ENGL 320 Sonic Studies Assignments

ENGL 320 Sonic Studies Assignments

The following includes a list of assignments and brief explanations. More detailed explanations will be provided in class, including grading rubrics. To access course policies, follow this link. To access the course schedule, follow this link. 

 

Assignments Grade Percentage
Assignment 1– Composing Memoirs with Sound

Students will use audio recording tools to record a “mini” album of sounds they encounter within their daily lives. After drafting a list of eight to twelve sounds that occur around them, students will record those sounds and edit them into tracks that are one to three minutes long. These tracks should be presented in an order that communicates a theme or idea, such as “sounds I hear on my way to school” or “sounds that remind me of home.” This assignment is an experiment with sound, style, genre and composition. The audio memoir should be creative and intended for a particular audience. Narration is optional but should not distract from the focus on the sounds themselves. Students will also provide a two to five-page summary of their reflections on the assignment including a script of any narration.

Assignment Objectives-

  1. Observe how sounds mediate all aspects of everyday life
  2. Use audio as a critical tool of composition while engaging questions of organization, style, audience, and representation
  3. Learn recording and editing skills
10%
Assignment 2– Peer Review of Sound Memoirs

Students will provide thoughtful responses to the work of their peers using voice-over narration to record their comments. For example, students will consider issues of meaning, audience, organization, and editing choices in addition to their thoughts on the content of their peers’ work and what they have to learn from each other. Student responses should be rhetorically sound and substantively engaging. These responses will be used for revision.

 

5%

Assignment 3– Exploring Cultural Aspects of Sound

Students will choose an issue related to sonic studies and produce an eight to ten-page research paper in conjunction with a recording of sound clips. These topics may include DJ performances, advertising, MP3, vinyl records, radio, identity, gender, etc. The recording must be at least three minutes long.

Objectives

  1. Gain in-depth knowledge of chosen issue, including how it intersects with social and cultural factors.
  2. Further explore editing tools, sound clip libraries, and organizational strategies
15%
Assignment 4– Peer Review of Research Essay

Students will review and provide thoughtful responses to essays and recordings. Student responses should be rhetorically sound and substantively engaging. All responses will be used to revise the essay.

10%
Assignment 5– Exploring Spaces and Sounds

Keeping the issue they choose for assignment three in mind, students will choose five locations throughout the city and record the sounds they hear. These locations could be restaurants, campus buildings, city hall, public libraries, or parks. Students will then compose a podcast that weaves in the sounds they recorded with their own comments. Students will be required to engage course readings while providing their own insights and opinions about the sounds they experience. This recording must be at least 10 minutes long.

15%
Assignment 6- Peer Review of Exploring Spaces and Sounds

Students will provide thoughtful responses to the work of their peers using voice-over narration to record their comments. For example, students will consider issues of meaning, audience, organization, and editing choices in addition to their thoughts on the content of their peers’ work and what they have to learn from each other. Student responses should be rhetorically sound and substantively engaging. These responses will be used for revision.

5%
Assignment 7– Digital Storytelling Project

Using a combination of sound clips, images, and text, students will create a web page that either tells a story or advances an argument about sound. Students will use material from the previous assignments to compose their project (although they are free to add new materials.) This assignment will allow students to combine media theory, sonic studies, history, and practice. This assignment must also be persuasive and tailored for a specific audience. This project will be a demonstration of students’ best work and mobilize the ideas and issues discussed in the course. All editing should be smooth and rhetorically aware and supportive of a clear narrative.

15%
Assignment 8- Peer Review of Digital Storytelling Project

Students will provide thoughtful responses to the work of their peers using voice-over narration to record their comments. For example, students will consider issues of meaning, audience, organization, and editing choices in addition to their thoughts on the content of their peers’ work and what they have to learn from each other. Student responses should be rhetorically sound and substantively engaging. These responses will be used for revision.

5%
Class Participation

This includes active participation in class discussions, reading responses, listening responses, class citizenship, etc.

20%


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