Students must select ONE image from the sample provided on the Website and use a semiological approach to examine denotations and connotations and how meaning is constructed in this image. Students must also discuss the ideological implications inherent in the image. Particular attention must be paid to any cultural and technical codes and conventions used to construct meaning.
This will be in essay format (use of dot points etc is not allowed) and will need to be correctly referenced. Evidence of further reading pertaining to the subject material is a paramount requirement.
Planning for the semiotic analysis
The semiotic analysis will apply the concepts and terminology of semiotics. These will be introduced in the lectures and expanded in the tutorials. There will need to be developed an argument about the meaning of the selected image. If there are any difficulties in understanding or applying the concepts or terms, please inform the Tutor and/or the Learning Advisers.
Below are some questions to focus your semiotics analysis and to use as a starting point towards generating an argument.
§ How many characters appear in the image and what are the ages, gender etc § What is their relevance/importance? Explain how you know this.
§ Who holds the power? Explain how you know this
- Locate and describe the major signs in the image.
§ Can you find examples of iconic, and indexical and symbolic signs? § Divide the signs into signifier and signified.
§ Identify the denotative aspects of the image
§ Identify and discuss the connotative aspects of the signs
- How would you describe the world-view presented by the image? § Is any particular point-of-view or perspective privileged or valued? § How is that perspective upheld?
Explanation of Theory
§ Main points are supported with quotations from the course and/or other significant readings § Correct use of terms and concepts
§ Evidence of further readings from relevant (and recognised) sources
Structure and Presentation of the essay
- The essay has an effective introduction and one that outlines your position (i.e. an argument), and supporting points. eg. ‘This essay will argue…’ and a similarly effective conclusion, which restates your position (argument), and draws the main points together.
- In the body of the essay points are presented in logical order with evidence and examples to support the statements.
- The main points are linked to the argument/thesis.
- The essay has correct spelling, punctuation, sentence and paragraphing structure.
- Standard University referencing format is used consistently and correctly to acknowledge sources of quotations and paraphrases.
NB: In the assignment a Minimum of Three Quotes from Three Sources is required (apart from the lecture notes/readings etc. websites are not sufficient).
Note: It is strongly advised that the material in ‘Elements of an Essay’ be read
For more information, please refer to the booklet given at orientation called A guide to tackling SCA assessments. There is a useful template for essay plans in this booklet.
Elements of an essay
- An introduction which:
- sets out the context background of the argument
- introduces the content of the essay
- introduces the theoretical perspectives to be used
- may define key terms (alternatively the definitions may be included in the second paragraph)
- sets out the thesis statement/line of argument/central contention
- explains how the essay will be organised (order of points)
- A number of body paragraphs which:
- present a topic sentence or central idea supporting the thesis statement/line of argument
- contain developing sentences which extend on or amplify the topic sentence
- give evidence/examples/references which support or relate to the topic sentence
- provide a concluding/linking sentence
- A conclusion which:
- restates the thesis statement/line of argument/central contention
- summarises the points and evidence provided in the body of the essay to support the thesis
- may suggest areas for further research/investigation
There may be discerned a pattern in the structure of the essay. The thesis statement runs through the essay like a thread, connecting every paragraph from the introduction to the conclusion. Each topic sentence is linked to/develops/supports the thesis statement; and each piece of evidence/example/reference in the body paragraphs is linked to/develops/supports its topic sentence.
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