This task requires you to produce a 3,000 word essay that responds to the following topic statement:
‘Communication is a multi-faceted, often participatory, and ever-changing process through which meaning(s) are generated in a number of complex ways.’
Respond to this statement by researching and analysing the ways in which meanings are made in a media industry context of your choice, with specific reference to 1-3 examples.
The essay component is worth 30 marks. Note that your reference list is not included in the word count, but in-text citations (in brackets) are.
You must also produce an audio recording of 5 minutes that reflects on the process of developing your essay. The audio recording component is worth 10 marks.
Further advice for completing this assessment task is highlighted under the below headings.
Focusing your essay
The broad focus of your essay should take place within the industry-related context you selected in Week 8, but you will need to narrow your focus down with the help of your research and your examples. Ideally, you should be able to articulate a central argument in your essay in a single sentence. This argument should relate in some way to the topic statement you have been provided with above, although this is intentionally a very general statement and you could therefore focus your argument in many different ways. Keep in mind the major themes developed in this unit (such as media, narrative, ideology and identity), which might help pinpoint certain issues that you can address through your research and in your analysis.
Your use of a specific example or examples will help you narrow down your focus in terms of what kinds of theories, issues and concepts you address. It’s highly recommended that you choose between one and three examples to give yourself space to analyse these in sufficient depth and connect your analysis back to the theoretical concepts and arguments made in your literature review. You should also link your research and analysis clearly to the topic statement provided above. See Week 10’s topic for advice on how to approach each of these sections. Note that your in-text citations are included in the word count, the reference list is not.
Completing your essay
You must draw on major themes from the unit materials to help conceptualise your argument about meaning-making in relation to the topic statement provided and the examples you’ve chosen. You may use your textbook in your assignment, but you must also demonstrate a substantial engagement with scholarly sources beyond this. The quality of your use of source material is just as important as the number of sources you use; however, as a rough guide, you should aim to use a minimum of eight (8) additional scholarly sources in your essay.
Creating your reflective audio recording
Your 5 minute audio recording should cover the following issues in relation to the planning and preparation of your essay:
- Brainstorming an appropriate context and example(s)
- Research processes undertaken to find source material
- Planning and time management strategies you employed
- Drafting process and proofreading strategies used
- Reflection on individual research/writing strengths
- Reflection on lessons learned/areas for future improvement needed
You should ideally submit the file in MP3 or MP4 format.
The following assessment criteria will be used to assess your performance in the task in the form of a marking rubric. Reading through the criteria now will provide a useful guide of what your marker will be looking for:
- Ability to synthesise theories and concepts drawn from scholarly source material
- Ability to apply relevant communication concepts to analyse specific examples
- Ability to write in a clear, structured and persuasive manner
- Ability to provide a clearly structured and formatted essay
- Ability to reference source material completely, accurately and consistently
- Ability to reflect on one’s own research and writing strategies, strengths and areas for improvement