The Survival of London’s Street Markets: A Critical Analysis in Chicago Style


My teacher asked me to rewrite the essay based on these instructions in Chicago Style.
Your script offers a good descriptive summary of street markets in London (not sure
all those you mention can be called “flea markets” though) and points at some of
the challenges for keeping them alive within the complexity of urban change. The
problem of the script is that it is excessively descriptive and does not provide
enough evidence as to how the references that you list at the end have been used
in the text. Those references should appear in the form of footnotes at relevant
points in the text; at the same time, it is not only a matter of scattering some
footnotes around but to summarise and comment on specific points that are made
in the texts. For example: what do we learn from Jan Gehl and how can that be
applied to what you can observe in a London street market?
It is important to reflect on the relation between the text and the film and how one
builds on the other – and which one builds on which, something that is not wholly
clear in your submission. Usually, a written script is turned into a film; yet you could
also do the opposite: you have some footage (the one you have produced) and you
extract a text/narrative from it. This would imply close readings of things that
happen in the film and that would also allow you to go beyond the overall feeling of
praise of every single aspect of a street market that emerges from your text: aren’t
markets also difficult places? Isn’t there any criticality to be considered? While not
having to aim for a negative viewpoint, your analysis would definitely benefit from a
more critical observation of what is in front of your camera.
You should re-work and re-submit the text (without re-working the film), which you
can do in a few different ways. One is a simple revisiting of it by means of adding
references where necessary in the text. This should be done as suggested above,
that is, not merely adding a few footnotes that provide the title of a text but
articulating some thoughts about the specific sources you are using. So, this would
imply re-writing some sections of your text to embed the sources clearly. The result
would be still within the realm of a somewhat canonical essay in terms of writing
format and style. A second way of re-working the text is to re-write it (almost)
completely by following the suggestion given above of starting from the film and
extracting observations from it (no problem if the market shown in the film is
different from the ones you are writing about: you can still find in it examples of
social practices that apply to many different locations). This would imply taking
decisions as to who is writing/speaking (a vendor, a visitor, some specific objects in
the market, etc.? You should choose one and keep it consistent) as well as trying to
write a bit differently from a canonical essay (which in part you are already doing by
using the first person).
Overall, your text is not on the edge of a low pass and for this reason, as long as
you revisit it along the lines suggested above and aim for clearer reference to the
bibliography and some more critical analysis.



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