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MS1 Berkhamsted - Textual analysis tool box
Transcript of MS1 Berkhamsted - Textual analysis tool box
begins to prepare you for MS1 exam Q1 - textual analysis.
1- Technical codes
2- visual codes
3 -language and mode
1. Technical codes in print texts
Print texts, like magazines, cd covers and posters, use technical codes to transmit meaning. They employ a range of techniques designed to appeal to and attract an audience. These include:
a) Layout and design
The way in which the print text is constructed is partly through the technical codes of the text. The use of colour, font style and text positioning all contribute to the overall style of the publication. Magazines have a
and readers recognise this and expect it to be consistent. This may be established through, for example, the
used for the
b) Camera shots:
The choice of shot on a print text helps to communicate meaning.
E.g. A screen shot from a film used on a poster suggests the narrative and genre of the film. A close up of the performer on a music industry website contributes to their star persona and attracts their fan base.
The way in which an image is lit helps in the construction of messages
d) Use of Colour
The colours chosen to be incorporated into print texts convey messages about the texts genre, and also about the audience who will consume it.
E.g. Pastel colours employed on a CD cover suggest a specific type of music.
Logos and graphical representations appear in many forms on print based texts.
E.g Some CD covers and websites for example, do not contain images of the band or artist but use more artistic illustrations representing the genre of the music.
f) Post production techniques
Images in the media today are still manipulated and enhanced digitally for effect.
e.g. In advertising, eyelashes are extended and skin is made flawless. Models on the front covers of magazines are body brushed to give an unrealistic appearance of perfection.
2. Visual codes
it's important for MS1 that
you offer a connotation not just a denotation of visual codes. The main visual codes are:
The clothing communicates messages about a person quickly without need for complex explanation.
e.g When a new character enters the frame in e.g a crime drama, and is wearing a white coat and plastic gloves, the audience understands his role as a forensic and has expectations of his / her behaviour.
Facial expressions are also ways in which messages are communicated. Combined with close-up shots emotions can be clearly represented in a text and easily interpreted by an audience.
Non verbal communicators that convey emotion easily - e.g. a shrug or something more offensive and aggressive.
E.g. on music magazine front covers, the gesture and body language of the performer may also convey messages about their genre of music
The way an image is constructed
e.g. the use of black and white photography may suggest sophistication, the use of soft focus may carry connotations of romance.
e) Use of colour -
Colours can transmit messages
e.g in perfume adverts yellows may convey a fresh, citrus day time scent even if the audience can't smell it. Dull reds and blues will convey sense of a heavier, evening perfume. Colour codes are used by advertisers to convey meaning quickly.
Objects, settings and backgrounds within a text can be analysed for meaning.
e.g The denotation of Big Ben is a clock in London. However when it appears in the news at 10, it conveys reliability, tradition, and London as the center of the news. Certain media texts are recognisable by their iconography - e.g. the setting of a lab and instruments in a forensic crime drama.
Images will have been placed in the 'mise en scene' of the text for a purpose and will communicate messages.
E.g. the choice of celebrity on the front of a magazine will give clues to the target audience of that text. Add codes of clothing, gesture and expression and the meaning may become more complex.
also have meaning. The graphics in a film trailer for example, convey messages about the narrative and pleasures to be gained from watching the film.
e.g Typography on a CD cover will give clues about the genre and music style of the performer
Lexis: This means the actual words used by the texts. Some texts employ subject specific lexis, e.g. gaming magazines use words specific to the world of gaming.
Hospital dramas use medical terminology to create a sense of realism, and audiences become familiar with media words, making them feel a part of a text's community (and those who do not will feel alienated as a result.
Some other language features include:
a) use of
to make whatever they are selling exciting (e.g. adverts)
Magazines employ the
to suggest a sense of urgency about what they are suggesting,
e.g. losing weight
(e.g. missing out a word in a sentence) is used
as an enigma code to encourage audiences to want to buy the magazine and read on
d) use of
slang, colloquialisms, esoteric language
eg in teen mags and films, creates an informal relationship between the texts and reader, and may alienate others (e.g. Kidulthood's urban language)
e) Direct quotation
s 'e.g. my heartbreak horror!' suggest realism, or in the case of press quotes used on film posters, anchors messages alongside other technical and visual codes.
4. Mode of address
This is the tone and the written
or spoken style iof the media text and the way in which it communicates with the target audience. Consider the following:
a) Informal mode of address:
Some magazines adopt an informal
e.g. using slang or the personal pronoun to engage their target audience and make them feel as if they are talking directly to them. Audience feel involved in the exclusive world of the magazine as a result.
b) Formal mode of address:
Texts like newspapers may adopt a more formal style with complex vocabulary. Suggests target audience more sophisticated and serious and want more detailed information.
e.g. News anchors accompany this with a serious code of expression, to encourage us to believe and trust them.
c) Direct mode of address:
When the subject of the text communicates directly with the audience.
E.g. a presenter on Top Gear. The effect is to make us feel involved in the programme. Models and celebrities look directly out at us in magazines, engaging in eye contact, drawing the audience into the magazine, persuading us to buy it.
d) Indirect mode of address
In many texts the audience do not expect a direct mode of address,
e.g. in a film its unusual for a character to step out of the film world and speak directly to camera.
How has Glamour magazine been constructed to appeal to its target audience? Refer to technical, visual, language and mode of address codes, as well as any links to representation, narrative and genre that you can think of.
What might you now add to your homework, comparing two texts?