How to structure a written answer for MEST 3 Section B

How to structure a written answer for MEST 3 Section B
(based on A grade example from Representation question June 2009)  Time 1hour.

Note: this is for guidance only, use a method that is best for you.

Q. A dominant representation is one that is repeated overtime and so are the values that it carries. Discuss.


START – Read and reread the question make sure you understand what is required. Make notes on issues, theories, texts and points you will want to make. Try to focus on question – not all theories etc. will apply.

5 – 10  mins

(1) INTRODUCTION – no more than one paragraph (approx.10-15 lines of handwriting)
Introduce your case study (e.g teenage girls) and provide some historical context (e.g ‘throughout history – despite many changes women’s representation has remained the same’) with examples from past texts, issues and relevant events. Use some older texts and cultural history to introduce wider context.
Approx. 10 mins

(2) ADDRESS THE QUESTION – deal with any issues raised in the question and relate with examples from modern/contemporary texts that you have studied. (e.g ‘Skins and Hollyoaks endorse this representation and patriarchal hegemony can be seen in all their representations’).
Illustrate with examples from texts you have studied. Bring in some relevant theory. (‘hypodermic syringe’)
10 – 15 mins

(3) FOCUS ON YOUR TEXTS & RELEVANT THEORIES – Use contemporary texts from your case study
(e.g. Kidulthood, Girl next door, Mean Girls) analyse and relate to concepts and theories, illustrate theories and concepts with examples from your chosen texts. Make sure you link to the question asked. (e.g. ‘Alisha in the film addresses a moral panic about teenage pregnancy’)
10 – 15 mins.

(4) DEVELOP YOUR ARGUMENTS AND CRITICAL AUTONOMY – with further textual examples and relevant theory, you may be able to bring in any Platform issues at this point.

Critical autonomy means developing your own opinions and meanings based on your research and analysis, being able to argue and justify your own point of view. (e.g.‘both female characters are blond haired, blue eyed teenage girls who in the film and in reality become objects for the male gaze’ ….Danielle is ultimately revealed as a porn star – this promotes promiscuity and encourages loose morals’)
10 -15 mins

(5) CONCLUSION – revisit the question and summarise findings. You can express an informed opinion at this point.
Approx. 5 mins

Timings are approx. Use your common sense and don’t ‘go off on one’ try to stick to the timings as indicated

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