Thursday, January 02, 2020

L3 popular culture : pitfalls, errors and difficulties

I will add to this list regularly. Naturally the morning group and the afternoon group had completely different questions for the DST, so some of the comments will not apply to you.

1  A distinction is normally made between graffiti and street art. This short article will Help.


2 Examples
Since the subject is British Popular Culture since 1945, it is far better to use British examples. If you use only American examples, you give the impression that you slept through the classes! If you give examples of French artists, you may as well write in red ink “ I have forgotten all the British artists we studied.” A few students gave no examples, and only wrote in general terms. This is dangerous.

3 Paragraphs
Although the rules are different for business reports and some modern journalism, in university work one sentence is not enough to make a paragraph. Three is the minimum.

4 Staying close to the question.
Although it is of course good to show you have understood the classes and remembered the main points, you have to avoid summarizing the classes without making a clear link to the question.

5 Contractions
Do not use contractions in written university work.

6 Structure
In a short exam, you do not have time for a complex structuring. A simple structure is best. One of the groups was asked to comment on the idea that what was central to popular music was values, activities and togetherness. A simple structure would be to look at each in turn and assess its presence, giving examples, then to move onto a “however” section which reminds us that this is not the only view possible ( certainly Adorno saw things differently, for instance).
There are many other good ways to structure your answer, but simple is often a good idea.

7 Quotation
Quite often, the question includes a quotation. Because we want you to think, evaluate, analyze, weigh up and respond, it is practically always the case that your job is not “I will show how this quotation is 100% true.” Your job is generally “ I will explore how much truth there is in this quotation and what other views would be reasonable”.

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