Rhetorical Remix

For this assignment, you will create a remix of a political speech or other form of political discourse (re-editing a single video or audio file or combining samples from several video or audio files). In addition to producing the remix itself (an audio or video file between one and five minutes), you’ll also write a reflective paper.

The Remix

Most likely, your remix will pursue one or more of the following goals:

  • persuading your audience to understand the source text(s) in a new way, noticing aspects of the text(s) that are usually overlooked.
  • making the source text appealing to an audience different from the one for which it was intended.
  • offering critical commentary about a political figure or issue.

Most likely, your remix will involve use of one or more of the following strategies:

  • cutting and juxtaposing elements of audio or video files.
  • repeating elements of audio or video files.
  • layering a musical soundtrack underneath spoken words.
  • adding still images to accompany spoken words and/or music.

The final product will likely be an audio file or video file that is somewhere between one minute and five minutes long. (The format and length you use should be determined by your intended purpose and audience: video is not necessarily better than audio; longer is not necessarily better than shorter). I will encourage you to use audacity for audio editing and I will provide you with multiple options for video editing (and show you how to use these programs in class). You have the option to work in pairs of two or groups of three on this project if you wish.

Reflective Paper

In addition to composing the remix itself, you will also write a reflective paper (minimum 750 words) in which you employ rhetorical theories from ARCS (and other course readings) to analyze the process of composing the remix. Even if you compose the remix in a group, I’ll ask that you write the paper individually.

Some questions you should address in your paper include:

  • What rhetorical concepts from ARCS (or other readings) did you find helpful to you in composing your remix?
  • What rhetorical concepts from ARCS (or other course readings) did not seem to apply to remix composing? How might we need to revise rhetorical theories to account for the act of remix?
  • What did you find particularly challenging about composing the remix and why?
  • What was the purpose and audience of your remix? How did you manipulate words, images, and/or sounds to achieve this purpose?
  • What kind of process did you use to compose (invent, draft, revise) your remix? How was this process similar to and/or different from composing a conventional paper or a blog?
  • What did you learn from composing the remix?

The reflective paper must be thoughtful and carefully edited. But, it can be quite informal. You can use almost all first-person discourse. You don’t need to have a single overarching point that ties it together. You could make the paper flow as a narrative of your process or you could choose to address the above questions in sequence.

The first draft (which can be quite rough) will be due on 10/13. The final draft will be due on 10/22. You can have until 10/24 to turn in the reflective paper.


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