Course Assignment and Project Timeline – The Art of Trespassing (8.1)

Inquiry through Video

The Task:

For this assignment, you will inquire into your chosen topic and present your findings on video.  Overall, the video must serve a rhetorical purpose and be directed to an audience or audiences. You can compose an informational video about your topic, or you could create an argumentative video that takes a stance and argues a position.  You can remix and edit the work of others to create the video, you can shoot and edit original images or footage that you capture with a camera, or you can do a combination of these.

The Requirements:

  • Rhetorical Purpose: your video must have a purpose or a main point.  
  • Audience: you should choose a specific audience (or audiences) for your video.  Address as specific an audience as possible.
  • Sources, Field Research, and Citation:  You should draw on a minimum of 4 outside sources to create your video, as well as your own field research (interview, observation, or survey).  You should cite all four outside sources, but as discussed in Writer/Designer, you will determine the citation format that is most appropriate for the video.  If you are using materials licensed under Creative Commons, you will need to follow the assets’ license requirements.   
  • Combination of Modes of Expression: at a minimum, your video must use one piece of music, one still image, one moving image, and some language (written or spoken).  Of course, you may use more than the minimum requirement if desired.
  • Length: to be determined by your purpose and audience.  (aim for 2-4 mins)
  • Copyright & Licensing: It will be up to you to decide whether your video will be “copyright clean” and originally created entirely by you or not.  You may also choose to license your own video through Creative Commons. Videos that are completely “copyright clean” will receive a small amount of extra credit.  
  • Publication: you are encouraged but not required to publish your video to the web through YouTube, Vimeo, or another video distribution platform.  If you do publish your video online, keep in mind copyright and licensing restrictions.


Goals, Reflection, and Assessment:

  • For this assignment, you will develop a personal rubric that will contain functional and rhetorical learning goals, along with pre-determined criteria.  
  • You will reflect in writing over your goals and revise them multiple times (in class and on WordPress).
  • I will give you feedback and your video grade based on your personal rubric and goals, your written reflections on your goals, and the appearance of the final video product.

Some Recommendations

  • If you need a video camera, make a reservation at the Student Technology Center.  The STC rents out cameras, microphones, tripods and other gear on a first come, first served basis from 9-9 M-Th and 9-5 on Fridays.  Visit their office in the basement of the Oakland Center, Room 44, or call 248-370-4832 for reservations. You can also email STC at
  • Compose and edit on your laptop if possible.  Switching computers while video editing is a giant pain, and it is easy to lose or distort data when you switch computers.  If you don’t know, find out what kind of video editing software came with your laptop (Windows Movie Maker and iMovie are the most common) and make sure it is installed and ready to go.  If your laptop does not have video editing software already installed, you can download free versions of MovieMaker and iMovie on the web. Laptops can also be checked out from the STC or the library.    
  • Store all your files in one place.  An external hard drive is best, but a flash drive with a large storage capacity (8+ GB) will do.  
  • Label Strategically: as you gather assets, label your files with author information and any Creative Commons licensing information.  


To do (sooner rather than later):

  • Think about what resources and technologies you will need and gather what you already have (cameras, storage devices, software, headphones, etc).  
  • Think about if you want to check out equipment from STC, plan ahead, and make reservations.    
  • Mess around with your video editing software.  Watch online tutorials if you need to (if you have a question, Google it).  Play with your webcam or your phone. See what you can do.