Project 2: Video Literacy Narrative

Except where otherwise specified, you are not required to wait until the due date to complete and submit your work. Due dates are listed on the course calendar.


  1. Proposal
  2. Storyboard, ready for peer review
  3. First draft, ready for peer review
  4. Report
  5. Final draft, ready to be graded
  6. Explanation


This project requires you to compose a roughly 2- to 3-minute video literacy narrative wherein you tell some story about your favorite communicative mode. Return to Chapter 1 of Writer/Designer to remind yourself of how to think about the modes.

What is a literacy narrative?
A literacy narrative is a story that describes how you learned to read, write, and/or compose. This might be a story about learning to read cereal boxes, a story about learning to write plays, or a story about learning to shoot photography. Some people will want to record their memories about the bedtime stories their parents read to them, the comics they looked at in the newspaper, their first library card, or their first iPod. Others will want to tell a story about writing a memorable letter, learning how to sing, reading the Bible, publishing a 'zine,' sending an e-mail message, or becoming an expert at text messaging. Description courtesy of the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (archived site, current site is at http://www.thedaln.org/.)

Your literacy narrative should be focused on your literacy with a particular communicative mode. If your favorite mode is the linguistic, then you could tell any 2- to 3-minute story that explains to us how you became literate in some component of reading, writing, or speaking. This might be an overview of your linguistic literacy, or perhaps a small moment (such as the time your 8-year old self wrote a series of love poems to Justin Timberlake, or the way your first writing teacher made you feel horrible about your writing skills, or the way you used to hide in the closet reading Harry Potter books....).

Your audience should be able to watch your literacy narrative and learn something about you and your favorite mode.

Associated Links and Materials

Description of milestones

Milestone 1: Proposal

This is a short essay: Provide a proposal and outline for your proposed literacy narrative. The proposal should describe the topic you are addressing ("my literacy narrative will be about X") and then it should provide a description and/or outline for what your narrative will include ("in order to share my story about X, I will be doing the following...."). Submit to Blackboard under "Assignments > Project 2, milestone 1."

Milestone 2: Storyboard, ready for peer review

After (re)reading Chapter 6 and "How to Create Storyboards,” you will design your own storyboard for the video. (You can use a downloaded storyboard template from the previous link or create your own from scratch). You will be including these storyboards with your final project, so hang onto them and/or scan them asap so you have a digital copy. Follow the best practices from the readings so as to create a storyboard that helps you compose. Submit to Blackboard under "Assignments > Project 2, milestone 2."

Milestone 3: The first draft, ready for peer review

See Milestone 5 below and get as close as you can, knowing you may need to do some revisions. To make this finished draft available for peer review, upload it to the video sharing service of your choice. Upload your draft to YouTube or Vimeo (or another video sharing service). On Blackboard, submit a link to your draft video under "Assignments > Project 2, milestone 3."

Milestone 4: Report

After peer review, write up a 300-word report that details what people liked, what they wanted to see changed, and what you intend to work on for the final draft. Submit to Blackboard under "Assignments > Project 4, milestone 2."

Milestone 5: The final draft, ready to be graded.

Your final draft will be a 2- to 3-minute minute video composed in the software application of your choice. Your video can include moving images or stills (or both!). It must include sound. If you want to borrow hardware equipment, you can borrow it from USC Upstate Media Services.

Your video must tell us a story (or stories) of how you became literate with a particular communicative mode, and/or your experience with literacy in a particular mode. See "what is a literacy narrative?" at the top of this page for more information. The final video must be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo (or other video sharing site of your choice).. On Blackboard, submit a link to your final draft video.

Based on our in-class discussions, your final draft will be assessed on the following:

  1. Content: A) did you follow the assignment (tells a story about a mode, is roughly 2 to 3 minutes?) B) did your story have a beginning, middle, and end?
  2. Form: How effective is the media selected? Consider the effectiveness of such elements as

Milestone 6: Explanation

This is a short essay: Explain why you made the choices that you did. This is your chance to rhetorically analyze your own work and sell us on the fact that you used the right rhetorical strategies given the rhetorical situation. Submit to Blackboard under "Assignments > Project 2, milestone 6."

Your blog post will be assessed on the following:

  1. Content: A) Describes the rhetorical situation for the video (purpose and audience in particular), B) Describes why you used the strategies you did. Use the language of Chapter 2 ("Analyzing Multimodal Projects"), as well as anything else you think will help explain why you composed the video the way that you did.
  2. Form: A) should be roughly 600 words, B) should have an effective introduction and conclusions, C) should be cohesively organized.

Creative Commons License: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Adapted from an assignment by Kristin Arola http://arola.kuurola.com/355/fall12/project3.html