Writing with Sound Advanced Exposition

“The voice, in relation to silence, is like writing (in the graphic sense) on blank paper” -Roland Barthes

Complete syllabus

Course Description

We use expository writing techniques on a daily basis: we compare and contrast different ideas, we link causes to effects, and we describe problems and offer solutions. Such organizational choices are rhetorical; we choose certain expository frameworks over others in order to persuade our audiences to view a situation or concept in a particular way. However, the media and genres of expository writing are beginning to change. Specifically, this course focuses on the phenomenon of “podcasting” as an emerging genre of expository writing.

Course texts discuss the rhetorical affordances of writing with sound. Course assignments provide students with opportunities to demonstrate expository writing techniques through both print and sound-based media. In this class, students learn how to analyze and produce podcast episodes. Students design and plan a podcast early in the semester and then turn in individual episodes throughout the remainder of the class.

Course Materials

Course Outcomes

By the end of the course, students enrolled in ENC 3310 should be able to:

  • Identify expository writing techniques in print and aural media
  • Analyze the genres of podcasting
  • Write and produce a podcast
  • Write in a variety of expository styles
  • Adapt writing for different genres of sound-based media
  • Critique and revise audio texts

Major Assignments

Analyze a Podcast

Students will subscribe to one of the podcasts listed on the podcast analysis detailed assignment description and write an essay analyzing how the podcaster(s) uses audio to tell a story, explore an idea, provide information, and/or to persuade an audience. Your analysis can either be about a particular episode of the podcast or a technique you have observed throughout several different episodes.

Design a Podcast

Students will write a proposal for a podcast of their choosing. The proposal should include 1) a title, logo, and tagline for the podcast, 2) a survey of similar podcasts in your topic area and how your podcast is different, 3) a brief overview of the podcast including description of its format and ideas for specific episodes.

Create a Podcast

Students will create four episodes of a podcast related to a topic of their choosing. Although students can make their podcast about any topic, each episode will follow a different format based on that week’s lesson: Ep. 1 Narration, Ep. 2: Voxpop, Ep. 3: Interviewing, Ep. 4 Freestyle

Unit 2 - Planning a Podcast

M (7/3)

T (7/4)

  • No Class, Fourth of July

W (7/5)

Th (7/6)

F (7/7)

  • DUE BY START OF CLASS: Podcast Proposal

Unit 3 - Narrating Podcasts

M (7/10)

T (7/11)

W (7/12)

  • "Out on the Wire" (selections)
  • DUE BY START OF CLASS: Detailed script

Th (7/13)

  • DUE BY START OF CLASS: Narrated portion of podcast

F (7/14)

  • DUE ONE HOUR BEFORE CLASS: Podcast episode #1 - Final

Unit 4 - Audio Verité

M (7/17)

T (7/18)

W (7/19)

  • DUE BY START OF CLASS: Raw audio of voxpop/uninvited interview

Th (7/20)

  • "Out on the Wire" (selections)

F (7/21)

  • DUE ONE HOUR BEFORE CLASS: Podcast episode #2

Unit 5 - Conducting Interviews

M (7/24)

T (7/25)

W (7/26)

  • DUE BY START OF CLASS: Raw audio of interview

Th (7/27)

  • "Out on the Wire" (selections)

F (7/28)

  • DUE ONE HOUR BEFORE CLASS: Podcast episode #3

Unit 6 - Freestyle

M (7/31)

T (8/1)

W (8/2)

Th (8/3)

F (8/4)

  • DUE ONE HOUR BEFORE CLASS: Podcast episode #4
Created By
Jacob Greene


Created with images by Pexels - "headphone headphones listening music" • Unsplash - "microphone boy studio" • Janitors - "Overcast podcast app" • StartupStockPhotos - "startup start-up notebooks" • Pexels - "audio classic gold" • ralphbijker - "Mic on Boom Arm" • daoro - "Wallphone" • adactio - "Narrative frameworks as Oblique Strategies."

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