237130 | A2 | W8 | Critical and Contextual Studies Tool Kit

Planning and Preparation

  • Doing background research into the type of essay
  • Thinking about different approaches to planning, eg. patchwork writer, grand plan writer etc and the pros and cons of these different methods.
  • Analysing the question and the wording of the question

Writing Skills

  • Identifying key ideas in a text
  • Summarising a text
  • Rereading to unpack the purpose of each paragraph, identifying ideas within each paragraph and analysing the writer’s style.

Content and Visual Text Analysis Tools

  • Making connections between new ideas and past knowledge
  • Critical analysis of images
  • Understanding the ‘mystification’ of art thanks to John Berger
  • Understanding how ideologies and our world view influence the way each individual sees a text and therefore each persons analysis of a text will be slightly different to the next.
  • Understanding the myth of photographic truth on it’s own and in relation to ideologies and our world view.

Research and Information Gathering Tools and Protocols

  • Researching artists and relevant ideas
  • Using mind maps to explore ideas and connections or themes between different ideas and images. This worked very well being an (obviously) very visual person.
  • Library research and using key words to find books I wouldn’t have discovered on my own.
  • Skim reading to find the relevant information in an academic book with lots of unrelated information.
  • Understanding different perspectives and how showing the light and shade of an argument can enrich the discussion.

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