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ESSAY 2 ASSIGNMENT SHEET

Podcast
6-min min, 10-min max + 500-word Reflection, double-spaced, 12-point font Calibri, Times New Roman, or Garamond
Uncut Interview Audio Due: Tuesday, Feb 14 by classtime (10:30am or 11:45am)**
Podcast 1st Draft Due: Thursday, Feb. 19 by classtime (10:30am or 11:45am)
Podcast Final Draft Due: Monday, Feb. 23 by classtime (10:30am or 11:45am)
** unless you receive special permission from me and need more time to accommodate the availability of your interviewee

Research Questions (choose one of the following, or suggest via email a different research proposal before Thurs. 2/12):
1. Should the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project be expanded to build the second half as originally promised, and
as proposed in the 80s and 90s?
2. What is the best way to use Chief Joseph and the Grand Coulee Dam in the 21st century now that fish passage is
100% blocked to the Upper Columbia? Are hatcheries a good solution?
3. What is the best compensation for indigenous people for the long history of taking what was once theirs and
failing to keep the promises the U.S. government nailed down in treaties?
4. What is the best compensation for families affected by toxic radiation releases from Hanford?
5. Should barging continue along the Lower Snake and Columbia River, or should shipping be transferred to railonly in order for the four dams along the Lower Snake to be removed?
Metacognition or thinking about your own thinking is one of the highest orders of critical thinking. Often college
students get comfortable performing the tasks their teachers ask of them (studying for tests, reading long articles,
writing term papers, etc.) and are able to go through the motions without really being aware of their own habits or
processes that have led them to be successful on these tasks in the past. Without this awareness, it becomes difficult to
recreate these same habits in future, often more difficult, coursework or to transfer what you learned in one class to
another class. Being aware of the moves of an academic writer or the habits of mind that scholars use to gain the
respect of others in an academic discourse is an invaluable take-away from English 102. This podcast assignment is
designed to promote metacognition in order for you to take the skills you learn about organization, establishing
credibility, and creating your own persona, and apply them to Essays 3 and 4 in this class.
Objective: The purpose of this assignment is to make a clear argument that answers one of the above questions. Of
course, you should interrogate the issue from many angles first and arrive at your position or stance by the end of your
podcast. For this assignment, you will be using a different medium for composition to synthesize and solidify the skills
youve learned so far this quarter (summarizing a text, introducing an authors bio, forwarding an argument /
interpretation, and analyzing passages from a text using a quote sandwich). Making a podcast instead of writing a
traditional paper helps jar you out of your comfort zone and make your more conscious (metacognitive) of the
techniques you use in composing an argument.
Audience: Your podcast is a part of a (hypothetical) longer series of episodes about the Columbia River and the effects of
progress and modernization on the Western landscape. You are introducing Blaine Harden to a listenership who may or
may not have ever heard of him. The majority of your audience has not read his book, or at least not read it recently, but
they are likely aware (however obliquely) about the issues surrounding dams, barging, irrigation, and Hanford.
Who to Interview? You should choose your interviewee wiselythey should be someone who has a personal
connection or direct experience / expertise in regards to the topic you selected. Avoid interviewing a friend, sibling,
cousin, or parent/step-parent, though interviewing grandparents, aunts and uncles, co-workers, teachers, or a person
from your community is encouraged. This interviewee should be someone you can interview in person, face-to-face, but
they dont need to have a PhD or anything like that. Someone who has direct experience with irrigation, working at the
Grand Coulee Dam or on the Wanapum dam crack, working at Hanford, for the Grant Co PUD, or someone who is a
member of the Colville Confederated Tribes would be great to interview. Stay tuned for a list of potential interviewees
and their contact info.

Minimum Requirements:
1. Use an intro that introduces who you are (use just your first name) and what the topic of your podcast will be
for that day.
2. Give a brief summary of Hardens memoir (as a whole, not just the chapter you are focusing on) in your podcast
3. Introduce Harden and give a little biographical info about his writing career (no citation necessary)
4. Incorporate a passage from the chapter you are focusing on. This passage should be fairly substantial
anywhere from one long paragraph or several short paragraphs up to one pageand should be read clearly (rerecord if needed). Alternately, you could sprinkle two or three shorter passages throughout your podcast if you
like, as long as they all come from the same chapter. Be sure to use the voice equivalent of a quote sandwich.
Give contextual info before the passage and use a follow up analysis (i.e. Here Harden is writing about ________
or In this passage Harden shows __________) to tell your listener what you were focusing on in this passage
(what you want your listener to notice about this passage).
5. Incorporate an interview with a member of your community who can weigh in on the topic you selected. Your
role throughout the interview is to be interrogative, play devils advocate, and connect what the interviewee is
saying back to the Harden text.
6. Use at least one non-talking audio clipeither music (from the Internet Archive or Jamendo) or a sound effect
or sound bite (from soundjay.com) to add texture to your podcast
7. Use an outro that wraps up all the pieces of your podcast and solidifies for your listeners what your argument is
/ what the take away message is.
Reflection. Reflection essay demonstrates critical thinking and metacognition, appropriately
reflects on the process of making a podcast and how the student sees this kind of composition
similar to writing in the traditional sense. Meets the 500 word min.
Argument. The podcast clearly answers one of the research questions and avoids waffling or giving
a pro / con (neutral) stance. Entertains potential counterarguments or skepticisms (why a person
might hold the opposite view) and responds thoroughly to these counterarguments.
Textual Analysis. The podcast incorporates a substantial passage from A River Lost and uses a
quote sandwich (sets up the quote with contextual info leading into the passage and analyzes the
passage in a way that puts that passage in conversation with something that came up in the
interview)
Balance between Interview and Your Commentary / Reaction About 50% of the podcast comes
from the interview and the host responds appropriately to the interviewee to indicate to listeners
where they agree and / or disagree with the interviewee. The other 50% incorporates info about
Blaine Harden, discussion of the selected passage, and reportage / narration from the host.
Author Bio & Interviewee Credibility. The podcast introduces Blaine Harden as the starting point
for the whole pursuit of this topic and accurately introduces who he is and what his memoir is
about. When introducing the interviewee, the host provides appropriate information about the
person they are introducing to help listeners buy into what that interviewee has to offer.
Host Persona and Playing Devils Advocate. The host develops a likeable & relatable personality by
disclosing their personal investment or stake in this issue (why they were interested in perusing
the research question) and plays devils advocate by questioning the interviewees responses
throughout the interview in a thoughtful but respectful way.
Creative and Divergent Thinking. The podcast demonstrates innovation and risk-taking. This might
include, but is not limited to: elements of personal flair, creative juxtapositions of talking and other
audio (music, sound bites, sound effects, etc.), creative interpretations of your research question,
or a unique position in response/reaction to Where Rivers Change Direction.
Audio Editing. The podcast is deftly edited, free of audio glitches, harsh transitions, or long periods
of silence. Podcast uses fading appropriately and is easy to listen to and follow what is being said.
TOTAL POINTS FOR FINAL DRAFT, Podcast

/10 points

/10 points

/5 points

/5 points

/5 points

/5 points

/5 points

/5 points
/50 points