Academic Essay, Joy….

So the first assignment we have been given for our 260MC module is an essay. I am DREADING writing this. I’ve never been particularly good at writing essays, even in school and it was one of the main reasons I didn’t go and study for my A-levels. However, this is something I’m going to have to conquer if I want to get a good mark on this module.

So what is the essay about. Well, we can choose from 5 different questions;

  • A. To what extent do debates around ‘free culture’ disrupt the political, social and cultural economy of the traditional media?
  • B. Focusing on one aspect of ‘open source’ (in news, video, radio, print, digital publishing, software, web 2.0, internet tv)- discuss the extent to which it has transformed, and may transform in the future, that particular industry.
  • C. To what extent do future cultural and media producers need to engage with notions of ownership and copyright in the creative economy. (ie- how will you get paid for your work in a more open, citizen orientated and democratic media sphere).
  • D. To what extent are laws and regulations around copyright and intellectual property complicated by contemporary forms of media production such as remix. Using contemporary examples and case studies discuss to what extent laws might be adjusted to take in new considerations around the future of creativity online.
  • E. Choosing one case study around ‘Piracy’ or ‘Copyright’ (such as a particular website) analyse the social, cultural, political and historical contexts that have impacted upon it

The question I have chosen to do is E. I have several case studies in mind already, of which I know quite a bit about them already;

  • Youtube
  • Piratebay
  • Napster
  • The music industry
  • The film industry

I think I more inclined to go with writing about the Piratebay. There is a lot of information in regards to this topic, and as a user of the site in the past, I think it’s the best topic for me.

During our seminars, we discussed what are the key parts to an essay;

  • Language (formal, informal)
  • Structure (introduction, middle, end)
  • Facts/References (theories, quotes)
  • Form/Style (specialised terms and jargon)
  • Discourse Analysis (developing an argument)
  • Critical Analysis (going into detail, arguing both sides)
  • Being Concise & Objective (sticking to the topic/subject)
  • Informing the Audience (Your opinion on the subject)

Next we were told how we were to complete the essay. Instead of just handing it in as a normal paper essay, we were going to record it and hand it in audio form. Several questions popped up for me. The first being, my voice is bland so how will I adapt it for the essay, secondly, how do you harvard reference an essay and thirdly, what’s wrong with a paper based hand in? None of which were answered during the session, so I need to get some clarification on these.

I then listened to a number of pieces of which we could base our essays on, especially the style. These were the points that were raised for me.

Freakonomics

  • Two presenters
  • Radio-like
  • Humorous
  • Intro to subject
  • Sound effects and voxpops
Will Self
  • Analogies
  • 3 word impact which creates imagery
  • Metaphors and Similes to create connections
  • A lot of precise pronunciation
  • Scripted
  • Uses clever language to show meaning
  • Bias view
  • Specific point was made

After listening to the second piece, I have to be honest, I was completely blown. I’m not a typical academic, and that piece felt very wordy and read by someone very intellectual (of which I don’t think I am!).

I spoke with Jonathan about my chosen subject which he thought would be a good opportunity to express my opinion especially after being an avid user of Piratebay for some time.

So it’s now time to get on with some research into the piratebay!

 

 

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