Composition Project #1

Project Overview

A podcast is a genre of informatory narrative that is broadcasted aurally, bringing together multiple sounds and text for the purpose of posing some kind of social or cultural critique. You will be supplied a list of “starting point” topics from which you can choose, or your group can petition the instructor for a self-proposed topic. The project requires that you create a podcast episode. In order to format, discuss, and engage your chosen topic, you will need to conduct research to help you narrow your ideas to a specific topic on which you will become “experts.” The podcast episode will be 8-10 minutes in length, incorporating both spoken word, sounds, and music.  You will provide a collaboratively-written project statement.


  • Develop your collaborative skills in a group environment, working together to create a cohesive and rhetorically unified podcast
  • Cultivate your ability to recognize and utilize the WOVEN modes – this project emphasizes all modes, particularly the oral, written, visual, and electronic
  • Advance your critical thinking by seeking out sources that directly engage your chosen topic

Group Contract (20 points)

You will come to agreements during the January 18 class period. Over the weekend, you will draft the contract to a cohesive document that lists the agreed upon conduct guidelines regarding communication, meetings, conduct, conflict, and deadlines. This document should appear professional in tone and visuality. You will sign and submit one copy of this group project on Tuesday, January 23.


This project has two major components — (1) Podcast and (2) Project Statement.

Podcast (100 points)

  1. Choose a topic from column one and a topic from column two and blend the two together to create a research question. This research question will guide the production of the podcast. This will be submitted to Dr. Murdock via email. Click here for more information.
  2. Decide on the specific audience of your podcast.
  3. This will be submitted as one finalized file, but that file will incorporate many aural elements from various sources. This podcast will mimic the from of podcasts you may have heard on the radio or on any podcasting platform.
  4. The audio file should be legible — your audience should not have difficulty hearing any details in the podcast.
  5. All projects must be self-created. It must be clear how you have added your source materials and you cannot “edit in” an interview to eat up play time.
  6. 8-10 minutes in length
  7. File type required: MP4
  8. File name required: “Group Name. Section #. Podcast Final”
  9. Finally, you should supply a script (including aural elements noted) along with your podcast. Make this script look professional and polished by using serif fonts and proper spacing to make the text legible.

Project Statement (50 points)

  1. Describe the basic concepts of your podcast. Who is your audience? What is the main topic you are discussing? Did you utilize different sound elements? Do you tell a cohesive and researched story/narrative?
  2. Explain the goals of your podcast.
  3. Place your podcast  into conversation with our readings, discussions, and examples.
  4. Consider your own critical inquiry. How and where did you seek sources? Were those sources reliable?
  5. Your project statement should be at least 1000-1500 words. Anything less than the required word count will receive a failing grade. Your group should choose one citation style and use throughout your documents. You will tell me ahead of time what the citation style will be. The statement should be collaboratively written through Google Docs, or through whatever means you choose to collaborate.

Points Breakdown

This project is worth 150 points, or 15% of your final grade. It is a group grade for the listed components, meaning that barring negative group reports, all members will receive the same grade.

Group Work

You will need to meet with your group more than once to discuss and work on the project. You should delegate responsibilities among your group members, being sure that everyone is committing equal amounts of time and effort to their portions of the project. No one person should be completing more than their share of the work. Consider using Skype, Google Hangouts, or GroupMe for meetings if you cannot work out a time when you can all meet in person.

Each group member must contribute equally to the project, but you can do so in different ways. For example, if two of you conduct the research, they might discuss the theoretical underpinnings of your topic, while two others contribute other sections of the recording.

Audio-Editing Tutorials

On Tuesday, January 23, we will have an in-class audio editing tutorial with Charlie Bennett, who has experience making podcasts himself, and requires his students to create podcasts as well. Before that date, I highly recommend that you download Audacity and play around with the software using any audio file you choose.

You can find a tutorial for Audacity at

If you go to and then search for “Audacity” on this site, you can also find in-depth video tutorials about this software.

Using CATME to Rate Group Members

In order to grade you with regard to your contributions to the group, I have generated a CATME survey called “Team Member Evaluation.” You will rate other team members and also yourself and submit this survey electronically.

The survey will open on Friday, February 16 and you MUST complete it no later than Tuesday, February 20. CATME will likely email you when the survey opens (and you must go to to complete it).

Before completing the survey, CATME might first make you go through an activity of rating fictional team members (to better calibrate your results).

Important Dates

January 23 – Group contract due during class.
January 25 – Discussion question due at the end of class through email.
January 30 – Script draft (voice) due for in-class workshop.
February 6-8 – Group conferences, class cancelled. See schedule.
February 13 – Peer Review, bring full draft of project statement to class for in-class workshop.
February 16 – Project due by midnight through Canvas.