Project 3

Download the assignment sheet from here (ellis-jason-eng3760-project03)or read it below.

ENG3760 Digital Storytelling

Project 3

Dr. Jason W. Ellis


For your third project in ENG3760 Digital Storytelling, you will have an opportunity to plan, design, and execute a podcast series designed in a team and an episode within your series created individually.


The podcast project is built around nonfiction stories told in each episode of your team’s podcast series. Together, you will need to plan your series theme, give your series a title, and develop other threads that connect your individual episodes into the series overall. Indvidually, you will write, record, and edit an episode of your team’s podcast series. It should be a nonfiction story with an appropriate beginning, middle, and end, and it must have some elements that are research based and some elements that are interview based (all appropriately cited, of course). Each episode requires an intro and outro, and each episode needs to use the affordances of digital sound delivery to create an engaging, interesting, and informative podcast episode.


As with our previous project, remember to consider your audience, how your audience will engage your composition, and how best to use the affordances and constraints of that medium to tell the story that you have to tell. Due to audience needs (and practical considerations for this project), your completed video must be at least 1 minute long and no more than 5 minutes long.


Let’s break down the assignment into smaller modules that reveal a methodical process of composition that will help you create the most effective digital story. To do this, the list below contains the deliverables that are due for this assignment:


  1. Planning: As a group, you will engage in a planning session involving the whiteboard. One student will serve as moderator and will be in charge of writing on the board. Together, you will discuss ideas about a theme for your podcast series, and based on your theme, you will select an informative, catchy, and engaging title for your podcast series. Then, each student will choose a topic within your overarching podcast theme to create an individual podcast episode about. The team has to help each student arrive at an episode topic that is appropriate and properly focused. With the list of episodes finalized, you will write together a single memo that gives your podcast series’ title, its theme pitch (one sentence), its theme detailed (several sentences that address its focus and audience), and descriptions of each episode (episode title and description in two sentences) along with the student responsible for the episode. Copy-and-paste this memo into a comment on OpenLab and make sure everyone in the class has a copy. (in-class Mar 9)
  2. Details: Focusing on your episode, write a memo that expands on your selected episode topic. Each podcast episode is a self-contained story that relates to the overarching theme of your podcast series. This means that you have to think about a nonfiction, true story that you can tell that has a beginning, middle, and end—introduces a problem, explores the issue, and leads to a solution or resolution. Your podcast might take the form of an interview with additional research. It might take the form of being informative and supported with research and interview quotes. Whatever form it takes, just keep in mind that it should have a story structure, be about something/someone real, and involve some research (at least one quoted source) and an interview (a full interview or a quote from interviewing someone). (in-class on Mar 14)
  3. Structure: With your story description in-hand, you will write an outline for your story first. Your outline should map out your beginning, middle, and end. What ideas need to be introduced in the beginning? What topics should be discussed in the middle? How will the problem introduced in the first part and discussed in the middle be resolved in the end? Then, use the outline to begin writing your script. Like your previous script, it should contain information in brackets about actions and details, and your dialog should be identified by who is doing the speaking. If you plan to do an interview for your podcast, you will want to structure your script around your questions for the interviewee and estimate time for the interviewee’s responses. Your research will figure into your questions, introduction, or conclusion—it depends on the story that you are trying to tell. If you are writing a traditional story supported by your research and interviewing, you will write out the dialog that will be spoken during your podcast episode. Remember to include action instructions for pauses, bridges, and intro/outro material. If you choose to use music, it must be music that you own or have the rights to (such as OpenMusic,, Free Music Archive,, or Creative Commons Search, but note license terms, and issues of fair use,  (drafts due before class on Mar 21)
  4. Execution: Before this class, you should have recorded your voice and selected any music that you want and can include in your podcast episode (you might all consider choosing similar music for the intro and outro to help connect each episode to the series, but then use your own selection of music for the episode’s content. Bring these materials to class on a flash drive or on another device, such as your phone, table, or personal laptop. We will use this class to assemble your podcast into a final version, which can be exported as an MP3 file. In addition to having the software on your flash drives and workstations to work with, I will bring my laptop to class. The goal will be to help everyone finalize his or her podcast episode and enable you each to learn how to do this kind of composition work. Should you come to class with a finalized MP3, you may move ahead to the final step of archiving your work. Rely on for help with using Audacity or another audio editing program. (in-class on Mar 23)
  5. Archiving: Create a blog post on our OpenLab site with the podcast name, episode title in quotes, and your byline (for example: PTW Podcast, “What is the Difference between Professional and Technical Writing” by Jason W. Ellis). In the body of your post, copy-and-paste the podcast series title and pitch description, and then, write your episode title and copy-and-paste your previous episode description. Upload your podcast to OpenLab (Add media) and provide a link to it. Follow those things by a horizontal line and a 250-word reflection on your process of composition, the audiences you created your podcast for, and what role collaboration played in the production of your podcast series and composition of your individual episode. Publish your blog post to complete the assignment. We will listen to the podcasts in class and then comment on each person’s podcast episode in the comments. (in-class on Mar 28)