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  1. 1. A2 Media Studies Independent Study
  2. 2. What is it? <ul><li>This is the coursework unit of your A2 Media Studies Subject. </li></ul><ul><li>It is worth 20% of your total A level grade. </li></ul><ul><li>A high grade attained in this will significantly help your overall grade </li></ul><ul><li>You do it. We mark it. The exam board (AQA) moderates it… </li></ul>
  3. 3. What do I do? <ul><li>It is an investigative / research based essay. </li></ul><ul><li>It is based around any type of media text of your choice. </li></ul><ul><li>You work on your own. </li></ul><ul><li>It must be approximately 3,000 words (not including additional appendices, bibliographies, etc.) </li></ul>
  4. 4. What will my main focus media text be? <ul><li>Soap Operas </li></ul><ul><li>TV Dramas </li></ul><ul><li>Sitcoms </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising Campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>Films </li></ul><ul><li>Documentaries (we haven’t studied these) </li></ul><ul><li>Newspapers (we haven’t studied these) </li></ul><ul><li>Magazines (we haven’t studied these) </li></ul>
  5. 5. REMEMBER! <ul><li>You need to be genuinely interested in the focus media text you will be basing your Independent Study on – you will be researching this media text very intensively and you will have to write a 3,000 word essay about it… </li></ul>
  6. 6. What is the timescale for the Independent Study? <ul><li>You will develop the majority of this coursework next year. But you still need to complete several pieces of work before you finish for the Summer Holidays. After the holidays you will continue the research and development of your Independent Study by yourself, throughout the months leading up until after your January exams – whereby teaching and guidance will resume. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Why start so early? <ul><li>By completing these activities before the Summer holidays, it gives us a much clearer indication of the suitability of your core media text and a better idea as to the development of what research we have to do. </li></ul>
  8. 8. What type of study shall I choose? <ul><li>You need to produce a study of either… </li></ul><ul><li>A contemporary media text or texts </li></ul><ul><li>For example: What are the major differences between contemporary sitcoms and their historical predecessors. </li></ul><ul><li>Or… </li></ul>
  9. 9. What type of study shall I choose? <ul><li>A topic (i.e.:- representation) or issue (i.e.:- sex, violence , censorship, etc.) arising out of or suggested by a contemporary media text or texts. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: </li></ul><ul><li>Does the Action Genre exist? (you would look at a specific film for your contemporary text). </li></ul><ul><li>Account for the changing representation of </li></ul><ul><li>women in car ads. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Are there any limitations to what I can do? <ul><li>Your main focus text to which you refer all other texts (if appropriate) must be contemporary. Contemporary means it has been produced or released in the last two years. You cannot use repeats of older programmes as your central text, but you can use older texts in comparison to illuminate the nature of the modern text. </li></ul><ul><li>In your case nothing older than August 2003… </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>You must look at a media text in its context. You are looking at a text, topic or issue in the real world. You cannot just write a long textual analysis of your chosen text. You should examine the historical, social, political, economic, production & distribution context of the piece. </li></ul>Are there any limitations to what I can do?
  12. 12. <ul><li>The analysis and discussion of the contemporary text, topic or issue have got to be the dominant element of your study. You cannot write an essay of pure theory without reference to a central text, topic or issue. You can use context to increase the understanding of the text, topic or issue you have chosen. </li></ul>Are there any limitations to what I can do?
  13. 13. <ul><li>If you choose to study a topic / issue you must base it around texts. </li></ul><ul><li>You should be trying to answer a question, clarify an issue, and test a hypothesis. You will be doing research to do this so make sure your title allows you to do interesting research. </li></ul>Are there any limitations to what I can do?
  14. 14. <ul><li>Avoid obsession ! Don’t Geek out in your essay! You are choosing your text, topic or issue. Writing about your favourite recent film or TV programme might not let you be suitably objective . </li></ul>Are there any limitations to what I can do?
  15. 15. Your essay should be an organic combination of… Textual Analysis Theory, Issues & Debate Context Remember: Your essay should be a combination of these elements. Do not write your essay in sections (i.e.:- a Textual Analysis section, a context section, etc.) – your text should organically flow between all of these concepts…
  16. 16. Some examples of good topics from the past few years… <ul><li>Account for the changing gender representations in aftershave adverts with reference to the Lynx and Old Spic Adverts. </li></ul><ul><li>How do the representations in Coronation Street engage the audience? </li></ul><ul><li>How useful are the bonus features on DVD’s? </li></ul><ul><li>Account for the changing representations of women in zombie movies. With reference to Dawn of the Dead. </li></ul><ul><li>Are the housemates on Big Brother exploited? </li></ul><ul><li>Is ‘I, Robot’ a Sci-Fi film or a hybrid? </li></ul><ul><li>Is Roland Emmerich’s ‘Day After Tomorrow’ an anti American film? </li></ul><ul><li>Is ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ propaganda? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Remember to choose a core media text that will be easy to get your hands on! For example if you wish to concentrate on Big Brother, ensure that you start collecting material now by taping all related shows (Big Brother, Big Brother’s Little Brother, Big Brother’s Big Mouth) and collecting other relevant material (magazine cuttings, Newspaper stories, Internet news stories / gossip, etc.)
  18. 18. Do not expect the Media Dept. to have the resources you want… <ul><li>You must ensure that you have easy access to the material you want to analyse. Make sure that you have the films, TV shows, etc. you wish to use… </li></ul>
  19. 19. Before the Summer Holidays you will need to… <ul><li>Have a clear definition of which contemporary text you will use as your essays focus and formulate a title. </li></ul><ul><li>Have written a 1,000 word analysis of your central text using the key concepts (just like in the January exam). To be handed in on Thursday 13 th July 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>Have a clearly written action plan to develop your research. </li></ul>