Research and Visual Essay


How to select a topic or theme


Write a list of words/topics that interests you



Graphic design

Design elements




Self love

Self belief 



Self doubt 

Growing up



Inner values 


Your ability


Concealing emotions



Fake emotions 

Feel good




Chick flicks

Rom coms



What questions can you think of relating to any of these words?

-What effect does design have on your emotions?

-Does watching inspirational films give you false hope?

    -False hope for the future?   -Growing up?


Film examples?

-Love, Rosie - A more realistic rom com, they marry other people, have kids with other people

-Legally Blonde

-10 things I hate about you



Does watching romance films growing up affect your beliefs as an adult?


Does watching inspirational life films growing up give you false hope for the future?



Do some more research





-Suggested reading

-Google scholar 


Non-academic sources 

-Film and TV







-Plays, theatre 


Make sure to do a bibliography - Harvard referencing



What are some unrealistic rom coms

-50 first dates 

-How to lose a guy in 10 days

-Love actually 


Don’t go into the history of romance films. Pick key moments where you think it's changed.




04/01/18 - Essay structure


3,000 words


Question - referencing - format 



Styles and conventions

Notable figures 





Break these down


Language needs to be clear and concise. Not too wordy 


Troupes? Common occurrences with the films

What do these films have in common?


Example - Early music videos 



History - 60s, 70s, 80s

Styles - Flatness, aesthetic, subjects, storyline, experimental 

Industry - companies? independent 




Visual Essay


Use images and video clips to help show your thinking idea. Visuals help you present this 

Rom coms? Everyone is beautiful which is kinda unrealistic. Visual will add to this


Fonts will matter. Think graphically about the design. Make it look interesting. 




Intro: 250-300 words

Key points: 600 words each X4

Conclusion: 250-300 words


Primary research

-Films you critique 


Secondary research







Pitch Presentation Research




As a woman, could watching romantic comedies in your youth affect your expectations for future relationships?



Why this question?

-I like romantic comedies

-I know a lot about them


What do I want to find out?

-Does it affect relationships?

-Do woman actually think men are like that in real life?


What films?

-Old and new



-10 things I hate about you

-Love Actually

-Mean Girls


-Love, Rosie

-Table 19

-Me before you

-What if



Who am I going to look at?

Bjarne. M. Holmes

Psychology program director

He’s very interested in the influence of popular media on teenagers regarding their relationships


Psychology paper was written by him and Kimberly Johnson


Media exposure to relationships


Media messages


Study Case

Will being in a relationship versus not at the time of the study moderate the influence of participants TV consumption?


123 students - 63% in relationships

2 groups - 26 men - 35 woman


They were shown separate films

-one romance film

-once family film


Manipulation condition - romantic comedies 

Control condition - family film


People who watched the rom com had a belief in romantic destiny to a greater degree than the people who watched the family film. It was the people who were in relationships that had that belief. Less satisfaction and a lower belief in romantic destiny. 





Essay Structure Plan

Films to watch:

Mean Girls

Love Actually


Romy and Michele's High School Reunion

13 Going on 30

About Time

Ten Years

Love, Rosie

Bridget Jones Diary

Two Night Stand

Notting Hill



(Research Into Richard Curtis)



Bridget Jones Diary 

-A spinster, age 32, unmarried


-Borderline alcoholic 

-Wants to lose weight as is slightly overweight


This film ignores real life. 


Is this making younger viewers think they’ll end up like Bridget if they have no men in their life? And if not, there will still be 2 men chasing after her. Even if one of them only wants sex as he knows she’s ‘easy’. 


She’s very un-Hollywood looking. Embarrassing and shameless are two words I’d use to describe her.  However, I think this is a more accurate representation of what women are like in real life. They burp and fart too. Not all women are ladylike and you don't need to be primped and proper to attract a man. You can be yourself. 



Love, Rosie

‘Good things, like dreamy boys, sometimes do come to those who wait’


The two characters are constantly missing each other. Missed chances and bad timing. 


Teenage pregnancy

Marriage with other people




Richard Curtis Troupes

- Adorable Swearing

Unconventional ways of swearing. It's not threatening - comedic. 



-Wacky sad female friends

Scarlett - Four Weddings and a Funeral

Katherine (Kit Kat) - About Time


-Bad friends

Rhys Ifans - Notting Hill

Tom - Bridget Jones Diary