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Using Theory

Richard Gent | Wednesday December 01, 2010

Categories: Theory, Application of Theory

Source: TRAMA Textiles weaves lives back together, Columbia Missourian

This page, when completed, will provide you with advice on how to use theory in Media Studies.

It will include examples of how theory has been used effectively in students’ responses.

  • texere to weave textum woven fabric

Manasa Vedula’s opening to the article referenced above begins:

COLUMBIA — Two vibrantly dressed, petite Guatemalan women are weaving away on their looms, intricately intermingling threads to create an elaborate pattern.

The lives of these women are as complicated as the tapestries they were weaving.

An Introduction

The idea of weaving (making a new piece of clothing from separate threads of differing colours and textures) is a good place to start when learning how to apply theory to an exam response or a piece of coursework.

Essentially, when you write something, you start with ideas, facts and events and weave them into a new piece of writing. It’s impossible to write anything entirely new which means that you will be referring to other people’s writing in your own, etc.

A new piece of writing is a text which inevitably refers either explicitly or implicitly to others. With weaving, the quality of the cloth (one type of text) is dependent on the weaver’s ability to combine separate threads into something which will fulfil its purpose. This might be to become a piece of clothing which is robust but also aesthetically pleasing

Selecting relevant threads

When you write an exam response you need to select ideas, facts and events (etc.) that are relevant to the question you’re being asked.

When you develop a piece of coursework - a production artefact - your production needs to be informed by appropriate ideas, facts and events in order to fulfil the brief you have been given.

Weaving the threads together

In the case of an exam response or piece of coursework (two other types of text), the quality of the writing and the mark it receives...

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