Interpretation and comparison of
online digital objects
- Due Date: end of Week 4 (Sunday 31 March, before midnight.)
- Weighting: 30%
- Word count: 1,200 words (can be 10% above or below)
- Submission: Electronic copy via Portal / Moodle / turnitin
- Format: Essay or report (a word document) – (format must be acceptable to electronic copy submission via Portal / Moodle / turnitin). 11 or 12 point, 1.5 or double spacing, no larger than 40MB
- Digital Objects: Must be included in the submission, either in the text, via hyperlink or in an appendix.
- You should always read each assessment carefully to clearly understand what you are being asked to do – dissect the assessment!
- There is rarely ‘one’ reading or chapter or theory or concept that fits an assessment – you will be able to use several readings / chapters / theories / concepts
- You will need to undertake substantial scholarly research for any assessment!
- Don’t forget to check out the marking or evaluative criteria too
- Textual analysis is interpretation - multiple ‘readings’ are possible – so you need to support your reading with evidence
- Analyse, interpret and compare, don’t describe
- Define / explain / reference what the theories or techniques or concepts or conventions mean
Melbourne Institute of Business and Technology Pty Ltd trading as Deakin College CRICOS Provider Codes: Deakin College 01590J, Deakin University 00113B
Interpretation and comparison of
online digital objects
Students will be required to locate two different digital (online) objects that they believe ‘make meaning’ for them. These objects can include digital images or photographs or advertisements, academic journal articles, online newspaper articles, web pages, digital comics, social media pages, YouTube clips, film scenes, a cartoon, a Facebook page, a snapchat, etc. Any digital object is acceptable.
AVOID VIDEO material – it is often too complex and meaning rich.
Once you have located your objects you need to do 3 things:
1) Briefly explain why you chose these particular objects,
summarise the meanings you derive from the objects and concisely note the main concepts or terminology (theory) that you will use to academically interpret how these objects work to make meaning. What is it about these objects that ‘drew you in’? Embed these objects/images in your assignment as thumbnails (or include them as an appendix) so the marker can view them (3 sentences minimum).
2) Using the concepts and terminology(theory) of the unit (you MUST use the unit textbook), critically evaluate how these objects work to make meaning. You could discuss how meaning is made for you, talk about dominant-hegemonic, negotiated or oppositional/resistant reading or even ambiguity (noise / polysemy). Whatever approach you take, use the concepts / terminology / theory to interpret your meaning. A good place to start is to read through the glossary in the prescribed text. This is an academic submission and students will be expected to engage in research and to write with scholarly clarity, precision and eloquence in expression, using references to support contentions.
3) The final part of this task is to academically (briefly, approx. 300 words) compare and contrast your two objects – think about how they are different and/or the same, is one more powerful that the other? Why? Again, use the concepts and terminology of the unit (you MUST use the unit textbook) to critically compare / contrast how these objects work to make meaning (Use theory / concepts to support your comparison.)
^ This must be your own work. You are encouraged to research so that you can gather evidence or become familiar with style and so on, but be warned, if any published works are reproduced in this assignment without correct referencing you will receive a mark of zero. See details regarding plagiarism, cheating and penalties on pages 11-12 of the Unit Outline.
^ Cite all references to the textbook and any other scholarly sources throughout the submission. Provide a reference list at the end of the submission using the Harvard method (not included in the word count).
^ Writing in the first person is completely acceptable here and we encourage the use of active (rather than passive) voice.
- Ability to answer all parts of the assessment
- Comprehensive knowledge of the digital objects chosen
- Clear understanding of, and critical reflection on, relevant concepts, terms and theoretical and analytic categories (drawn from the textbook and other academic sources) to the material the student is examining, with terms precisely identified, defined and referenced using the Harvard style
- You MUST use the TEXTBOOK when completing this assessment.
- Demonstration of further reading and research, using the Deakin Library & other Academic sources.
- Clear, creative and coherent use of expression consistent with an academic style of writing
- Use of own words, with clear use of expression (language) that is easy to understand
Develop a vocabulary that acknowledges
- Portrays (is portrayed as) / depicts
- Promotes / encourages (an idea / ideology)
- You need to make a clear, coherent and consistent analysis, interpretation and comparison, you are not just exploring concepts/ theories.
- Make sure your analysis, interpretation and comparison of examples is linked to theoretical ideas in the textbook and further scholarly research.
- Ensure that all aspects of your discussion are relevant to your topic (i.e. always and only answer the ‘question’).
- You must choose the concepts / theories that you think are relevant to your response to the assessment. Be sure to keep your discussion clear and analytical (not descriptive)
o You must undertake substantial scholarly research and use theoretical ideas.
1. Use the set text (textbook);
2. Then consider the Other resources in the Unit Outline;
3. Then Deakin Library
4. Then Google Scholar
5. Avoid reliance on non-scholarly sources (such as non-refereed
The Deakin Library: http://www.deakin.edu.au/library/
o You should always expect to spend more than a few hours reading widely when preparing for an essay.
o As frustrating as it may be, you will not find something useful in every book or article you look at – such are the joys of (and the nature of) research!
Beware – start your research EARLY!
The dreaded question !!
o A common question:
‘How many sources should we use...?’
o There is no simple answer to this question
o It depends on which sources you use and how you use them
o Use the set text (textbook); then consider the Other resources in the Unit Outline; then Deakin Library; then Google Scholar; avoid reliance on non-scholarly sources (such as non-refereed websites).
o Don’t look for sources that respond to your topic exactly – you may find them!
o Focus on broad areas of research that relate to your topic and apply theoretical concepts/points from these to your example(s).
o Judging by titles is often all that’s needed to find some potentially valuable sources.
o Trying to search for extra sources by specific concepts you find in the textbook may or may not work, depending on the concept.
o Use the Unit Outline or reference list from each chapter of the textbook to find scholarly sources
Important points to remember:
, You must prioritise scholarly sources:
Books (textbooks) / eBooks / journal articles
, Use material from theorists to introduce or reinforce your
own points (or you might even refute a point that has been
, Use sources for complex concepts / ideas / definitions, not
examples (your examples and your analysis of them should
be your own).
Aside from the introduction (why you chose these particular digital objects), it is very, very difficult (actually impossible!) to academically complete a paragraph in this assessment without at least 1
Important points to remember:
, Direct quotations are very useful (and necessary), but do not use an excessive number – we need to know what you think!
, Quote directly when statements / arguments are written in a way that is unique, interesting and/or significant. , Otherwise, put the information into your own words (paraphrase).
, Whether you quote or paraphrase, you must reference specifically (i.e. with page numbers)!
, When paraphrasing always make it very clear to the reader – there must be a well-defined distinction between your thoughts & what you’ve paraphrased
, Always introduce and contextualise quotations – they must always be fitted neatly into your discussion and never simply ‘dropped in.’
, Never isolate direct quotations in their own sentences or take them out of context.
, Explain the significance of any concept / idea taken from a source to your analysis or examples. , Use ellipses (...) where needed.
, Quotations seldom speak for themselves!
You must structure your assignment using an academic essay format,
including an introduction, a body and a conclusion.
^ Development of paragraphs – you simply write in full paragraphs
(and sentences). 3 sentences minimum per paragraph
- Think carefully about how you will organise your paragraphs
- There should be a clear, logical order to the points you make.
- Each paragraph should essentially include an ‘introduction’, a ‘body’
and a ‘conclusion’
- Where possible, identify links between your main
- Connections between paragraphs (using linking sentences) are
- Keep the length of your paragraphs consistent.
^ Make sure your in-text citations and list of references are complete, accurate and consistent.
^ DO NOT list any sources that you do not use and cite throughout your essay (sources that are simply ‘added on’ cannot be considered research).
^ Cite your sources every time you use them (i.e. when summarising and paraphrasing, not just for quotations).
^ Include specific page numbers (even when paraphrasing).
^ Take care with your referencing – it’s easy marks!
^ Never leave your referencing until last – it’s too easy to make mistakes and very tiring!!
^ For the Harvard Referencing system see Deakin guide to referencing:
Make a booking at Academic Study Skills if needed.
Citing in the submission: In-text (in the essay or report or assessment) cite each author separately, for example:
^ (Chalkley 2017, p. 3) or (Brown 2017, pp. 33-34) or (Cinque 2017, p. 138) or (Hobbs 2017, pp. 76-78) or (Warren 2017, p. 99) or (Finn 2017, p. 182) – HINT: if more than 1 page, you use pp.
The Reference List (must be in alphabetical order) for example: ^ Brown, A 2017, ‘Reading Film: Techniques, Identification and Ideology’ in Communication, Digital Media and Everyday Life, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne
^ Chalkley, T 2017, ‘Introduction’ in Communication, Digital Media and Everyday Life, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne
^ Chalkley, T 2017, ‘Non-verbal Communication’ in Communication, Digital Media and Everyday Life, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne
^ Warren, B 2017, ‘Postmodernism: Why Should I Care?’ in Communication, Digital Media and Everyday Life, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne
North by Northwest has a convoluted plot that involves two major lines of action (Bordwell & Thompson 2013, pp. 403-4). The two lines of action, spy-chase and romantic, intersect and diverge, to create a series of miss-adventures, misnomers and mistakes, leading to a climactic scene on a famous American icon (O’Shaughnessey & Stadler 2008, p. 140). This brief synopsis encapsulates the simplicity of the premise (mistaken identity); a simplicity that belies a narrative (Brown 2017, pp. 3334) inter-woven with multiple plot lines and driven by attention to the tiniest element.
In his article on information and knowledge in the age of electronic communication, Subbiah Arunachalam examines several communication technologies and their roles within society, observing that the rise of “a vast and growing global network” has meant that “the world is fast becoming borderless” (1999, p. 466). In this sense, digitised communications media can be argued to enhance people’s capacity to produce and distribute information over great distances. This can be seen in Deakin University’s use of i-Lectures, where physical transport for work and education has the potential to be superseded by time and space-binding online innovation. The concept of the ‘global village’ involves communications technologies gathering people together to send and receive messages, although message transfer within McLuhan’s paradigm involves minimal social presence or personal contact (Ruben and Stewart 1998, pp. 205-6). Therefore, the creation and adoption of i-Lectures reveals that McLuhan’s ‘global village’ has been realised to a certain extent.
Globalisation is a much disputed topic or theory that has come under great academic scrutiny in recent years. Singer (2002 p. 27) suggests that it is simply “one world”, but I suggest that the simplicity of this definition places limitations on any analysis. Birch, Schirato and Srivastava (2001, pp. 42-43) are more expansive, arguing that globalisation is about the physical flows, cultural flows, information flows, capital flows and the flow of ideas. This essay will...
Maintain a scholarly expression throughout
Do not join words like ‘don’t’, it’s – write ‘do not’,
Your academic writing is something that will
develop with time.
We do not expect perfection, but extra effort really
pays off (and it clearly shows when it is not
Make a booking at Academic Study Skills if needed.
Upon writing the conclusion, re-read the assessment – did you follow what you set out to do? If yes, (or no), always re-write the introduction & double–check for errors – you do not want to get off to a bad start!
^ If you’re not sure about a word, look it up or leave it out.
^ Use spell check, but don’t rely on this alone!
^ Proofread a hard copy.
^ Proofread aloud.
^ Leave your work aside for a few days ant come back to it with
^ Get someone else to look over your work.
Make a booking at Academic Study Skills if needed.
i, Present the electronic submission as a word-processed document, one and a half or double-spaced. Use Arial or Times Roman, 11 or 12 point for the body of the text.
i, Set the top, bottom, left and right margins to be 25 mm wide to allow for comment.
i, Include a header on each page that includes your name, student number and unit code. Include a footer on each page that includes the assignment name, page numbers and submission date.
i, The assessment MUST be submitted as one (1) word document on the due date, via electronic submission (without a cover sheet), in the drop-box, on the Portal/Moodle. Penalties will apply if it is not submitted on-time.
i, Provide a reference list at the end of the assessment using the Harvard method
An important purpose of the reference list is to enable readers to locate sources. Therefore details must be correct and complete. Each in-text citation and the related reference list entry should be identical in spelling and year.
Points to note:
• The reference list should contain all the works cited in the paper and no works that are not cited.
• A work is listed only once in the reference list, regardless of how many times it is cited in text.
i, Electronic (Internet) citations must be referenced by: author, date of original publication, Title, name of organisation or person responsible for site, date of access and URL (in-text citations must include exact page numbers.)
i, Journal article citations (unless sourced directly from the library) must be referenced by: author, date of original publication, Title, name of organisation or person responsible for site, date of access and URL (in-text citations must include exact page numbers.)
i, Works should be listed in alphabetical order by family name of author or name of organisation. Numbers and subheadings are not used.
i, A work with no author is ordered alphabetically according to the first major word of the title (disregarding a, an or the at the beginning of the title).
i, Full bibliographic details, that is, the key elements of a work, should be provided.
i, The state or country should be provided for a relatively unknown place of publication or production.
Brown, A 2014 ‘Narrative, Communication Tools and Making Meaning: Tell Me a Story’ in Communication, New Media and Everyday Life, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne
Burdess, N 2007, Good study, Pearson Education, Sydney.
The Cancer Council Australia 2007, National cancer prevention policy 2007–09, The Cancer Council Australia, retrieved 26 August 2010,
Chalkley, T 2014 ‘Introduction’ in Communication, New Media and Everyday Life, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne
Cotterall, S & Cohen, R 2003, ‘Scaffolding for second language writers: producing an academic essay’, ELT Journal, vol. 57, no. 2, pp. 158–66.
Hindsight 2006, radio program, ABC National Radio, Melbourne, 31 August.
HREOC – see Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission 1997, Bringing them home: report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families, HREOC, Sydney.
Priest, A 2007, ‘Expression of the interesting’, The Australian, 10 October, p. 34, retrieved 29 April 2008, Newsbank database.
Richardson, JS 2004, ‘Content area literacy lessons go high tech’, Reading Online, vol. 8, no. 1, retrieved 1 August 2004, http://www.readingonline.org/articles/art_index.asp?HREF=/articles/Richardson .
Roberts, GE 2004, ‘Municipal government benefits, practices and personnel outcomes: results from a national survey’, Public Personnel Management, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 1–22, retrieved 18 July 2004, Business Source Premier database.
Warren, B 2014 ‘Postmodernism: Why Should I Care?’ in Communication, New Media and Everyday Life, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne
Watts, M 2006, ‘Team term papers and presentations’, in WE Becker, M Watts & SR Becker (eds.), Teaching economics: more alternatives to chalk and talk, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, pp. 151–70.
Frequent Mistakes / FAQ’s:
k Mistake: Students describe the object rather than evaluating how
it makes meaning
k Mistake: Students evaluate the object without clear academic
reference to concepts and terminology of the unit
k Mistake: Students do not use the prescribed (set) textbook
k Mistake: Students do not display further academic or scholarly
reading and research
k Mistake: Students do not address all parts of the assessment
k FAQ: Do I have to ‘include’ the objects? Yes
k FAQ: Do I have to reference? Yes
k FAQ: Do I need a Reference List? Yes. Is it part of the word count?
You MUST (academically) define / explain / and reference (Harvard style) all theory used or alluded to. Please reference!