In this assignment, you will design a video proposal that explains your proposed topic for your digital encyclopedia entry. In no more than five minutes, your video will offer an overview of your topic, a brief summary of the critical conversation around your topic, a brief claim about how researchers and students might use your encyclopedia entry (what broader questions relate to your topic? How does it address broader course themes?), and an explanation of how you will complete your project (how will you manage your time? How will you and your partner share labor and communicate? What research have you conducted, and what remains to be done? What problems do you anticipate, and what strategies might help you solve them?) Your video proposal will be multimodal, incorporating all five WOVEN modes.
Your primary audience is your instructor, who you are trying to persuade that you are prepared to create a strong encyclopedia entry that will be useful for researchers and students and will present information in a professional, polished, authoritative, and objective manner. As in any academic writing, your audience needs to be convinced that you are the right person to write your encyclopedia essay, because of your capabilities in both research and time management.
In line with the Writing and Communication Program’s Learning Outcomes, this assignment will develop your skills in Critical Thinking, Process, and Modes and Media. In this assignment, you will also synthesize multiple claims and perspectives, evaluate claims and theories based on critical engagement with evidence, and assess the rhetorical situation, with a particular emphasis on audience and multimodal synergy.
You will create a video using software such as iMovie, FinalCut Pro, or PowerPoint (by recording voice narration over your presentation), and your video must be submitted in .mp4 or .mov file format. Your video can include footage of you speaking, still images or text, or footage from another source. All material from outside sources should be documented, in MLA format, in a Works Cited screen at the end of your video. You can learn more about creating videos using online tutorials accessible at http://lynda.gatech.edu. You may use the camera on your phone or computer, or you can rent cameras from the library’s gadget service http://www.library.gatech.edu/gadgets/. The multimedia studio in the library has computers with the full suite of Adobe software, including FinalCut Pro. For a brief overview of iMovie tips and ideas for designing your video, view the library guide here: http://libguides.gatech.edu/IoanesEngl1102.
This assignment is worth 200 total points and will be assessed holistically according to the Writing and Communication Program’s Evaluation Rubric. When evaluating the Proposal video, I will pay particular attention to the clarity of information you provide, the detail with which you describe your plans for completing the digital essay, and the quality of your claim about how audiences might use your encyclopedia essay. Scaffolding assignments will be evaluated based on accuracy, thoroughness, coherence to the assignment, and clarity.
- Due before class Tuesday, February 20
- Post to your group blog
- Optional: circulate to your group via Google Docs
- 30 possible points
Your proposal draft will introduce your topic by providing a concise, thorough overview of the object you will be writing about in your Digital Encyclopedia Entry. Describe the creator, the date created, major formal features and themes, and the audience for the topic. Then, describe what interests you about your topic; what major questions do you have about the meaning or impact of your topic? How does it relate to themes we have been discussing in the course? What other audiences might be interested in your topic? What do you think researchers and students can learn about slavery’s afterlives by knowing more about your topic? Finally, describe the strategies you will use to complete your project. How will you and your partner share responsibilities and communicate with each other? What steps must you take to complete your project, and when will you complete these steps? Your proposal draft should be 500-700 words, in complete, logical paragraphs with polished prose. Include an introductory and concluding paragraph. Be sure to format your Proposal Draft in MLA format and give it the title Proposal: [Your Topic]. To submit your proposal, post it on your group blog.
PEER EVALUATION: DRAFT
- Due by 11:59 pm Tuesday, February 20
- Post your Peer Evaluation as a comment on the author’s draft in your group blog
- Optional: upload a copy of your Peer Evaluation document to your group’s Google Drive folder
- 20 possible points
During an in-class workshop on Tuesday, February 20, you will discuss each proposal as a group, and then complete a Peer Evaluation document that synthesizes your comments on each draft. For each draft in your workshop group, complete the following procedure:
- First, create a drafting document that includes, in MLA format, your name, the course, the date, and the title Peer Evaluation February 20. You will use this document to write your peer evaluation of each of your group members’ drafts. (Note: this document is for your use and will not be submitted.)
- Each group member will read through the draft, making notes or in-line comments on global issues of clarity and coherence. In other words, if you have a question about what a sentence means, or how the author is supporting an assertion, or if you think of something the authors have overlooked, make a note of it, rather than asking the author(s) directly. Remember that the author(s) will be looking at these comments at a later time, so make sure they are explicit and coherent enough to be useful.
- Next, offer verbal feedback to the author(s) that focuses on each category from the Writing and Communication Evaluation Rubric. For each category, begin with positive comments, then offer suggestions for improvement. As the group offers feedback, the author(s) should take notes on their commentary.
- Rhetorical Awareness: does the proposal address an appropriate audience? Is the purpose clear and relevant? What can the author do to better reach their audience?
- Stance: does the proposal make a clear, focused argument? How well does the proposal convince you that the author will produce a professional, convincing, thorough encyclopedia entry and organize their labor to meet deadlines? What can the author do to enhance their ability to create a successful encyclopedia entry?
- Development of Ideas: how well does the proposal use evidence to support its argument? Does the proposal demonstrate thorough research and comprehension of both primary and secondary sources? Are the summaries of research cohesive and thorough? What other kinds of evidence should be incorporated into their encyclopedia essay?
- Organization: what structure or logic organizes the proposal? Do the ideas lead logically from one to the other? Where would transitions enhance clarity?
- Conventions: Does the proposal follow the guidelines of the assignment sheet? Does it follow conventions for grammar and spelling in Standard American English? Do sentences offer clear subjects and verbs? How can the author improve their paragraph- and sentence-level style in the encyclopedia essay? Anything they should watch out for as they write?
- Design for Medium: is the proposal in MLA format? Does it follow the guidelines of the assignment sheet for formatting? What suggestions do you have for images, sounds, or other multimodal elements that would enhance the final proposal video? How can the author(s) use the affordances of video to enhance their proposal?
- In your drafting document, write the title of the proposal and the authors’ names, then write a summary of at least 100 words of the feedback you gave on the proposal. Revise and polish your feedback, then post it as a comment on the author’s draft in your group blog.
Repeat this process for each proposal in your workshop group. When you have completed workshop, your group blog should include each group member’s proposal draft with peer evaluations from each other group member posted as comments. (Note: although you are working with a partner on the project, you will provide peer feedback as an individual.) You may also wish to upload a copy of your peer evaluation notes to your workshop group’s shared Google drive folder.
- Due before class Tuesday, February 27
- Post to your group blog
- Optional: circulate to your workshop group and the instructor via Google Drive (include your name and “annotated bibliography” in the file name)
- 30 possible points
After reviewing the reading on “Annotated Bibliographies” assigned for February 22, and conducting research on your topic, you and your partner will create an Annotated Bibliography that includes entries for at least eight (8) secondary sources. (You may include up to three sources from course readings.) Each entry will begin with complete MLA citation information, followed by a summary annotation of at least 200 words. Your summary annotation should include an overview of the main argument/ideas in the source, a discussion of the evidence/methodology used by the source, and a brief description of the author and her/his credentials. At least four of your sources must be academic (peer-reviewed journal articles or books published by university presses); additional sources may be interviews, web publications, or reporting (from publications like the Washington Post, the Atlantic, or the Economist) or published by trade presses (like Knopf, Penguin, etc.), but they must be evidence-based and authoritative. No more than two sentences in each annotation should be quotations from the source; most of the annotation should be in your own words. Be sure to format your Annotated Bibliography in MLA format, then submit it as a new post on your group’s blog.
PEER EVALUATION: BIBLIOGRAPHY
- Due by 11:59 pm Tuesday, February 27
- Post as a comment on the author’s Annotated Bibliography post in your group blog
- Optional: upload a copy of your Peer Evaluation document to your group’s Google Drive folder
- 20 possible points
When you meet with your workshop group on Tuesday, February 27, you will offer written feedback on each annotated bibliography in your workshop group, which you will post as a comment on your group blog. For each annotated bibliography in your workshop group, complete the following procedure:
- First, create a drafting document that includes, in MLA format, your name, the course, the date, and the title Peer Evaluation February 27. You will use this document to draft your peer evaluation of each of your group members’ annotated bibliographies (Note: this document is for planning your feedback and will not be submitted).
- Each group member will read through the bibliography, taking notes on usage, structure, and argument throughout. If you’re wondering why a source is included in the bibliography, or how it relates to the topic of the digital encyclopedia essay, make a note on your drafting document. If you find a grammatical or formatting error, make a note.
- In your peer evaluation drafting document, write the research topic of the annotated bibliography and the authors’ names, then provide your answers to the following questions, in clear, full sentences that will be useful to the authors when they revisit your comments later. Provide at least two sentences of feedback for each question, and remember that you can tell the authors why some aspect of their annotation was successful, as well as offering feedback for improvement.
- Has the author annotated at least eight (8) sources? Is there a good mix of journal articles, books, interviews, etc.?
- Is there a good mix of sources that focus directly on the research topic, and sources that focus on broader issues related to the research topic?
- What lingering questions do you have after reading through the annotations? Any related themes or concepts the author could address? Any course readings that would supplement the research topic?
- Which sources seem like they will be most important for the digital encyclopedia essay? Why?
- Is it clear how each source fits into the research project? Which ones seem like outliers?
- Are there any errors in spelling, syntax, or formatting?
To share your feedback with the authors of the Annotated Bibliography, post your feedback–in clear, polished sentences–as a comment on the Annotated Bibliography on your group’s blog. Your comment should include complete responses to each of the six questions above. Repeat this process for each annotated bibliography in your workshop group. When you have completed workshop, each Annotated Bibliography on your group blog should have comments from all the other members of your workshop group.
PROPOSAL PRESENTATION VIDEO
- Due before class on
Tuesday, March 6Update: due before class on March 13
- Upload a link to the video via Canvas Assignments
- 100 possible points
Responding to feedback from your workshop group on both your proposal draft and your annotated bibliography, as well as the readings for March 1, create a video that explains your topic, its relevance to audiences, and the research you have conducted. Be sure to address your plans for writing a successful digital encyclopedia essay. Your video should incorporate all five WOVEN modes, and should address your instructor as your primary audience: you want to convince your instructor that you will create a successful digital encyclopedia essay and enable your instructor to offer feedback on your research-in-progress. If you anticipate challenges or have questions, bring them into your proposal video! If you’re particularly excited by any aspect of your research, talk about it! Make your audience interested in your topic and excited to read your digital encyclopedia essay. Be sure to provide an overview of your topic, a brief summary of the critical conversation around your topic, a brief claim about how researchers and students might use your encyclopedia entry (what broader questions relate to your topic? How does it address broader course themes?), and an explanation of how you will complete your project (how will you manage your time? How will you and your partner share labor and communicate? What research have you conducted, and what remains to be done? What problems do you anticipate, and what strategies might help you solve them?). Your video should be no more than five minutes long.
- Due by 11:59 pm on Tuesday, March 13
- Post as a comment to blogs.iac.gatech.edu/afterlives2018 in the Blog Post for March 13
- Save a copy of your reflection as a word document and/or in Google Drive; you’ll need it when you create your Final Portfolio
Your reflection will answer the following questions in complete sentences. Each answer should be a minimum of two sentences.
- What were the main intellectual goals of the assignment? Please situate these goals in terms of the course theme and in terms of the communication skills you were to learn or practice. (You’ll be able to glean some of this information from the assignment sheet, but you should also think about what strategies or concepts you had to engage in order to complete the assignment.)
- What is your argument or purpose? What questions are you answering? What intellectual or concrete problems are you trying to solve? Why is this important? How did you make the argument or purpose visible and persuasive in your artifact?
- Who is the intended audience for your artifact; why is this an appropriate audience? (HINT: The answer to this question is never, “This artifact is designed for anyone.”) How is your choice of audience reflected in your artifact?
- What are the defining features of the genre or media that you are using in this project? How do you make use of these features? (Consider the affordances of your media and the conventions of the genre you’re working in. How does your choice of, say, a podcast instead of a video enable you to engage your audience differently? What conventions did you learn about the genre, and how did they shape your rhetorical choices?)
- How did your artifact change across each draft? What revisions did you make? Why? If you had more time for revision, what would you change and why? (Think in terms of your argument as well as the design of your artifact, and focus on how revisions would affect your engagement with your audience.)