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Research Guides@Tufts

CH-0183 Hospital Systems Video Project

Pre-Production Blueprint

Writing your Proposal

Media Project Proposal Guide

Writing a proposal can be a great way to refine the scope of your project.  The first page of this document is meant to provoke conversation amongst your group.  The second page (linked below) is a template you can use to help communicate your intentions to your classmates and professor(s). 

Purpose - Your motivation behind creating this project. 

  • What is the purpose of the podcast? Is it to inform? teach? motivate? persuade? entertain? advocate? share?
  • What essential message do you want to communicate?
  • How does this story benefit from the inclusion of media?
  • What other media has been made on this topic and how does yours differ? 

Audience - Who is this project for?

  • Who is your intended audience?
  • How will you reach this audience?
  • What prior knowledge (if any) might they have of the topic?
  • What do I want my audience to do after seeing my project? (e.g., check out a website? talk to their friend about a topic? contact their legislative representative? etc.)

Perspective - The point of view from which you will speak from

  • Who is telling your story and why?
  • From what perspective will your story be told? How does that impact the language used?
  • Is your perspective made explicit to your audience?  Why or why not?
  • Does your perspective reinforce or challenge harmful stereotypes in your field?

 

Design - How you organize and present the components of this project

  • How would you characterize the tone of your podcast? (e.g., formal/informal? upbeat?). 
  • How will the content be sequenced? (e.g., lead with problem, lead with context, chronological)
  • Who is represented in the audio and when?  Why?
  • How does your structure and organization support the purpose of your podcast?

Broad Organizational Categories

Consider how your groups perspective fits into the following categories.  How does this communication strategy help advance your argument?  What blind spots might this approach have?

  • Impartial Evaluation of Claims – evaluation of a claim, including evidence for or against a statement; can use evidence to come to a scientifically-supported conclusion (e.g. overwhelming evidence supporting climate change) or leaves it more open-ended (e.g. pros and cons of nuclear power)
  • Persuasive – clear distinction between scientific evidence and the interpretation of this evidence to support a persuasive argument
  • Advocacy – persuasion on behalf of a group of people, animals, region, etc
  • Natural History – outlining the science behind a natural phenomenon
  • Human Perspectives – environmental issues and how humans affect and are affected by these issues

Format and Script

Creating a storyboard can help you organize your ideas before you even open an editing application.  The template below will help you keep track of timing,audio cues and notes connected to each segment of your podcast. 

 

Format

There are a variety of formats your podcast can take.  Depending on your topic, your podcast might be best served picking one format or having a variety of formats to help break up distinct sections.  Consider how your format supports the information you are trying to convey.  Here are a few formats to consider:

  • Interview - Asking questions (with intention) to elicit info, experiences, emotion
  • Round Table - Group of people discuss various topics, often informally
  • Narrative - Story (fiction / non-fiction) using anecdotes and scenes exploring larger concept
  • Educational - Have specific lesson, listeners tune in to learn about a specific topic, often structured
  • Solo/Monologue - One person speaking, usually with in-depth expertise on a particular subject

 

Script

Not all podcasts require a script but having some type of structure will help your listeners understand what they are listening to and why.  Below are some structures to consider as well as a few templates on the next page.  Scripts can take many shapes and formats and they can be helpful even when recording non-vocal sounds.  You may even find that your podcast has segments that have different formats and thus different relationships to script creation. Don’t hesitate to invent a script format that works for your project! 

  • Scripted Narrative - An approach that maps out, in a very detailed fashion, the narrative arc and trajectory of the podcast (see example 3).
  • Loose Scrpt - Helpful for conversational formats, as well as approaches that focus on non-vocal sounds, outlining topics or a conversational thread (see example 1).
  • Unscripted - Being open to wandering, listening and shifting your subject based on what you encounter, doesn’t mean you can’t establish a structure during recording or editing (see example 2).
  • Non-narrated - Using sound transitions, interviews or archival clips to weave content together