The place to begin to learn about the audio essay is by listening to great examples
of the genre at This
American Life or not-as-great example I just created:
The actual process of composing an audio essay begins, as with all writing
projects, with understanding your audience and purpose and then using some
"invention techniques" (brainstorming, idea-maps, etc.) to generate possible
ideas to be developed in the piece.
For this assignment, you will be "re-mediating" (that is, creating a new
version of) one of your print essays**
**If you want to do an audio essay on a different topic, you will have to
demonstrate that you have done a good amount of research and writing before I OK
As you begin to collect
your assets, it's VITAL that you name these files well AND ALL IN THE SAME
Create a folder on your
P-drive for this project.
When saving a project,
you GO TO FILE AND SAVE PROJECT AS.
Save it into your
P-drive into the appropriate folder.
Also, if be mindful of
the size of the files. If you're going to use a small sound loop from a
song, then Import it into Audacity, select the section and go to Edit and
TRIM. Then Export as a WAV file with a name that will tell you what it is.
Then get rid of the whole song. You don't need it cluttering up your
About once a week, you
should not only save your project but also EXPORT AS WAV file and tuck that
away inside another folder on your p-drive. I suggest you saving everything
occasionally onto a flash drive. That way, you won't run the risk of losing
To record music
streaming on internet radio:
To search for snippets
of dialogue from recent movies:
Some famous speeches:
Consult these websites
for more suggestions on interviewing:
(editing it all together)
We'll have a workshop
on this. but you can check out
PODCASTING YOUR FINISHED PROJECT
You don't have to
convert your file into a podcast when you're done. But if you want to share
it with family and friends, then you have to convert it to a MP3 file (I’ll
DEMO this in the lab after Thanksgiving)
To turn in your project
for credit, all you have to do is choose EXPORT AS WAV and save onto the
destktop with your LAST NAME.
then, upload (using "SEND FILE") into the Digital
Drop Box just like you did for your football sound poem. If you wish to have
your project submitted to the Online Critograph,
let me know that in your Reflection.
Once you're done with
that, if you want to share your project with others, you will have to save
your project as a MP3 file (which can be heard on iPods). MP3 files are
smaller than WAV files.
GRADING CRITERIA for Audio Essays
Edited Print Essay 20%
Audio Essay PROCESS 60%
2. Several Progress (b)Logs: these are very short (1-2 paragraphs) that
explain what you’ve actually accomplished
Example for Nov 19
Log: I've revised my storyboard a
couple times because from the feedback I got from other people on how to
prepare my audience for my GEM. I hunted around the resource sites you gave
us and captured some sound files (1 music, 1
snippet from a film, and 1 sound effect for background). I borrowed a DAR
and captured some interview and background noise.
Example for Nov 28:
After listening to my interview, I've revised the script of my voiceover.
I've edited down the interview to just the pieces I need. I've edited down
the music to just the section I need. I'm basically ready to start mixing.
We've only got one day left, so I'm going to have to make time to come back
into the lab Thursday night.
Reflection on Audio Project (see prompts below)
Some prompts to help
you reflect on what you learned “re-mediating” your print essay as an audio
What are important differences between the composing processes of
audio and print essays?
What's the same?
Compare/contrast the "affordances" of audio vs. print essays for the
particular audience(s) you were writing for.
Do you think audio essays really "count" as compositions?
What kinds of problems did you encounter in composing your audio
essay and how did you confront them?
What kinds of “layering” of sounds, voice, music
did you find rhetorically useful for your particular PURPOSE and AUDIENCE?
2-5 minutes long
At least two layerings of sound that have
a powerful rhetorical effect on audience.
Voices are intelligible
Piece begins with a good hook
At least two effects (fade in, repeat) used for specific rhetorical
Its clear how the piece sets up the GEM(s)