How to write a home exam

How to write a home exam
Announcement of exam question
• It will be announced on the webpage for the
course on April 7, and will also be available in
paper format in the expedition.
Handing in your exam
• Hand it in at the institute, in the expedition,
between 12 and 2 pm.
• Do not sign the paper with your name
• You will get a number for anonymous
evaluation. You should write this down.
• You will sign a declaration against cheating.
Exam results
• The results will be published at IMK, usually in
the expedition area. Look up your own
evaluation number, the one you received
when handing in the exam.
• The results will also eventually be found at
What is expected?
• Generally, when writing academically you are
expected to show knowledge, skills and the ability
to think for yourself. (In your masters’ thesis you
also show ability to perform a piece of scientific
• You are neither expected to show off as much
theory as possible nor to produce original
research. You are expected to show understanding
of the course material and the ability to use it.
Preparing yourself
• Try to find examples all around you, follow the news.
Use this to make the material ”ferment” in your mind.
• Look at the curriculum at least for a short time every
day. You should also do this from now on to start
• Go through lecture notes
• Read one book thoroughly. Use the rest of the
curriculum as ”case studies”. This is, however, not
relevant advice for this course since the curriculum is
so short.
• Find some key concepts. Set them down, try to arrange
the rest of the information around them
1. The question
Typical questions:
• Give one or more examples of x, using
theories from the curriculum.
• Discuss x in the light of theory y
• Discuss the statement x, using examples from
your own country or other countries (i.e. Does
globalisation lead to homogenisation or
glocalization of media content)
Some examples (from other
• The role of the media as interpretor of political
issues and processes is increasingly central.
The term ”interpretation frame” is central in
relation to the media’s presentation of news
stories and political messages. Discuss this
term using media scientific theory and show
how it may be used in analysing the
Yssen/Valla case. (JOUR4428)
• Explain the key features behind the notion ”the
marketplace of ideas”. What kind of free
speech rationale would you say is prominent
within this way of arguing for unrestricted
speech? Provide a criticism of this view with
reference to relevant course literature.
• (JOUR4430)
• The five large regional papers entered into
fusion negotiations this summer to join in a
common conglomerate. Discuss the plans in
light of the following question: Which
economical strategies may be behind the
plans? What may be the consequences for
media pluralism? To what extent do you think
it might affect the journalism of the
newspapers? (MEVIT1310)
• a) Give one example of how globalisation
leads to local transformations. Present the
example briefly.
b) Give theoretical reasons or explanations of
the roles of the media in your case.
So, where do we start?
• Make sure you understand what is meant by the
question (there will usually be a meeting with the
teacher during the first day to clarify things)
• Look at the question, if necessarily subdivide it
• Brainstorming
• Discuss with others
• Read what is said in encyclopedias etc. to get an allround image. Wikipedia is recommended although it is
not accepted as a source at UIO
• Skim through books and articles
• If necessary, use BIBSYS to find more literature
• Associate freely. Write down all ideas. Do not
criticize or value them as yet, this will limit
your creative process. Finding and estimating
ideas are two different processes!
• When you are done, go through the ideas.
• Three days is a short time. Get started
• Different working habits and preferences
• Trouble with getting started: Go back to
brainstorming, associating around topic.
• Read, read and reread. Suddenly you will find
something that sets you on the right track
• Set some time limits for yourself.
Disposition pt. 1
• If the question is subdivided, start with the first
underquestion, then move to the second.
• If the question includes the word ”discuss” it
means ”discuss it with yourself”. Put theories
and examples against each other. Pro et con.
Ideally you should be able to argument for
both sides.
• Examples should be relevant and illustrate a
Disposition pt. 2
• Start with the question
• Define what needs to be defined
• What theories do you intend to use in your
• The main text, where you answer the questions
using examples from the curriculum and
• A conclusion where you try to summarise your
Formal requirements
10 pages
12 point
1,5 distance between lines
Remember to sign the declaration regarding
cheating etc.
Sources and quotes
• When quoting or referring, the source must be
given, including the correct page
• This also applies to indirect quotations or
• All direct quotations must be correct
• Refer like this: (Hallin/Mancini 2004:145)
• If there are multiple authors, ie more than two:
(Mancini et al:152).
• If you quote or refer an article: (Drury, in
Anderson/ Ward 2007: 192)
• Belongs at the end of your exam
• All books referred to or used should be listed
• Author, title, publisher, place and year (ie:
DeBurgh, Hugo (ed.): Making Journalists.
Routledge. London, 2005
If it is an article:
Weaver, David H.: Who are journalists? In
DeBurgh, Hugo (ed.): Making Journalists.
Routledge. London, 2005
Referring webpages
• Be careful in using these as sources (Wikipedia
is not accepted)
• List webpages like this: Faerseth, John: How
to write a perfect home exam, 2007 (Accessed
Good luck!