work will be failed.
  37. 37. Extensions • AQH-F6-13 • 1.2 In all cases it is the student's responsibility to present to the University supporting evidence to justify their claim.
  38. 38. Extensions • AQH-F6-13 • Maximum extension period = 72 hours • Inclusive of weekends and bank holidays • NB: subject to module leader approval
  39. 39. Plan of action (sem 2) • Approx. 10-16 hours needed • Approx. 60 hours of independent research undertaken Identify and gather resources: ~ reading 3 hours ~ notes 2 hours Rough draft #1: ~ writing 2 hours ~ redraft 1 hour Proof-reading: ~ 1 hour Rough draft #3: ~ writing 2 hours ~ editing 1 hour START ESSAY (Wk10) SUBMISSION 8th Jan Week 11 end Cut-off point for advice from staff Week 12 end 39 Sketch out essay plan: ~ 500 words ~ 1 hour Rough draft #2: ~ writing 2 hours ~ redraft 1 hour

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