How to Write a Media Studies Essay
Writing a Well-Organised Media Studies Essay
For any student studying a media-related course, it is essential that they should be able to put together a well-written and well-argued essay. When learning how to write a media studies essay, one need must understand that media is about different forms of communicating an idea or set of ideas and an essay is just another method of communication. The media student must show that they have grasped the concept of essay writing as a valuable form of written communication by ensuring that what they submit is of a good standard. To create a good standard essay there are a number of guidelines that will help you when learning how to write a media studies essay and if you adhere to these gentle pointers then you should be able to create a great piece of work.
Focus on what is being asked of you
The first thing you should look to do when learning how to write a media studies essay is find your focus. What is it you are going to write about? If the topic is interesting to you then the chances are that you will enjoy writing about it but often your choices are quite restrictive. Whatever the subject is you should ensure that you understand it fully. If you know what is being asked of you it is easier to research the question and then answer it. Keep your essay question in mind and this should keep you from straying from the point.
Collect a wide body of research
Once you are sure that you understand your essay question you can begin your research. Collect a body of research that is relevant and will help you address the essay topic. The wider this body of research the better equipped you will be to present your arguments and the more you will be able to reflect your understanding of the subject area. Once you have carried out your research you will need to arrange the information you have collected into a logical order. Part of understanding how to write a media studies essay is to find what links each point and argument and use this to guide your writing.
Structure your ideas and the arguments you have researched
The structure of your essay is important if the marker is to make sense of what you have written and follow your argument. Naturally you will open with an introduction in which you will present the background to the subject and why it is of particular importance. This sets the scene for what you are then going to discuss and underpins the theoretical and conceptual value of your research. After your introduction you will begin to address the essay question by presenting what you have found from you research.
Analyse what you have read to show that you understand the argument
As you discuss the findings of your research you should elaborate in enough detail to show that you not only located the information but that you have understood it and have drawn conclusions from it. When learning how to write a media studies essay, you should be able to analyse each argument to show that you are able to generate your own ideas and opinions about the literature that exists in the field.
Spend time on your conclusion
Your conclusion is your opportunity to draw together all of your findings and summarise the content before presenting an overall view. This is where you will show that you have understood the arguments and drawn your own conclusions about them. This section is the impression you will leave on your marker and so due attention should be given and you should think carefully about how you will write this.
Don’t waffle and avoid repetition
When learning how to write a media studies essay, remember the word count! You will have a word limit for your essay which you should be aware of and keep in mind. Make valid points succinctly without waffle or repetition. If you repeat your points you will suggest to the marker that you have ran out of things to write about and that you haven’t carried out enough research. Ensuring that you collect a good amount of information before you begin writing will avoid this problem. Your problem should only be trying to remain concise rather than needing to pad out your essay.
Reference appropriately and when relevant
Given that your essay is an academic piece of work you are required to source information and make reference to what you have read about. When learning how to write a media studies essay make sure to remember that your referencing may come in the form of an in-text citation or a direct quotation. Make sure you check which system your University uses and stick to it. Referencing guides can be found here. Be careful about when you are using your sources and keep them relevant to your points. Use in-text citations when you are presenting an argument that you have lifted from another piece of work and use direct quotations if they fit the argument you are making. If they are irrelevant then they will be completely lost on the marker.
Avoiding plagiarism and adhering to your referencing style
Regardless of how you choose to refer to the work you have researched you will need to make sure that you adhere to the appropriate style. The style of referencing should be followed right through to your bibliography and list of references. If you do not reference your work then you will expose yourself to the risk of plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offence and is one that will be dealt with severely by your university. It may be that you have not made the mistake deliberately but this is unlikely to lessen the consequences so please ensure that you are fully aware of how and when to reference.
If you are able to keep these points in mind from the moment you begin to research your essay then you will create a well-argued piece of work that should achieve you a good grade.
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