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Spring 2010

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WRRH205:  Rhetorical Bytes

Digital Rhetorics & Writing With New Technologies

By this time in the semester, you should have a thorough understanding of notions of hybrid literacy and the merging of visual and verbal texts.  For this assignment, we will be moving into another form of hybrid literacy, that of the audio podcast. 

Kress argues, “In [this] new communicational world, there are now choices about how what is to be represented should be represented:  in what mode, in what genre, in what ensembles of modes and genres, and on what occasions.  These were not decisions open to students (or teachers or textbook makers) some twenty years earlier.  Of course, with all this go questions not only of the potentials of the resources, but also of the new possibilities of arrangements, the new grammars of multimodal texts” (49).

As a multimodal text, a podcast will enable you to explore new ways of making rhetorical choices to reach new audiences.  This project will challenge you to incorporate a variety of ways using ethos, pathos and logos and most likely redefine how you perceive the purpose of a text.

For this assignment, you should not simply aim to record sounds for an end result.  Rather, you should use your podcast to tell a story, make meaning, create a commentary, and relay a narrative.  You should use this project to offer insight into a topic of interest that you want to share with an audience.  Your goal is to connect with your audience and have them reflect on what it is they hear.

Your podcast should follow the conventions of the essay genre with an introduction and conclusion.  You should aim to make claims, think critically and support your arguments.  You should also have a clear thesis that is evident to your audience.

Because of the many parts that are involved in drafting, researching and producing the podcast, you will work in groups of 2 or 3 for this assignment.  The first week of this project will be focused on getting your groups organized and choosing a topic of research.

Your group should aim for a 3-5 minutes sound recording that incorporates music or other aural elements in addition to the spoken word.  The topic for your podcast is open; I want you and your group members to be as creative as possible and to consider researching a subject that is of interest for all involved.

The second week of this project will focus on learning Garage Band and how to capture sound using digital recording equipment.  Members of IT will be in class to teach us the software and how to organize production information.  All recording will take place with the cooperation of IT during pre-arranged sign-up times and through the third week of the assignment when we shift into production scheduling.

Information to get you organized:

Your podcast should include an introduction that sets up your narrative and prepares the audience for what is to come.  This is a reflective frame for your project—some way of helping listeners understand what they are hearing, why it is significant, and what you are trying to convey.

The more podcasts you listen to the better you will become at understanding the structure of a podcast, its similarities and differences to a traditional text essay.  I will supply you with numerous links to examples of podcasts in varying lengths with a variety of purposes. 

Remember, this is your chance to be creative in a modality other than verbal / alphabetic writing.  This project should be meaningful and exhibit your ability to adapt material to a new format.


Script:  Friday, March 5, emailed by midnight

Podcast:  Monday, March 12 with electronic copy of podcast

Digital Storytelling StoryboardingPodcast_Project_files/audioessaystoryboard.pdfshapeimage_9_link_0
Group Project Tips for College StudentsPodcast_Project_files/GroupProjectTips.pdfshapeimage_10_link_0
Garage Band BasicsPodcast_Project_files/audioessay_garageband.pdfshapeimage_11_link_0