Composition Project #3.1

Project Overview

As we’ve discussed in class, transformative works are “are creative works about characters or settings created by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creators. Transformative works include but are not limited to fanfiction, fan vids, and graphics (Organization for Transformative Works). Henry Jenkins in Convergence Culture describes this as a component of “participatory culture,” or the active participation of consumers in the meaning-making and creation of media. Fan-produced transformative work is another way of interpreting the course material and interacting with that material. This can take a variety of forms depending on the aims of the transformative work produced, the rhetorical situation, and the source material.

This project is split into two separate “projects.” The requirements for the first of the two major assignments can be found below.

In this project, you will be working individually to create your own transformative work (fan media creation). In doing this, you will also pitch your work and write an accompanying analysis (project statement).


  • Craft and deliver an effective presentation (pitch and elevator speech)
  • Engage in productive processes for planning, drafting, designing, and revising
  • Produce work that is rhetorically engaging to audiences familiar with and unfamiliar with source content


The part of the project has three major components– (1) The Pitch, (2) The Creation, and (3) The Analysis.


The first task is “the pitch.” In this task, you will develop and deliver an “elevator pitch” proposal. You will choose your source material, an innovative way to create “transformative work” for that source material, and what you believe that adds to the source material. You will plan and organize your pitch, consider your delivery techniques, and present your talk to me.

You will need the following:

  1. An attention-getting opener and a smoothly integrated conclusion with a take-away. Essentially the conclusion should argue: “This is why my work matters…”
  2. Connect to the audience and make them care about your source material, your transformative work, and your ideas for approaching the project in such a way.
  3. No longer than two minutes in length.

These pitches will be delivered October 30 during class to Dr. Murdock.


The second task is “the creation,” or the fan media creation. That is, your transformative work. You will create a piece of transformative work for a source material of your choosing. All created materials must be within a PG-13 rating, limiting use of swears, violence, and sexual scenes.

You can create one of the following, or you can create your own project:

Fan Fiction

Fanfic is a form of creative writing that finds creative inspiration in a source material. It is transformative in that it often reinterprets characters, contexts, and plots of original texts. For example, what if the Avengers were high school students? What if Rey was Obi Wan Kenobi’s granddaughter? What if the Mets won the 2015 World Series? The possibilities are endless. If you choose to write fanfic for your favorite source material, there are certain requirements:

  1. Your fanfic must be at least 1,500 words in length, regardless how it is approached.
  2. Your fanfic may incorporate various types of media (such as social media genres like Reddit and Twitter [see: media fic]), but still must adhere to the 1,500 word length requirement.
  3. Your fic must adhere to the PG-13 rating requirement, limiting the use of strong language, sexual scenes, and violence. Be mindful of your audience, which extends beyond this class.
  4. You are encouraged to be creative with the genres used to tell the fanfic’s story. For example, past iterations of this project used genres such as scene analysis reports, transcripts, letters, and blog entries to tell their fic’s story.

Remember that your fanfic will still need to be exhibited at the end of the semester, so be wise in your choice of genres and exhibition. Think in terms of accessibility. How can you approach this kind of creative writing while also making it engaging for an audience “just passing by” the exhibit?

For example, the Titanic door described in class was a fanfic using an engaging way of mediating the fanfic’s story.

Fan Vid

Fan vidding is a popular form of film production that finds creative inspiration in a source material. We have watched examples of this in class. It is transformative in that it often expands on the source material through visual means. For example, what if Rock Lee and Naruto from Naruto had an all-out battle? What are the untold stories of the Tributes from the Hunger Games?What if Einstein came through the Stargate? The possibilities are endless. If you choose to produce a fan film, there are certain requirements:

  1. You fan vid (whatever form it may take) must be at least 5 minutes in length.
  2. If creating a fan film with an extended storyline, only 1 minute of the required five can originate from another source. You are required to script, produce, and edit the content you create into a final 5 minute product.
  3. Your fan film may take any approach necessary to tell the narrative you seek to convey however, it must adhere to the PG-13 rating requirement. This limits the use of strong language, sexual scenes, and violence. Be mindful of your audience, which extends beyond this class.
  4. You may approach this as a fan video (like a music video with source material sequenced to a song), but editing of this must be extensive and show distinct interplay between the music and the video sequencing.

Remember that your fanfic will still need to be exhibited at the end of the semester, so be wise in how you approach your fan film’s production. Think in terms of accessibility. Will you be able to play the sound loud enough for dialogue to be heard? Will your video’s quality be clear enough for a passing audience?

If there is another way you would like to approach this project, speak to Dr. Murdock directly regarding what would be required. This is the case for all fan games and fan art. We’ll determine this on a case-by-case basis and personalize this project to you and your goals.


The analysis is a project statement that discusses the choices made in the creation of your transformative work. The following is required:

  1. Describe the basic concepts of your transformative work. What is your source material? Why did you choose that source material? What is your transforamative work? What was your process for creating your transformative work?
  2. Explain the goals of your transformative work. Other than earning a grade, what were your goals with this transformative work?
  3. Consider: Fair Use or Not? Discuss whether your work is fair use or if you feel is does violate copyright law. Provide ample explanation, describing how your work works within or outside of the law’s purview.
  4. Place your transformative workinto conversation with our readings and in-class examples. You must cite at least two scholarly sources in this discussion.
  5. Your project statement should be at least four pagesIt should be in the most recent MLA format. It should include proper MLA citations.

Important Dates

November 1 – The Pitch – You pitch will be delivered in class to the instructor.

November 6 – Workshop 

November 8 – Peer Review 


The COMPLETE collection for Composition Project #3.1 is due by 11:59pm EST on Canvas (or, if components of the fan media are material, they must be submitted to my office by 5:00pm EST on WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 14). The collection includes the fan production (in whatever mode you have chosen) and project statement.

Richard Castle, from the television show Castle, holds up a bulletproof vest that says "writer."