Category: Small Scale Research Project

Coursework Deadlines

Just a reminder that the coursework deadlines are as follows:

  • Presentations – as set for individuals starting 28th September
  • Draft Presentation Script : to go with your presentation submitted on classroom by 6th October (13A) or 11th October (13D)
  • Final Annotated Catalogue: 1st November (printed)
  • Final Presentation Script: 1st November (printed)

Academic Referencing

As part of your Small Scale Research Project you need to learn about how to make a proper academic reference. You must use a full academic reference for all the items in the Annotated Catalogue.

There are many systems of referencing. We are going to use the universally recognised system called Harvard Referencing.

Here is a simple guide on how to create a academic reference using Harvard.

Here is a site that does it for you.


For each of your research sources create a Harvard Reference.

Please list your sources as (Item1, Item 2, Item3, …) in the following categories:

  • Films
  • Books
  • Magazines / Newspapers
  • Websites
  • Online Video
  • Other

Writing the Item Commentary

Here are the assessment criteria for the Small Scale Research Project.

There are four Rs you’re getting assessed on:

  1. Referencing. You should use a full Harvard reference for each of your sources
  2. Relevance: Your sources are clearly relevant to the research topic and films you’ve chosen
  3. Range: There is a range of types sources (films, books, magazines, reviews, blogs, fan sites, interviews…)
  4. Reasons: Your reasons for choosing the film or using the source are clearly explained. How does it fit into your research project?

Here a document to help you think about the sorts of reasons you may have had for choosing the film or using the source. This will help you write the comment for each source, see below.

Advice on the Notes:

  • Each note should be between 75 – 100 words
  • Make sure your references use the Harvard System on the blog (see above)
  • Link each source back to the films, the filmmakers, the research focus or context.
  • Give a brief (1 sentence) summary of the source. Then an explanation of how it was useful or relevant.
    • How did it widen your understanding of film / the films
    • How did it help you look at the film(s) differently
    • How did it widen your understanding of the framework approach (genre, auteur, gender…)
  • NEVER ‘quote’ or analyse in the Annotated Catalogue
    • Quotes & analysis will go in the presentation script, which you will start in September.

Here’s an example:

Reviews and Magazines:

SOURCE 8: Hills, M., (September 2008), We’re All Fans Now, Media Magazine, Issue 25, pp. 7-11

Notes: This source describes the concept of fandoms and explores fan reactions and involvement within a franchise. This will be useful when answering my question as it is essential that I understand how fan communities operate so that I can discuss fan reactions and what they mean for both the films themselves as well as the institution. This will mean that I can compare each film’s reaction from fans to one another.

Presentation (Script) Assessment

How will you get a good mark for your presentation (script)?

The assessment criteria for the presentation script are:

  • Excellent insight into chosen research area of investigation demonstrated 
  • Considerable evidence that a broad range of ideas has been developed during the investigation
  • Excellently well-structured presentation script with explicit reference to key items of research from the annotated catalogue
  • All examples used in the presentation will be well-chosen and relevant, contributing important ideas to the area of investigation.

Task 1 

Contribute your ideas to this collective mark scheme for the presentation (script).

During the presentations

Here is the feedback you are going to receive from your teacher and the peer you’re presenting to:

Student Feedback on:

  • Whether you name research sources including authors.
  • How you illustrate your analysis from the films.
    • Which examples do you put on the screen.
  • How many quotes you use from your sources.
  • How many sections are there in the presentation. (Structure)

Teacher Feedback on:

  • Your understanding of  the macro / theory.
  • Your description of specific micro feature.
    • The language you use used to describe (the significance/impact of) these examples.
      • Do you use good adjectives?
  • You  analyse of particular micro features that link to macro research
  • Your correct use of Film Studies technical language
  • Your correct use Film Studies theoretical language.

Your Presentation (Script)

This week you will be working towards your presentation (script). The schedule for the next three weeks looks like this.

Here is a short slideshow on how to approach your presentation.

Here is copy of the presentation structure document.

Support and feedback

During this week you will be having another 1-1 discussion with your film studies teacher, by the end of that discussion you should have a clear idea about the following:

  1. Annotated Catalogue
    1. Is your referencing correctly formatted
    2. Whether you have enough appropriate research sources
    3. Which sources have become (or are likely to become) rejected sources
    4. Targets for improvement
  2. The Presentation (Script)
    1. The scope of your project
    2. The structure of your presentation
    3. The evidence you are going to use to illustrate your ideas

The assessment criteria for the annotated catalogue are:

  • Items selected from both primary and secondary research with a excellent sense of relevance to their chosen topic
  • Broad range of material selected from diverse sources, suggesting excellent research
  • Excellent notes on reasons for their selection
  • Excellent reasons offered to explain why certain items were not selected for inclusion in the catalogue.

Studying the Films

Choosing sequences, screenshots, quotes or narrative sequences which you are going to use in your presentation is an important part in this research. You have to be economical, you can only use 2-3 sequences from your main film and 1 from each of your supporting films, although you may refer to others in your presentation script.

Here is a document to help you focus your research on the films you’re using in your Small Scale Research Project.

During this week you need to choose your sequences as well as make a continue your reading of the textbooks, articles and websites. You may also start reading through other more specific resources you have found. Remember to keep track of your research with the research log sheet.

Reading for Research Purposes

Understanding the approach.

Remember your initial research focus is the macro area – not your specific genre, star, auteur, technology… So please don’t reject a book simply because it doesn’t give you exactly what you’re looking for, it’s a book, not the internet! What the textbooks do give you is academic credibility. These authors are highly regarded academics and not just someone with an opinion, which is what a lot of online material is. The text books will also give you an understanding of that macro area and help you develop a framework you study your films. So your first question should be something like:

‘What does a… genre study, auteur study, star study, technology study… look like and what areas of a film should I be exploring?’

You might also find in the text book example case studies for other stars, auteurs, genres…just look at what they did for one example and copy it for yours.

Reading for Research

Reading for research may seem daunting, because you’re faced with a lots of material. First of all pace yourself – you’ve got almost a month before you have to present your research. Use the schedule and break the research into manageable chunks – only read one or two sources a day. also, develop a speed reading technique:

Top tips for speed reading:

  • Always use the contents page and index to home in on the section in the book that seems most useful.
  • Read the first page and last page of each chapter, these usually sum up the chapter and give you a sense whether it’s worth reading more closely.
  • Read the first paragraph and last paragraph of each sub section.
  • Finally, read the first sentence and last sentence of each paragraph – again this can help you find useful ideas more quickly.

Alternatively you can try skim reading, which is reading, not for complete sense, but letting your eyes skim the chapter looking for key words / names and then reading the sections that contain those words carefully.

Make useful notes as you read.

Make notes as you go. If you don’t you’ll just have to go back and read it again when you’re preparing your presentation script. Here is a link to a document designed to help you keep notes on your research as you go. Use one for each source.

Small Scale Research Project – Proposal

Welcome back to The Small Scale Research Project, a unit where you get to pursue your own interests in the world of film.

We’ve got six weeks (including 1/2 term) to complete this project. Please find a link to the schedule and action plan for the research. You will need to look through your annotated catalogue and consider when you’re going to read and annotate the research sources on that list, when you’re going to watch the films and when you’re going to analyse key sequences. A typical research schedule would be:

  1. Develop an understanding the research focus / macro approach  through research in textbooks, articles & academic web sites.
  2. Explore chosen films using previous research on focus / macro approach.
  3. Read the sources about the focus films / director / star… through reviews, articles, interviews, case studies…
  4. Choose two or three key sequences from main film and one supporting sequence from each supporting film that reflect you research focus.
    • Close micro analysis of key scenes and develop notes on how they echo the focus / macro
  5. Audience research (if appropriate)

Initial Tasks (by the end of this week you should):

  • Have read through 3-4 of the text books, articles and academic web sites on your annotated catalogue, made notes and got quotes that help you understand the topic and a way to approach your films. See post on reading for research.
  • Met with your Miss H or Mr G to finalise your research question / focus.
  • Submit your final research proposal, which will be sent to a WJEC examiner for their comments / approval.
  • Start your coursework cover sheets, which includes notes which you need to complete on the aims and context of your research.