Media Studies Assignment 3 Magazine

Evaluating Your Practical Media Production Piece

Evaluation is a very important part of your practical work in Media Studies. It should be an ongoing part of your production process, and not just some quick thoughts scribbled down at the end. Don't be afraid to make both positive and negative comments about your project as a whole. Highlight elements you're pleased with as well as commenting on aspects that didn't turn out so well. An honest, thoughtful evaluation is essential for a top grade.

Research is Vital

In your written evaluation, you have to demonstrate an understanding of the process you have undertaken and how that compares to real industry practice, whatever your production may be. This is where good planning and research during your pre-production phase is invaluable – how much do you know about how the professionals do it? If you've studied industry practice, and can make references to real media productions (use plenty of examples!), you'll be able to show that you have a good understanding of the media form you were producing. Your initial research will also help prove that you had a definite target audience in mind throughout the process.

Be Critical

You need to critically examine your finished work, be aware of where improvements could be made, and suggest ways you would do it differently next time. How have you learned from your mistakes? What do now you know about the technological tools you used that will change the way you work in the future?

You should state your original aims (did you achieve them? If not, why not?) and briefly describe the process you underwent (explaining the creative decisions you made and the problems you encountered) when establishing those aims.

Your evaluation should also include careful consideration of the following:

1. Audience

  • Who is the preferred audience for your media text?
  • How did you address them?
  • What specific features of the text are designed to appeal to your preferred audience?
  • Comment on how your audience will react to your finished production (entertained? informed?). Use audience theories in your explanation.
  • Does your production include a 'call to action' (e.g. you want your audience to buy a product, or adopt new lifestyle habits)? How effective do you think it is?
  • How will your production be distributed to your audience? How will you get their attention?

2. Context

  • Have you followed the conventions of of the named publication or programme where your production will finally appear?
  • Who did you represent? Why did you pick them (age, ethnicity, body type etc)? How did you represent them? How do your representations compare to others within this genre?
  • Did you challenge or conform to stereotypes? Why?
  • How might your article or video be promoted to your target audience? Is it something that can be teased on social media?
  • How could you measure its success (e.g. YouTube views, Facebook 'Likes', Tweets, hits, copies sold or downloaded etc)?

3. Content

  • Use media language to formally evaluate what you did - use technical terms to describe your camera work, page layout etc.
  • Refer to specific details within your finished text to support your statements e.g. "In the birds-eye shot where...", "Underneath the masthead..."
  • Discuss the denotation and connotation of the creative choices you made e.g. a specific typeface or costume color.
  • Make concrete suggestions for revision

Make sure you know how many words your evaluation should be, and stick to the limits. Throughout, your language should be formal and use specific media terminology. Use the glossaries elsewhere on this site to help you.

And, finally, as with any piece of work, PROOF READ every sentence carefully before you turn it in!

  1. Hey everyone, I'm pretty new on here, but please hear me out, and try and help me, because like most students, I'm starting to panic!!

    I'm in Year 11, and I'm doing Media Studies AQA (as you can tell). Now, I did my exam last year on Reality TV, getting 100%. My teacher was pushing for me to go for the Double Award, but failed to inform me the amount of work needed for Unit 4. So this is the breakdown:

    Unit 1 - Reality TV Exam
    Unit 2 - Coursework
    Unit 3 - Institutions Exam
    Unit 4 - Investigation Coursework

    Upon hearing this January the amount of work required, I decided to consolidate my 100% and stick with the single award - just units 1 and 2 (as I'd rather have an A* than a BC/CD equivalent). However, as we'd wasted time learning institutions, we were left with just the coursework to do, and only 2011 to do it in. She has now said that the deadline for coursework is March 28th - let me tell you about the coursework.

    To me, there are 2 parts to all 3 tasks - creative and analytical.

    Assignment 1
    We've gone for magazines. Therefore, we had to create a magazine cover for our creative task. Only NOW though has she realised that it might be two editions, not one. What has everyone else done?

    Along with this is the analytical task. We had to analyse two magazine covers, which I did. however, she's telling us we need to analyse our own magazines we created as well. Is this right!?!?

    Assignment 2
    This is the real problem. It's something to do with creating a DVD cover. We are yet to start, and we're still pretty lost. We have to use 90% of our own photographs. How can we promote a film without using proper photos? Or is it a made up film?

    The analytical task. In one breath, she says we have to compare two methods of film promotion. In the next, it's two 1000 essays on our DVD cover. In another breath, it's just the basic design of our DVD covers. Then I read something about a "cross media" investigation - isn't that unit 4?!? Help! Who has done this assignment yet, and what exactly did you do?

    Assignment 3
    We went for radio. Now, we got in a radio DJ to help us produce our programme, which we have done with great success. Creative side = done.

    Analysis though, what has to be done? Again, she's getting us to research Radio 1, the DJs, create a brief that we'd send to Radio 1 about our radio show. She said it mustn't be more than 12 pages - what has to be marked though?

    I've been doing as she says so far, as she is the one marking our coursework. I've now got to the point where I have 25 days left, and still not a bloody clue as to what we need to do. I need all As and A*s to get a 100% scholarship at my school, and with 40% already in the bag, I must surely push for an A*. However, she doesn't seem to know what she's doing. Luckily, it's a class of 3, but we still have lost all direction. We ask her these questions, and she says "I'll ask AQA" - and we get nothing back. Any help would be much appreciated!!

  2. Bumping this - I emailed AQA but they said I have to go through my teacher and coursework advisor. Guys please help! :/

  3. Can someone help?! I need a comparison of two jingles and of two features on the radio. (A page each)


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