Audio Project – The Public Service Announcement

Purpose This is a sequence of assignments designed to build generic and rhetorical awareness while practicing producing an audio composition. Through analyzing, creating, and distributing a Public Service Announcement based on your research, you will:  demonstrate the relevance of your research to the public by identifying stakeholders and presenting them with information and a call to action;  increase your own generic and rhetorical awareness of textual and sonic elements by examining, discussing, and selecting various options that support and enhance your project;  gain practice creating an audio project by recording, assembling, and distributing your finished product. Phase 1: Know Your Topic In groups of 3-4, explore your own research topic. Use your groupmates’ feedback along with your own research to answer the following questions: 1. What are the main concerns at stake in within conversations associated with this topic? 2. What sorts of action are people on various sides of this discussion advocating? 3. What audiences are best able to respond to those calls to action? 4. What is at stake, personally, for you regarding this topic? Phase 2: Know the Genre Listen to the sample collection of PSAs on the course website. What do you notice? Pay attention not only to the words, but also to the structure and the sounds. Notice the sequence of argumentative moves the speaker makes, and how s/he uses rhetorical appeals. Listen to the quality, tone, and pacing of the voice. Listen to the music, if applicable, and any other sonic elements. Consider how these characteristics support the message of the PSA. Take notes, and prepare to discuss these in class. Phase 3: Write a Draft Using the necessary generic elements and rhetorical moves we identify in class, write a draft of your PSA. Phase 4: Producing Your PSA Working in your groups, take turns recording each other’s text. Using the software we discuss in class, add and arrange the other sonic elements you have decided to include. Save your project and upload it to web using one of the services we discuss in class. Finally, copy and paste your PSA’s URL into the class blog. Phase 5: Explain the Process Since we are focusing on recognizing generic structure and developing rhetorical awareness, you should be able to articulate why every element in your PSA exists and how it serves your purpose. However, sometimes our inexperience with genres and technologies limits our ability to create the project we want. Write a 2-page, double-spaced reflection that describes the choices you made, why you made them, and what, if anything, you would change if you were to produce another PSA.

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