Assessment task title:  Research project design

Assessment task title:  Research project design


Due date:  23/ 05/2018


Details of task: This assessment will bring theories and methods together so that you have an idea of how media studies is undertaken in professional settings by media practitioners and at universities.

In this unit you have learned to explain theories in your own words, gained an understanding of method, and looked at how media studies might allow you to analyse things that you find interesting. In this assignment, you need to bring these skills together. Research project Topic Semiotics and textual analysis


Develop a research project around the media text you analysed in your presentation, or if you prefer, another issue or topic that you thought interesting. As with the other assignments, you should be writing in your own words. Do not use quotations.


Your project must use the following headings and provide the following information:

Title – the name of your research project

Background – This is a description of the kind of media texts or phenomenon that interests you – you must provide sufficient information for someone who has never seen any of the texts or media phenomenon to know what you are talking about (about 200-250 words).

Aims – What would you like to find out about the issue? You can write this in prose. Try to develop 2-3 research questions that will help you understand the issue, and that have not been answered in the existing research (about 100-150 words).

Literature review – What are some of the different studies on this topic or on similar issues? Use the required readings and the text book to find examples. You should also include the articles and chapters you found from your data-base search in class time. What did they say about the questions you would like answered? Outline some of the findings that are relevant to your project, and what more there is to find out (about 300 words).

Theoretical frame – What theory do you think best explains or illuminates the issue? Explain it in your own words (about 300 words).

Method – What method or methods would you use to find out more? Explain why you would choose these methods. (about 300 words). Be as specific as possible. Explain which texts you would analyse, or how you would select a population group to survey or interview, and why. If you found a similar research project when you did your database search, you can use this as a model for your own research. You could adapt it to the issue that interests you.


Word limit: 1200 words excluding reference list.

Value: 25%

Presentation requirements: 

Save as a Word document

Helvetica, Arial or Calibri

12 point font

1.5 – 2 line spacing

Australian English

Left aligned

Harvard in-text citation and reference list using the Library’s online guide or quick guide provided.

Use page numbering

Do not include your name or student number anywhere in the essay.


Criteria for marking: 

English expression and grammar, presentation including headings, citations and references – 10%

Clarity of the background/introduction – 10%

Research aims and questions – 20%

Knowledge of research on the topic – 20%

Choice and explanation of theoretical frame – 20%

Explanation and justification of the method(s) chosen – 20%


Referencing requirements: In this subject you are required to use Harvard in-text referencing style developed by Monash University Library. Under this system, you are required to show relevant names, dates and page numbers in the text of your assignment. You are also required to provide a list of full references on a separate page at the end of your assignment. Only the sources you actually used, and cite, should be included in the reference list.


Additional information: The recommended readings for week 12 will help you choose a method and justify it. Use the contents page and index of the text book to explore other approaches to your topic. You will also do a ‘literature search’ on a communications and media studies data base to find similar research. Notice what theoretical frames they use. Which is most relevant for your research? Consider adapting the method of one of these research projects as a means of exploring your own area of interest. How would you do it differently?

In your reference list we would expect to see:

The text book

One or two articles or chapters from the required or recommended readings list (other than the text book)

At least four academic articles about similar research based on a search  of the Communications and Mass Media Complete database.

Possibly a couple of web page URLs, or references to the media text(s) that interest you.


Required reading

  • Hodkinson, P. 2017, Media culture and society, Sage, London, pp. 58-74; 78-94.
  • Nair, P. 2010, ‘Research methods in communication studies – an overview’, Media Mimansa, July- September, pp. 8-16.
  • Danesi, M 1999, ‘Cigarettes and High Heels’, in Of cigarettes, high heels and other interesting things, St Martin’s Press, New York, pp.1-23.
  • Cigarettes and High Heels
  • Hodkinson, P 2017, ‘Media content’, Media, culture and society: an introduction, pp. 57-74.
  • Hodkinson, P 2017, ‘Media texts as an arrangement of signs’ and ‘Narrative, discourse and gender analysis’ (pp. 58-68) and ‘Constructing stories’, (pp. 125-127), Media, culture and society: an introduction.
  • Crogan, P 2003, ‘The experience of Information in Computer Games’,Melbourne DAC.

  • Pötzsch, H 2017, ‘Selective realism: filtering experiences of war and violence in first – and third – person shooters’, Games & Culture, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 156-178.
  • Barthes, R. 1977, ‘Rhetoric of the image’, in Image Music Text, Fontana, Hammersmith, pp. 32-51.






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