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MS1 - AS media feedback May 2014


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MS1 - AS media feedback May 2014

  1. 1. AS Media feedback (May 2014) Page 1 of 6 First of all, well done for sitting the mock – as you’ve probably realised by now, the only real way to get you head around the paper is to sit a formal practice. Feedback is the number one factor in helping students make progress (we all learn from our mistakes). So listen carefully to all the feedback you receive – and make sure you know what you need to do for the real exam. The following tips should help you. You will read some general advice on style and exam technique, followed by some hints on tackling each of the 3 questions. Planning: Use a separate, full page of A4 for your plan for the longer questions (30-40 marks) so you can keep it in front of you. Remember to put your name on both the plan and your answer page. Write the heading ‘Plan’ at the top. Underline the bottom of the plan to show the examiner where it ends. (This is especially important if you are doing a plan for the ‘stepped’ question 2). Make sure you have answered the WHOLE question. Put key words (parts of the question) in BOLD on your plan – then tick them off when you have covered them. The examiner will be able to follow your thought process. Time management: HAVE A GO at answering every question. The 2½hr paper contains 3 questions – allocate 50 minutes per question. 10mins of this 50 should be spent planning. Question 2 is a ‘stepped’ question in 3 parts. The total marks on your mock Q.2 was 30. Therefore each mark was worth 1.6 minutes (that’s 1 minute 40 seconds) of your 50 minutes. This is how long you should have spent on each part of Q.2: 2(a) 4 marks = 6 minutes 2(b) 10 marks = 16 minutes 2[c] 16 marks = 25 minutes.
  2. 2. AS Media feedback (May 2014) Page 2 of 6 Formal tone As this is an academic subject, always write in the third person. Avoid saying “I”. Instead say, “This answer will…” AS Media exam papers don’t usually ask for your opinion, so avoid saying “In my opinion” or “I think”. So if you’re exploring a point of view, or how something could be interpreted, you could say, “It could be argued that…” or “This could mean…” or “It could be interpreted as…”. Do NOT use the word “people”! – it’s:  audience / reader  model / actor Don’t talk about “they” as in “They’ve put Michael Caine on the cover” – it’s:  the text’s producer  the encoder Avoid making sweeping generalisations, such as “blue is a stereotypical boy’s colour”. Write academically – e.g. “Blue is associated with masculinity”. Critical theory Look back over your notes and revise as many theories as you can. Memorise the name of the theory. If you can recall the researcher’s name and the year then do. Aim to refer to 1 theory for every 10 marks (i.e. 3-4 theories per 30-40 mark answer). You don’t need to give lots of detail, you just need to show the examiner that you understand media theory. If your MTG is C or above, you need to be criticising the theory - as well as explaining it, and applying to your answer. Discussing your own examples When asked for your own examples, make your point FIRST – then introduce the case study. For example, “Media texts use camera angles to engage their target audience. For example, the first episode of Benefits Street (broadcast Channel 4, January 2014) uses a
  3. 3. AS Media feedback (May 2014) Page 3 of 6 high angle establishing shot, showing an overview of the setting, James Turner Street. This bird’s eye view is unusual in a documentary and therefore engages the audience.” Your example must be specific (you can’t just talk about ‘The Times’). You MUST give the details of the examples you are discussing – i.e. date of broadcast/publication, channel, the title of programme or article, the headline used. The examiner is not going to cut marks if you get a precise date wrong, so do your best to include this information – it adds credibility to your answer. If discussing lexis, you must use quotes. The examiner will be looking for a variety of case studies. Try to avoid just discussing TV shows for example. In your revision, cover a broad range – don’t forget to include music videos, newspaper article/page, film posters, websites, computer games etc. Don’t forget, as well as using cases we have covered in class you can use any RECENT (say, 2011 onwards) texts – as long as you know them really well! That means you can talk about specific camera angles, quote specific headlines and describe diegetic/non-diegetic sound - and discuss the IMPACT of these techniques on the reader! Structure - introduction In the introduction to a long answer (30-40 marks), define all the key terminology at the start. Seize hold of the question in your intro. Tell the examiner HOW you are going to answer the question. E.g. “This answer will analyse visual codes by discussing the signs presented in both media texts; it will consider layout and design by discussing the conventions of lifestyle magazine covers; and it will address language and mode of address by considering body language, lexis and eye contact.” Once you’ve written a plan, the introduction will write itself. Context and impact: When analysing a media text, remember to discuss the following: CONTEXT – What is the genre (or sub-genre)? What ideology is presented in this media text (or from the producers of this text)? IMPACT – What effect do the codes and conventions have on the target audience?
  4. 4. AS Media feedback (May 2014) Page 4 of 6 Question 1 Remember to introduce the GENRE of the text. E.g. all printed texts (in the mock it was lifestyle magazines) have codes and conventions. The examiner wants to see that you know what they are. Here is a list of terminology you could have explored which we have studied this year (some is specifically for magazine covers): Masthead Cover lines Tag line Superlatives! Colour palette Shot size (medium long-shot etc) Lighting (high/low key) Exclamatives! Pull quote Mise-en-scene Proxemics Iconography Lexis (don’t forget mode of address also refers to the lexis used – e.g. “You” is direct. Problem-solving Sell lines Anchorage Polysemic image And here are some key semiotic terms you could have used (remember signs?) :o) Iconic sign Symbolic sign Indexical sign Signifier Signified Connoted Denoted Use the over-arching terms ‘primary’ and ‘secondary codes’ too. If you are given 2 stimuli (as in the mock, where you had 2 magazine covers), you could compare and contrast their codes and conventions. This ensures you cover both texts in the same detail, rather than analysing one more closely than the other. A decent plan - which sets out the key words in the question - will support you to do this. So in the mock, some of the strongest responses tackled the visual codes of both covers in the first paragraph, and the mode of address of both covers in the last. Question 2 2(a) For this one, you needed to explain what is on the cover that attracts the target audience you selected. I.e. the choice of model, shot size used, anchorage and cover line. It is not enough to say, “Eastwood is the main focus” – how? 2(b) For this 10 point question, you could do a simple bullet-point list for your plan (clearly labelling it ‘PLAN’ and underlining it underneath).
  5. 5. AS Media feedback (May 2014) Page 5 of 6 This question referred to what you see in the text. For a 10 point question, you should aim to make 3-4 points, which you explain with evidence from the text. 2[c] From here until the end of the exam (including Q.3) this is your chance to show the examiner what you can do! You should state HOW audiences are targeted – THEN introduce the case studies. To answer this question, you could have written a plan which shows something like this: INTRODUCTION – Will introduce how audiences are targeted (specifically focusing here on lexis, MOA, shot sizes, mise-en-scene) + state this answer + introduce examples (+details) PRIMARY CODES: AV + PRINT Lexis, mode of address Cases: AV – Channel 4 documentary ‘Benefits Street’ (Jan.2014) + Print - Sky News online story ‘Rio preparation ‘worst ever’ (April 2014) SECONDARY CODES: AV + PRINT Shot sizes, mise-en-scene Cases: AV – Lady Gaga ‘Applause’ music video (2013) + Print – Dolce & Gabbana ‘Catholic’ spring campaign 2014 advert. Question 3 ALWAYS INTRODUCE the terms in your introduction: what is representation? Define what a stereotype is. Remember to state that the media CONSTRUCTS representations – a media text is not a ‘window on the world’. This is key to showing your understanding of representation – so you may well finish this answer with this conclusion as well. Guess what – you need a plan! (It’s a long answer – 30 points here). Spend 10/50 minutes planning your answer. You may have heard this - fail to plan and you plan to fail. Do NOT use the stimulus material. THERE ARE NO MARKS FOR SWEEPING GENERALISATIONS. You are banned from saying, “all of the media do this or that”. This is NOT the place to say, “The media represent young people as hooligans and older people as grumpy.” No they don’t. Some do, some don’t. This is where it is important to give those SPECIFIC examples. You are NOT saying your case
  6. 6. AS Media feedback (May 2014) Page 6 of 6 studies represent how the whole media represent this group of people. You are saying these case studies represent this group like this. Use specific case studies – they must cases you know really well (see earlier notes on using case studies). With your case studies, you MUST say HOW the text CONSTRUCTS (achieves) this representation – see mindmap below on how to deconstruct representations. If your case studies are superficial and focus on describing character and plot, you will pick up few marks (if any). Use theories you have learnt while studying representation, stereotyping and mediation. Remember the 6 point mindmap for deconstructing representations (no one used this in the mock!). You’ll certainly be able to apply 1-4 (5-6 depend on the type of text): Media text 1. Ideology of the text 2. Primary + secondary codes 3. Mediation4. Main focus 5. Opinion leaders 6. Audience You know all this stuff already! Good luck on Friday!