Introduction to Audio Documentary

Before you get started, please read our Welcome Letter!

I. Course Info

II. Student Writing Assignment

III. Course Calendar

IV. Feedback


Course Information

Recording techniques and audio mixing on digital editing software for the production of audio (radio) documentaries.  Various approaches to audio documentary work, from the journalistic to the personal; use of fieldwork to explore cultural differences.  Stories told through audio, using National Public Radio-style form, focusing on a particular social concern such as war and peace, death and dying, civil rights.


Student Writing Assignment

Here is information about the kind of writing students will be doing in this course and the expected context for that writing. This should help both students and their readers understand the aims of this particular writing task.

Context for student writing assignment

What are students writing? Radio feature/audio essay.
For whom? People interested in audio storytelling.
Where would such writing typically be found? Duke Magazine website.
Why would someone usually read it? It will vary some with the particular projects. I imagine a generally curious audience looking to be entertained and/or informed and/or edified; the kinds of interests a listener would bring to This American Life, Radiolab, or reading a general interest magazine.


Course Calendar

Sept 21: Student-reader matches are announced.

By Sept 25: Students and readers schedule their Introductory Meeting.

By Oct 1: Introductory Meeting completed.

By Nov 9: Student sends rough but coherent draft to reader; reader gives feedback ASAP but within one week.  (Please see note on Feedback  below.)

By Dec 7 : Students and readers to meet (via webcam, skype, phone…) to discuss revisions and feedback.

Dec 10: Final essay due to professor and reader.

Note to Students: The earlier you submit the drafts the more time you will have to make use of reader feedback before turning in your work to your professor! You can also ask whether your reader will be available to give you less formal input at other points in the process, such as when you are considering options or developing particular ideas or wording.

Note to Readers: While you should provide feedback at the stages outlined above, you may also offer to give feedback  or chat informally with the student about the work in progess at other moments during the student’s work on this paper. At some point, feedback should be given either in person, webcam or phone to allow for discussion.


Feedback

Giving feedback for students in the Reader Project requires special considerations.

READERS:  Here is what we suggest you do before you look at a draft:

  1. Read our guide to giving feedback
  2. Let the student know what form of feedback you plan to use.
  3. If you choose to use our recommended form, think-aloud response, please see How to Do a Think Aloud Response before you begin. An instructional video on how to record this response is also available.
  4. If you choose not to record a Think Aloud Response, email the student and the Project Manager (readerproject@duke.edu) a copy of your written feedback.

STUDENTS:

  1. Find out whether your reader is planning on doing a “think-aloud response” for you.  If so, please read “How to Use a Think-Aloud Response: A Guide for Students.”
  2. Regardless of the type of feedback your reader provides, it is crucial that you maintain ownership of the document.  This means that you should take the reader’s comments seriously, but that you should decide on (and take responsibility for) all changes to your document.  When in doubt, ask you instructor.

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