1. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    English GCSE coursework

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by fantasy girl, Jan 21, 2010.

    This is mainly a question for the British.

    I started year 10 in September, and have just started my third piece of English coursework. When I say 'just started my third piece of English coursework' I really mean 'watched the first half of a film I've seen a million times.

    The title of this piece of coursework is 'Media Review' Does this include books? I wanted to know, because the film we're doing the coursework on is Twilight. Many people may shout at me for saying this, but I prefer the books. I am better at writing book reviews and if I do write a review on the film, I will probably end up wittering on about how good looking Jackson Rathbone, Kellen Lutz and Robert Pattinson are, and as it is coursework, I don't particularly want to do that (no matter how much it would annoy my English teacher)

    Am I allowed to write my review on the book rather than the film?

    'Ask your teacher' you're probably going to say, but he hates me with a passion and he will probably just say no to wind me up, so if you are going to say that... please don't.

    Fantasy Girl xx
     
  2. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ask them, not us. Your teachers will know the answer to that.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Your only good alternative to asking the teacher is to review the film. You already see the pitfalls you need to avoid, so put your mind to it and exclude them. Focus on the technical aspects - the use of closeups vs wide shots, the role the score plays in modulating viewer tension, how effective the dialogue was in developing the characters, and so on.

    It sounds like you are already pretty comfortable reviewing books. Take a step out of your comfort zone - that is where learning comes from.
     
  4. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I asked somebody who recently did GCSE English, and she tells me that in that context "media" means "anything except written fiction". Obviously it would be better to get it from a teacher than a pupil, but it sounds as if you're stuck with the book. Oh, and if your teacher hates you so much, aren't you in the doo-doo anyway? Who will be marking it?
     
  5. Xeno
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    Xeno Mad and Bitey Contributor

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    When I did GCSE English 'Media Review' was taken to mean either Television or Film. Basically, the object is to analyse in terms of what you would studies at A-level Film Studies or Media Studies. It's meant to get you away from just analysing texts and g move you to something a little harder to analyse.
     
  6. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Except you have to be careful with terminology. It's meant to get you away from just analysing written texts. In media studies terrms, films and TV programmes are also "texts". Even buildings are "texts" when you are interpreting their symbolism!
     
  7. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    My teacher will be marking it. With the last piece we did, he gave me an A, which I was grateful for, but he told me if I had taken the two commas out, that he put in as his only corrections I would have gotten an A*. I was so annoyed at him for it.

    If it's anything but written fiction, it looks like I will be doing the film review. Oh well, I'll ask my old teacher tomorrow, but if not, I'm hoping this will be aimed at 14/15 year old girls. Then wittering on about how good looking the male actors are won't be such a bad thing...
     
  8. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wittering on about how good looking the male actors are probably would be a bad thing. Wittering on about why they cast good looking male actors would probably get more marks!
     
  9. Xeno
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    Xeno Mad and Bitey Contributor

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    True, I should have clarified that. Thanks. :)

    I remember we were originally allowed to choose our own media, but then our teacher got tired of us and told us all to do the opening from Jaws. :D
     
  10. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, as media is usually anything other than non-written sources. In England, at least. I'm in Gaelic education, and we can just decide what to write about, as long as it's been published and doesn't follow the strict guidelines of Rule 34 ;)
     
  11. Xeno
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    Xeno Mad and Bitey Contributor

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    That if it exists, there is pornography of it? :D
     
  12. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Media studies does cover things like magazines and written news, but books are out of the question, as they come under literary studies as opposed to any real 'media' concern, even if it's a book regarding that very subject.

    You need to review the film. You can, I'm sure, make reference to the books; if it is indeed a 'review' that is. In that case, knowledge of the books would be very helpful to you - but only to make reference to something, or to back up an argument. Don't go off on a tangent about the books when your Media Studies coursework is entirely centered around film texts.

    If in doubt - ask your teacher. Even if the bond isn't great, ask. He/she will be impressed that you're interested enough to get the facts right - and if anything, it's in your best interest to get the facts right. There's no point in failing just because you neglected to check the brief.

    Good luck with your GCSEs, you'll miss this time when it passes, trust me. :)
     
  13. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    What this course is training you for is writing a good review of a film. This is a very useful (and marketable) writing skill. Think about the art magazines and better quality newspapers--they carry film reviews written by a film critic. In the old days, of course, critics reviewed plays, and ballet and opera critics write reviews as well, so there's an old and established history.

    You might like to look at some examples of film reviews--it doesn't have to be only British sources, try the US, Australian, etc papers also. Maybe other forumers have some good ideas for where well-written film reviews can be found online? I've just found a great one on Times Online: 'Tom Ford and Colin Firth join forces for A Single Man', which youmay like to look up.

    I would suggest, though, that you don't read film reviews on Twilight until you have decided how your own review would be. I'm sure that youhave plenty of original thoughts on the film and it may be better if you try and avoid being influenced by what other people have written--you want to keep your fresh perspective.

    You don't say how many words it has to be. It may help to think about the different angles you want to cover when reviewing this film: casting and success of actors in portraying the role, technical matters like filming/lighting etc, costume/makeup, locations...

    NB: if your teacher is a bit of a pedant as he seems to be--you mention he's a stickler for commas etc, pay a lot of attention to your spelling and presentation. IMO don't aim the writing TOO heavily at teenage girls, keep it to a general readership (as The Times newspaper does).You also don't have to make the whole thing based on your own personal taste (e.g. if you find the actors good-looking!), you can try and be objective. I imagine you may glean higher marks if you avoid an over-chatty style of writing with too many slang expressions. Most of all, try and make your review informative, make the reader feel they've learned something useful and interesting about this film.
     

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