School of humanities undergraduate Student Handbook 2014–2015 film studies

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Ascheid, A. 2006. ‘Safe Rebellions: Romantic Emancipation in the “Woman's Heritage Film”’, Scope: An Online Journal of Film Studies, 4> [accessed 20 September 2006]

For a single website, provide the name of the author (if there is one), the title of the site, the URL address and the date of the document or the date on which you accessed it. For example:

Roth, B. 2001. ‘Jane Austen bibliography for 2000’, at JASNA: Jane Austen> [accessed 20 September 2006]

For more details on referencing different types of on-line material, have a look at

Example of a newspaper article
Newspaper articles such as leader columns sometimes don’t have authors’ names listed. In that case you use the newspaper title instead of the author’s name.
Hensher, P. (2004) ‘There’s nothing liberal about atheism lessons’, The

Independent, 29 October, p. 41

Further Guidance on Writing Essays

Tutors are happy to advise students on the preparation of their essays and on revision for exams. They will not read full drafts of assessed essays, but they are willing to read and discuss plans or abstracts and offer advice on reading. They will offer detailed advice on how the quality of work may be improved. The following factors will be taken into account in marking:

1. Relevance

2. Analysis of primary material

3. Close-reading ability

4. Appropriate use of secondary material

5. Ability to develop and sustain a relevant argument

6. Range and use of reading

7. Relevant use of critical and linguistic terms

8. Presentation and the use of appropriate academic conventions.


During your years as a Film student you should aim to develop your skills and style as a writer. Your writing is not something you are stuck with: it’s something you can shape, model, roughen, or polish. The first task is to make sure you understand the basic structures you are using and the conventions to which you are expected to conform. You should also be prepared to spend time improving your writing by reading other writers, paying attention to their style, and by writing frequently and self-critically yourself. There are some very good books about writing university essays - sophisticated as well as sound - and time spent reading them in the early stages of your course is time well spent. A good example is James A.W. Heffernan and John E. Lincoln, Writing: A College Handbook, 4th edn (New York: W.W. Norton, 1994). This is an American book, so you cannot trust its spelling, but you should find it a helpful and liberating guide. An English (and shorter) alternative is John Peck and Martin Coyle, The Student’s Guide to Writing (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 1999). Remember that the worst student writing is bad not because it is informal, but because it is pretentious and inaccurate.

A dictionary is an essential guide to vocabulary and spelling. The Collins English Dictionary (which includes many proper names) and the Concise Oxford Dictionary are both very good value. However, if you are explaining terms in your essay you should use M.H. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms, 7th edn (London: Thomson Learning, 1998), or, for non-literary terms, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Currently this is not available through the Library website, but you should be able to access it from your local public library website with your user number and PIN.

Many students have difficulty with punctuation. R. L. Trask, The Penguin Guide to Punctuation (London: Penguin, 1997) is a clear and thoughtful introduction. Some older books are well worth consulting: Ernest Gowers, The Complete Plain Words (London: Penguin, 1973), B.A. Phythian, A Concise Dictionary of Correct English (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1979), and H.W. Fowler, Modern English Usage (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978).
Exam Preparation

Time and location of exams
The Academic Registry publishes the examination timetable on its website several weeks before the start of the examination period. It is your responsibility to check the time, date and location of your exam. Failure to attend an exam can result in failure of the exam.
Exam preparation and technique
Everyone has a different way of preparing for and sitting an exam, but here are some suggestions about revision and exam technique.

  • Make sure you know the primary texts very well. You are not permitted to take filmic texts into any examinations for Film Studies at Keele, so it is imperative that you have a good knowledge of the texts. If you have the kind of brain that easily remembers quotations, then learning a few can be useful. However, accurate knowledge of, and reference to, scenes or specific moments from the texts is also acceptable.

  • You are also strongly encouraged to make reference to critical material in your examinations. Try to read a few critical articles with the intention of making reference to them in your exam answer. If you do refer to such articles in the exam, remember to cite their authors and titles as well as their ideas.

  • Film examinations at Keele are usually two hours long and require you to write two essays. Divide up your time carefully, giving one hour to each essay.

  • Think about the essay question. Most people get poor marks in their examinations because they don’t properly answer the questions.

  • Write a plan to ensure that your essay has an argument, rather than just being a list of your thoughts. It is a good idea to spend about ten to fifteen minutes thinking about the question and working on your plan.

  • Spend about thirty-five minutes writing your essay. This will ensure that you have some extra time at the end of the exam if you need it, either to finish off an essay or to check your answers and correct them.

  • Try to write in good, grammatical sentences in clearly legible handwriting. Try not to make spelling mistakes and make sure that you know how to spell characters’ names.

  • Make sure that both your exam answers have a concluding paragraph that draws together the strands of your argument. Part of the skill of writing an exam answer is doing so in the allotted time. Adding a list of bullet points at the end of an essay to show where your argument would go if you had more time is not the way to achieve a good mark.

Chapter Three: Academic Procedures

School of Humanities Academic Procedures

Policy on plagiarism

Plagiarism is the unacknowledged reproduction of someone else’s work as your own. You are plagiarising if your source is a book, an article or a website, if you reproduce it exactly or paraphrase it, and if you reproduce large or small sections of your source. Stealing other people’s words and ideas is theft and it is cheating. It is a waste of our time and a waste of your time.

Students who are caught plagiarising will not only RECEIVE ZERO for their essays, but

will be referred to the School Academic Conduct Officer.

If you quote an author ALWAYS put the passage in quotation marks, followed by the author’s name, the date of the publication, and the page number (all in brackets after the quotation). For further details, please consult the Essay Writing section in Chapter 2.

If you get an idea from an author, make this clear by means of a bracketed acknowledgement in the text or a footnote.
Material and ideas taken from the Internet should also be acknowledged by placing the author’s name, the name of the website, and its URL in brackets after the relevant quotation or paraphrase. You should also add the date that you accessed the website.
Any student who remains unclear about what constitutes plagiarism is advised to consult either their tutor, or the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 2nd Edition (New York: MLA, 1984).
Students MUST keep a careful record of notes taken when working on an essay or assignment since tutors may ask to see them for evidence in cases of suspected plagiarism.
This section comprises part of the University’s policy on plagiarism, which can be found in the University’s Academic Regulations Handbook at:

You can also find useful advice on how to avoid it at:


Academic warnings

Attendance at, and preparation for, tutorials, seminars and lectures is compulsory, as is the completion of both informal and formal written work. Failure to attend tutorials, seminars and lectures, to adequately prepare for seminars, or to complete written work, may result in an Academic Warning.

An Academic Warning can be issued at any time. The student is given four weeks to make up lost work and perform to the satisfaction of the Director of Undergraduate Programmes. If the student does not meet the specific targets set in the warning s/he may be required to withdraw from the University. A statement of University procedures for issuing academic warnings can be found in the Academic Regulations and Guidance for Students and Staff 2014-15 at:
Failing a module
If you fail to complete your formative exercise or to submit your assessed essay you will fail your module. Usually, you will be asked to resubmit the work (often with a capped mark of 40) in order to pass the module. In some circumstances, you might be required to retake the whole module again.
If you fail an examination, you will usually be permitted to resit it at the next available opportunity. You are allowed another attempt to retake the examination.
A statement of the University’s assessment procedures, ‘General Regulations for University Examinations and Assessments’, can be found in the Academic Regulations and Guidance for Students and Staff 2014-15 at:

University Academic Procedures

If you have a complaint, do not hesitate to go to see the appropriate person connected to your programme. If the complaint is not something you think your current tutor should deal with, make an appointment with the Programme Director. Student representatives on the Staff Student Liaison Committee for your year will also take up complaints on your behalf. If you experience sexual or racial harassment, you should consult University Harassment Policy which can be found at the following link: Policy.doc.


A statement of the University appeals procedure can be found in the Academic Regulations and Guidance for Students and Staff at:

University Code of Practice for Staff and Students

The University’s Codes of Practice can be found in the Academic Regulations and Guidance for Students and Staff at:

Chapter Four: Your Feedback to Us

Student Evaluation of Learning and Teaching

Just as we assess your progress, you may assess your experience of studying Film. Modules are regularly evaluated by anonymous questionnaire towards the end of the module. The results of the evaluation are presented to the Staff-Student Liaison Committee. They are also discussed at the Film Learning and Teaching Committee which monitors and oversees the maintenance and enhancement of teaching quality. Student feedback on our courses has been both responsible and helpful in the past and we hope that you will take this matter as seriously as we do.

Staff-Student Liaison Committee

This committee meets at least once each semester. It is chaired by a student and consists of the Staff-Student liaison officer, Professor Joe Andrew, and two representatives from each year (including postgraduates) who are elected at the beginning of the session. The Students’ Union offers training for student representatives, known as STARS. See for further information. The committee’s business is to provide a forum in which formal discussion of matters of mutual concern can take place.

This is one of the places where you can bring to our attention ways in which we could improve what we offer, and we discuss with you changes that we have in mind. The Liaison Committee also receives copies of course assessment by students, for comment and discussion. Members of the committee also contact other members of their year by e-mail to gather suggestions for discussion at the meeting or to gather together opinion on particular issues. The Liaison Committee has been a significant force for good in the past, and we expect that it will continue to be so in the future.

Chapter Five: Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a unique and, for many students, life-changing experience. It is also one which can broaden your academic perspectives and improve your career prospects.

Keele has exchange arrangements with a number of overseas universities where you can study for one semester in your second year (language students have different arrangements). The list includes universities in Australia, Canada, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey and the USA. The Centre for International Exchange and Language (CIEL) website has an up-to-date list of which universities are suitable for students studying Film.

There will be a Study Abroad Fair in November 2014, and information sessions in November.
Before you can apply to study abroad you must (a) attend an information session; (b) research the universities that are most appropriate for your subject combination; and (c) complete a budgeting sheet. When you have completed these requirements you should sign up for an appointment with the Study Abroad Adviser who is, Ms Elissa Williams, Global Education Manager, International Recruitment & Development, Marketing. Appointment slots will be posted in the Walter Moberly building in mid-November. The deadline for applications will be in early January 2015 and selection will take place in February-March. You will need to be in good academic standing, and have finished all your Complementary Studies modules at the end of the first year.
For further details see the Marketing and Communications website (above) or talk to the Study Abroad Co-ordinator in Film Studies, Dr. Ceri Morgan Tel: 34076. Information files, including student questionnaires, are available for you to consult in the Resource Room in CIED (Room WM0.05, Ground Floor, Walter Moberly Building). The Resource Room is open from 9.00am - 5.00pm on weekdays. Peer advisers (students who have been abroad and now work for CIEL) will be available in the Resource Room to provide assistance from week 3.

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