Emonstrate the major differences between documentary and reality TV programmes by comparing examples on similar subjects

Assessment Criteria

Analysis of Literature & Research

1st: Critical application of a wide range of relevant sources, well understood & fully appreciated.

2:1: High level of understanding of main sources, well summarised & used in a relevant way.

2:2: Sound understanding of the literature & a range of source material consulted.

Pass:Some evidence of reading & understanding.

Synthesis & Utilisation of Evidence

1st: Original perspective on the issues. Sets sources & view-points in context & systematically evaluates contributions. Methodological understanding & theoretical appreciation.

2:1: High level of appreciation of main issues. Ability to make appropriate critical points. Methodological awareness. Good comprehensive commentary on evidence & materials used.

2:2: Sound understanding of main issues. Methods of data collection described. Competent commentary on evidence & materials used.

Pass: Mainly descriptive & unsubstantiated points. Uncritical explanation.

Integration of Theory & Practice

1st: Locates suitable concepts & makes comprehensive, critical assessment of issues involved. Evaluates the relevant theories, ability to develop critiques of them. Coherently integrates them with practice.

2:1: Good critical commentary linking theory & practice.

2:2: Conclusions well developed & based on relevant argument & evidence.

Pass: Good use & understanding of relevant theoretical models.

Critical commentary linking theory & practice.

1st: Generally sound conclusions based on appropriate argument & evidence.

2:1: Competent use & understanding of theoretical models.

2:2: Introduction of basic concepts & effort made to relate them to the question.

Pass: Limited links between theory & practice.


1st: A clear, relevant & developed thesis statement. Consistent use of accurate constructions. Very good selection, synthesis & summary writing skills. Very well structured with clarity & cohesion. Sustained & coherently argued.

2:1: A clear & relevant thesis statement. Accurate constructions. Good selection, synthesis & summary writing skills. Well structured with clarity & cohesion. Sustained & coherently argued.

2:2: A clear thesis statement. Use of accurate constructions.
Generally sound selection, synthesis & summary writing skills. Structured with clarity & cohesion. Ability to handle argument coherently.

Pass: Sectioned information with limited coherence. Limited accuracy of construction.
Reading in course pack: Paul Ward defining documentary from Documentary: The Margins of Reality, Wallflower Press 2005 pp.6-30

Additional reading: Bill Nichols, Introduction to Documentary, Indiana Univ Press 2002

Reference about specific documentary and about reality TV prohrammes should be included

BTW: My course is documentary study, ideas of this course falls into three related groups. The first is that of truth(evidence, witnessing,ethical issue, reconstruction) : what is documentary?what are the limits to what can or should be filmed? what are the limits of construction and reconstruction, and where do they slide into dishonesty or fakery?

The second is that of our experience and expectations as audience: what kind of construction or even manipulation do we want in order to make factual footage comprehensible? can we cope with ambiguities? what do we want from photographs, moving images and recorded sounds? what happens when we see and hear exceptional or traumatic events through documentary?

The third is performance and role-playing: what happens when people know they are being filmed? what kind of performance are acceptable and even necessary? can truthfulness ever be established?