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  • 1. Media StudiesA2 CourseworkMS3: MediaInvestigation& ProductionName: __________________________Project: ______________________________________________________________________________________________
  • 2. What’s it all about?The MS3 Coursework brings together all elements of the course and buildsupon; the knowledge, understanding and skills you’ve already gained.It will test your understanding of the different elements of the A-levelspecification.It is designed to allow you to: Demonstrate research skills Demonstrate your knowledge of media concepts and apply them to the analysis of media texts Organise relevant information clearly and coherently using media language and terminology as appropriate Explore an area of contemporary media in depth Use your research to inform a media product Build on existing, and develop new technical & creative media skills Evaluate the success of your project as a whole Choose a subject to research that you really enjoy and have an interest in!
  • 3. Media Investigation & ProductionThe facts: 50% of A2 25 % of A-levelThree separate components with a maximum of 100 marks. Research Investigation 45 marks 1400-1800 words Practical Production 45 marks 3-4 pages for print. 3-4 minutes for audio visual Evaluation 10 marks 500-750 wordsAs you can see equal weight is given to both the Research Investigation andthe Practical Production. So it’s vitally important that you do not prioritiseone over the other.However, we will see they are bothvery closely connected.The exam board specifies that youcannot create work based on thesame form or medium as your ASlevel coursework. Therefore youwill need to consider carefullywhich area of the media you willfocus on for this project.Firstly, let’s look at what it’s allabout...
  • 4. The RulesSo what exactly are you doing? Watch out, here comes the science bit… 1. You are required to submit an individual investigative or analytical essay of NO MORE than 1800 words – this is your Research Investigation The exam board get a bit funny about essays being more than this therefore, we will stick stringently to this limit. 2. You will select a title with a CLEARLY DEFINED FOCUS so that a clear area for research is revealed You will choose one of the nine options available, you will choose which texts you study. 3. You MUST base your response on one (or more) of the following concepts: i. Genre ii. Narrative Form iii. Representation You’ll see that most of the choices are based on representation. This is because it is quite a ‘meaty’ subject. However there are plenty of academic writings on all three of these subject areas. You just have to remember that the key area you study will inform how you plan your... 4. Media Products must be based on your Research Investigation. They can be done in groups if the product is Audio Visual but MUST be undertaken individually if they are print based. This is included to allow you to really show off the technical skills you developed in the AS level, and to give you the freedom to be as creative as you can the exam board wants these to look professional – remember, however, it must be connected to the Research Investigation.
  • 5. The Research Investigation1. At each step of your research, try to have clear objectives in mind. Are you clear about what you are trying to get out of each piece of research you do?2. It’s useful to set yourself questions that you want your research to find answers to. This should help direct you and help you to set priorities.3. Make a record in the form of a log of every source you use and every piece of research you do, because if you don’t you’ll forget the sources you’ve used.4. You may need both primary and secondary research in your essay… Primary research involves doing your own original work to find out about something.Primary Research Your textual analysis Emails/letters/telephone callsSecondary research involves making use of other people’s research to helpyou with your area of investigation.Secondary Research Books/study guides Newspapers/magazines/journals Video/DVD/television Surveys/data Websites/Radio
  • 6. Example research logSuitable for Theoretical / Academic research and also Institutional contextresearch: Research Questions Source: If book: title/author/publisher/year If visual: title/director/production company/year Useful quotations including page no. Summary of Findings and Evaluation of Source
  • 7. Different SourcesObviously, there are going to be many, many different places for you to research.It is worth bearing in mind that there are different types of source. Aim to coveras many of these as possible: • search engines • academic sites • media industry websites • fan/official websites • magazines • academic books • popular books • TV and Radio programes • DVDs / Videos • Questionnaires • Interviews • newspapers & news archivesThe majority of your research will be from academic books, academic websitesand analysis of texts. When it comes to websites – be dilligent and be sure toscrutinise them. It is well documented that not everything on the web is thegospel truth!The Question of WikipediaThroughout this project you may hear me curse the, dubiously, good name of Wikipedia, theonline encyclopedia. Let me make the following statements: I do not hate Wikipedia, In fact, it is one of the most valuable resources for Pub Quizzers the world over. I do NOT expect to see it as a reference in your bibliographies. When completed, this project will constitute six months of research and independent academic study. If either the examiner or I see Wikipedia as your supposedly ‘thorough research’ then it undermines the work you have put in. Wikipedia is not without its uses. Many of the articles are actually derived from some kind of academic research and Wikipedia is a place for collecting them. Use it as a starting point to find substantiuated and academic resources- but remember to scrutinise the external links & bibliography. Anything which cites: ‘Heat’ magazine is unlikely to be reputable.
  • 8. How to… lay out a bibliographyA bibliography is a detailed list at the end of your essay of all books you havecited (quoted from) in your essay as well as books which may have influencedyour thinking on your essay.A bibliography always contains:Author(s)Full title of book/article/journalDate of publicationPublisherEdition numberTop tip: Every time you photocopy a chapter from a book or jot down aquotation. Write down all the above details so you won’t be stuck when youcome to write your bibliography.Examples of how to lay out your references:Cohen, S (2002): Folk Devils and Moral Panics Third Edition: Routledge.If you are citing an article within an edited book:Keer, P: F For Fake? Friction over faction in Goodwin, A and Whannel, G (Ed) (1997):Understanding Television: Routledge.If you are citing an article from a magazine:Mills, S: What’s the story in Balamory? Media Magazine, Issue 13 September 2005.If you are citing from a website:Where possible you should include the authors name and date of publicationbut this is not always clear. As a minimum you should cite the main URLaddress in a clearly defined section.Internet sources:www.bbc.co.uk (date accessed 22.10.10)
  • 9. All references need to be listed in alphabetical order by author’s surname.Top tip: I’m not going to mark you down for not having the commas, colonsand brackets exactly right. You will notice there are many slight differencesbetween how people lay it out but follow these main rules and yourreferencing will be correct. How to… footnote your referencesThe Harvard Referencing system is the most commonly used referencingsystem. Any ideas or direct quotations taken or influenced by other peopleMUST be referenced. The Harvard System requires you to referencequotations or ideas taken from others in the main body of your essay. Forexample: “Television has changed the way British families have behaved”(Anderson 2009: 53). This referencing technique can look a bit odd (Cohen,1979: 21) and break up the flow of your essay. A less noticeable way toreference is to use footnotes.After you have quoted from a text or discussed a theory place the cursor in anappropriate place1 then on the toolbar…Reference (tab)Insert Footnote (button)The footnote system will automatically re-number if you need to add inadditional footnotes later.1 This is what it looks like! You need to add the author’s surname, year of publication and page number e.g.Cohen, 1979: 21
  • 10. Writing the Research InvestigationYou will submit multiple drafts of your Research Investigation as you go along– however it is important to know exactly what the examiner is looking for.Here is the mark scheme to use as a guide for knowing how good your essay isand what areas need improvement. Level/marks A04: Demonstrate the ability to undertake, apply and present appropriate research Level 1: 0-17 Limited evidence of research. Minimal application of this research which has been presented in an unclear and unfocused way. Quality of written communication will be limited, frequently unclear. Frequent errors in the use of language. Little or no evidence of ability to structure ideas. Level 2: 18–26 At the lower end of this level, there will be evidence of basic research. This will have been applied in a simple way. Basic ability to present research [18-22] demonstrated. Quality of written communication will be basic but sufficiently clear to allow communication. Frequent errors in the use of language. Limited ability to structure ideas. At the upper end of this level, there will be evidence of research from a reasonable number of sources. There will be some attempt to apply this [23-26] research and present it with some coherence. Quality of written communication will be mainly clear. Some errors in the use of language. Some ability to structure ideas. Level 3: 27-35 At the lower end of this level, candidates will undertake sound and relevant research from a range of appropriate sources. This research will be applied in a [27-31] sound way and presented with supporting points. Quality of written communication will be sound and clear. Reasonable level of accuracy. Sound ability to structure ideas. At the upper end of this level, the research will be good, covering a good range of sources and will be applied in a detailed way. It will be presented [32-35] appropriately with good references. Quality of written communication will be good. Good level of accuracy. Good ability to structure ideas. Level 4: 36-45 Research will be excellent, covering a wide range of sources. These will be analysed and applied in a sophisticated way and presented a logical and coherent manner, supported by a range of sophisticated points. Quality of written communication will be sophisticated. A high degree of accuracy. Sophisticated ability to structure ideas effectively.
  • 11. The ProductionAlthough you will be writing an essay at a very high standard you are alsoexpected to create a media product which not only, reflects the level ofresearch you have done into your chosen topic (whether that is Genre,Narrative or Representation), but also showcases high quality productionvalues in terms of technical ability and creativity. This must be RELEVANT to your essay & NOT SLAPDASH!There are some choices that need to be made: Audio Visual work can be done in groups and needs to be approximately 3-4 minutes long. Print based work must be done individually and must be 3-4 pages. A combination of Audio Visual & Print based materials can be completed but the same rules apply. i.e. Print based – must be individual, AV - can be group.IMPORTANT: If you are completing any group work – you must have aclearly defined role. You will also need to agree as a group on a medium fromthe start and have relevant individual research investigation titles.HINT: Although you are only going to be marked on your final product donot underestimate the importance of pre-production work. Write scripts, planshoots meticulously, draw storyboards – this will save time and effort. Thebetter prepared you are at every stage, the more creative you can be whenyou get there!
  • 12. Considerations for your ProductionThe mark scheme for the production focuses on both: Your technical &creative skills AND your ability to link the product to the ResearchInvestigation. Level/marks AO3: Demonstrate the ability to plan and construct media products using appropriate technical and creative skills. Level 1: 0-17 Limited ability to plan and construct media products. Technical and creative skills will also be limited. Limited ability to use the research investigation to inform the product. Quality of written communication (where appropriate) will be limited, frequently unclear. Frequent errors in the use of language. Little or no evidence of ability to structure ideas. Level 2: 18–26 Basic ability to plan and construct media products. Technical and creative skills demonstrated will also be basic. Basic ability to use the research investigation [18-21] to inform the product. Quality of written communication (where appropriate) will be basic but sufficiently clear to allow communication. Frequent errors in the use of language. Limited ability to structure ideas At the upper end of this level, there will be some ability to plan and construct media products. Some technical and creative skills will also be demonstrated. [22-26] Some ability to use the research investigation to inform the product. Quality of written communication (where appropriate) will be mainly clear. Some errors in the use of language. Some ability to structure ideas. Level 3: 27-35 Sound ability to plan and construct media products. Technical and creative skills demonstrated will also be sound. Sound ability to use the research [27-30] investigation to inform the product. Quality of written communication (where appropriate) will be sound and clear. Reasonable level of accuracy. Sound ability to structure ideas. At the upper end of this level, there will be a good ability to plan and construct media products. Good technical and creative skills will also be demonstrated. [31-35] Good ability to use the research investigation to inform the product. Quality of written communication (where appropriate) will be good. Good level of accuracy. Good ability to structure ideas. Level 4: 36-45 Excellent ability to plan and construct media products. Sophisticated technical and creative skills will also be demonstrated. Sophisticated ability to use the research investigation to inform the product. Quality of written communication (where appropriate) will be sophisticated. A high degree of accuracy. Sophisticated ability to structure ideas effectively.
  • 13. ProjectsThese are the nine projects to choose from, choose wisely because you’ll bestudying this for the next ten months – think about what texts you might useas case studies and consider whether you would be able to make the product.Individual Projects: Print BasedIndependent Research Video Games – investigating genre, narrative & postmodernism Media Product Game covers and Gaming magazine style reviews of new gameIndependent Research Representation of gender in women’s magazine’s Media Product Cover and inside pages of a typical women’s magazineIndependent Research Representing fear – moral panics in the press and online Media Product Creation of a moral panic in a newspaper and/or online news site Group Projects: Audio VisualIndependent Research Investigating narrative in music videos Media Product Creation of a music videoIndependent Research Documentary – Genre/Narrative/Realism Media Product A trailer or opening sequence from a documentaryIndependent Research Alternative narrative structures in film Media Product Trailer or opening of a film using unusual narrative devicesIndividual Projects: Print Based or Audio VisualIndependent Research Representation of homosexuality in film Media Product DVD cover & magazine review or film trailer with gay protagonistIndependent Research Genre and the social realist film Media Product DVD cover & magazine review or film trailer for social realist movieIndependent Research The evolution of the sitcom genre Media Product Teaser campaign & review or sequence from new sitcom
  • 14. The EvaluationOnce you have completed the Research Investigation and made yourProduction you must evaluate & analyse the links between the two. It mustbe written well and show you understand what you are talking about! Level/marks AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding when analysing media products and processes and evaluating their own practical work, to show how meanings and responses are created Level 1: 1-3 Limited ability to apply knowledge and understanding when evaluating the production. Limited reference to degree to which research informs production. Quality of written communication will be limited, frequently unclear. Frequent errors in the use of language. Little or no evidence of ability to structure ideas. Level 2: 4-5 Basic ability to apply knowledge and understanding when evaluating the production. Basic reference to degree to which research informs production. [4] Quality of written communication will be basic but sufficiently clear to allow communication. Frequent errors in the use of language. Limited ability to structure ideas. Some ability to apply knowledge and understanding when evaluating the production. Some reference to degree to which research informs production. [5] Quality of written communication will be mainly clear. Some errors in the use of language. Some ability to structure ideas Level 3: 6-7 Sound ability to apply knowledge and understanding when evaluating the production. Sound reference to degree to which research informs production. [6] Quality of written communication will be sound and clear. Reasonable level of accuracy. Sound ability to structure ideas. Good ability to apply knowledge and understanding when evaluating the production. Good reference to degree to which research informs production. [7] Quality of written communication will be good. Good level of accuracy. Good ability to structure ideas. Level 4: 8-10 Excellent ability to apply knowledge and understanding when evaluating the production. Sophisticated reference to degree to which research informs production. Quality of written communication will be sophisticated. A high degree of accuracy. Sophisticated ability to structure ideas effectively. #As you can see this is only worth ten marks.
  • 15. MS3 Proposal FormName: Individual Research Title: Aims: Research Methods: Primary Texts: (Which texts will form the basis of your textual analysis?) Product: AV/Print based (circle) Group members (if applicable): Production piece(s): PossibleConstraints/DifficultiesWhen you have an idea fill in this sheet and submit it to me for consideration.
  • 16. A final word…This project is an excellent opportunity to do very well in your A2 media studies.It is also a chance to become an expert in a subject that you are interested in.And obviously, you will be practising skills that you will need for the rest of thiscourse, your other A-level courses, as well as any work you may do after youhave left college.Make the most of it!Research thoroughly and do not underestimate the usefulness of talkingthrough, and keeping me updated with what you have achieved at regularintervals.Two last points:Firstly: The research essay and the media product are worth equal marks andmust be connected – if you lose sight of this at any point, you will not fulfil thepotential this project has to offer your final Media Studies grade.Secondly: Plagiarism will NOT be tolerated at any stage of the project. Anytext or sentiment copied without being attributed is plagiarism. You arecheating others as well as yourselves and if the exam board finds any thenthere could be quite serious implications.This is not intended to scare anyone but simply raise awareness of the issue. Anydoubts, ASK SOMEONE!And finally, May the Force be with You!