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home MS4 Exam Questions MS3 Specifications media texts representations audience


Students will be required to analyse texts showing an understanding of why elements of the text are selected and how the text is constructed.

It is essential that students are taught to transfer skills across a range of different examples. In this way they will be able to analyse any text they are exposed to under examination conditions.

Study of the following concepts are recommended.


Generic conventions – repetition, typicality, themes and key signifiers

• Mise-en-Scene

• Settings and Locations

• Characteristic plots

In particular students should consider how conventions are used AND how they are challenged, adapted and combined.


• Construction

• Structure

• Key codes such as action and enigma

• The role of characters within the narrative


Students will be expected to have an understanding of TECHNICAL CODES and how meanings are created through them. It is important that students can do more than name the code; they need to be able to discuss how and why it has been used. Where appropriate,students should be aware of the following technical codes and their use:

• Camera shots/angles

• Photographic techniques

• Framing

• Editing

• Lighting

• Special effects

Students should also be aware of


in particular the use of diegetic and non

diegetic sound through:

• Dialogue

• Music

• Sound effects

In the study of print based texts students should also consider the following through the use of


• Design / layout e.g. graphics, use of colour etc.

• Typography

• Language

• Persuasive techniques

• Register and mode of address

Note: although in the Specification we use terminology like codes, which emphasises a

structuralist heritage, this is not the only approach Centres may wish to introduce their

students to. The important factor is that students understand that texts go through a process

of selection and construction and that they can, generally, be interpreted differently by

different audiences.


Centres may wish to encourage their students to examine a range of positive and negative

representations across media forms. In examining the nature of representations (how they have been selected, constructed, mediated and anchored) and exploring how they are interpreted and responded to by audiences, students may develop an understanding of ideologies, for example:

• Ways of seeing the world – ideologies as values, attitudes and beliefs

• How ideologies are conveyed through texts

• How ideologies have affected the production of the texts

• How dominant ideologies are reinforced and/or challenged by texts.

Key Questions:

What kind of world is being constructed by media texts?

Students might consider the following points:

• That the “reality” of the world presented by texts is constructed

• That audiences respond to texts according to their experience and knowledge of

the world presented to them

How are stereotypes used as a shorthand to represent certain groups of people?

Students might consider the following point:

• That makers of media texts use audience recognition of types to transmit messages rapidly. Most media texts (e.g. films, magazine articles, television

programmes and advertising) only have a short time to establish characters and as a result offer limited representations.

Who is in control of the text? Whose ideas and values are expressed through the


Students might consider the following points:

• Texts are constructed and often manipulated by the producers (and

organisations behind them). For example: newspaper articles, films, television


• A process of mediation occurs in the construction of media texts, for example a

news report.

How will audiences interpret the representation within texts? Who are the texts aimed


Students might consider the following points:

• That an understanding of representation is linked to the cultural experiences and

the backgrounds of the audience.

• It is also affected by the audience relationship with, for example, the individual

star/ event /environment etc.

What ideologies / messages might be contained within the representation/s?

Students might:

• Be aware of the view being presented through the text.

• Question whether the particular interests / views of the world are being

challenged, reinforced or promoted.

• Consider whether the texts are promoting, challenging or judging the roles of

gender / ethnicity/ age etc.


The focus for this question will be on the relationship between the text and the audience. The emphasis will be on the social and cultural experiences that affect audiences’ responses to the text and it is therefore important that the initial focus is on the range of possible responses to texts and not audience theories – although the analysis of the response may lead to an exploration of relevant audience response theories.

Students might like to explore:

The different ways in which audiences can be described e.g.

social / cultural background (demographics)

active and passive

interactive users

industry categories ( such as those used by advertisers e.g. aspirers,

achievers etc.)

How texts position audiences through the use of:

Modes of address



How different audiences respond to, use and interpret texts, through the

use of relevant theories which underpin the following:

Preferred ; Negotiated; Oppositional Readings

Active and Passive responses

Reception Analysis

What will students be required to do in the examination?

They will be given stimulus material taken from a range of examples as detailed in the


For Question 1 students will focus on an analysis of the stimulus material


For Questions 2 and 3 they will respond to questions on representation and audience. These

questions will explicitly require students to incorporate references to the detailed examples in

their responses.

Students who rely solely on the stimulus material in their answers will obviously produce a limited response.

The above from the WJEC’s most recent notes and guidance

Listed below are the full range of demands made on the student in this examination: