Coursework information and guidelines

DEADLINE for hand-in is 4PM 28/04/2012 at the SED


1. Online Blog – what to do

Students will produce an online blog that will have 12 entries, each about 200 words (max 2500 words in total).

Each entry will have credited images and weblinks to research material. It might also use video or other media. All blogs must be clearly referenced giving details of research using Harvard Referencing*.


Of the 12 blog posts 3 must be from the CORE topics:

  • Modernism/Postmodernism
  • Identity
  • Semiotics


And 3 must be selected from the BIOGRAPHIES topics

This means any individual designer, artist, filmmaker, group or organisation we have discussed during the class.

Here are just a few examples from past and future classes:


Barbara Kruger

Charles and Ray Eames

Cindy Sherman

Dorothea Lange

John Smith (filmmaker)

Lawrence Wiener


Martha Rosler

Paul Rand

Peter Saville

Saul Bass

Sonia Boyce

Walker Evans



And 6 BIOGRAPHIES must be defined by you.

These biographies should be of personal interest for your own research and, ideally, should relate to the ‘discourse’ of your chosen degree programme.


There are many different platforms for blogging such as Tumblr,  Blogger, and WordPress. Some of you may already write a blog but for those of you who have not support will be provided. Please make sure you start a new blog specifically for this module. Once you have started your blog please send your URL (web address) to Your URL will be posted on a central blog to be found here You are encouraged to read and comment on the work of other students – it is important that we create our own many-to-many ‘discourse’ over the module. Online formative feedback will be given.


*Make sure you adhere to the Harvard referencing style as outlined in Pears, R & Shields, G. (2010) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Any edition is fine.



 2. Online blog – tips on how to go about it:


A blog is not  an essay although we are looking for some of the same academic skills that you would usually display in an essay.


Q. How is a blog different to an essay?

  • A ‘weblog’ is ‘episodic’ meaning it is made up of separate, but loosely connected posts (or episodes). Additionally these episodes appear newest first, oldest last.
  • Peter Matthews, an academic from LSE, calls his blog his THINK SPACE.
  • Your blog should be a reflection on your reading, looking and thinking.
  • It’s textual and visual.
  • It is public – and part of the wider blogosphere.
  • It can interact with other online texts – these could be yours, other blogs from the class or other websites, images, videos and audio.


Q. How can I show evidence of independent learning?

  • Make sure you quote and paraphrase from books, journals, newspapers and other web sources.
  • Introduce and apply the ideas of others to things that interest you.
  • Argue for or against the ideas of others.
  • Introduce your own ideas.
  • Show understanding of words, terms and ideas by using and applying them.
  • Be reflective and open to ideas.


Q. What about referencing?

  • Use the Harvard system of referencing.
  • Reference/cite others’ work if you have used their ideas, their words or their images.
  • Use Cite Them Right to help you – remember the whole book is available under Campus Bookmarks in UELPlus.


Q. What about writing style?

  • You should aim to be discursive and reflective – and you can use first person.
  • Your writing should be clear and concise and communicate well to your reader.
  • You should employ good punctuation, grammar and spelling (make sure you use spell check).
  • Try to get a good balance between a formal and informal style – try to be consistent.


Q. Any other tips?

  • Use links, images and videos to support your arguments.
  • Comment on the work of your peers.
  • Update regularly.
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