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TURB480: Housing in the United States: Final Project

Where to Start

No matter what type of final project you are going to create, you are going to develop the story you want to tell over the last few weeks of your course. These options all differ from a research paper, because they seek to engage your audience through storytelling, which is grounded in your research and knowledge.

Picking your medium

How do you decide which medium to pick? Well, here are some strengths and things to consider for each one:

  • Multi-media presentation: Are you a visual storyteller? Would what you want to discuss benefit from including graphs, photos, or video clips? Consider a multi-media project! This can range from a recorded presentation in Microsoft Power Point, to a video using Adobe Final Cut or WeVideo. In week 10 you will turn in a storyboard that outlines your ideas for each "shot" or slide.
  • Podcast episode: Do you like to discuss your ideas? Do you want to connect with the general public? Consider creating a podcast episode! This can be a simple audio recording, or include an introductory song and sound clips to make it sound like your favorite podcast. In week 10 you will turn in your podcast plan-- basically the main elements of your story and audience (you can answer the five questions from Storytelling Fellows here).
  • Written narrative: Do you love writing? Are you interested in connecting withe people through written media, newspapers, or magazines? Consider a written narrative! In week 10 you will turn in an outline.

Multi-Media Presentation

A relatively easy way to create an engaging visual presentation with a tool you are likely to be familiar with already is to use Microsoft Power Point! It entails recording narration and slide animations and then saving your presentation as a video. In contrast with recording your presentation on something like Zoom, if you make a mistake while reading your narration, you only have to re-record a small chunk at a time (a huge time-saver!).

Finding Photos and Video

Bonus: Using Video Software

Podcast Episode

Just like if you were writing a paper, when making a podcast you will want to start with an outline. Try and map out all the different pieces and the order you want to present them in. Think about the podcasts you like, or that you want to emulate. What makes them so fun to listen to? Is it they dynamic between two smart people having a conversation? Is it the way that a story unravels, or gets put together piece by piece? Think about how the story you want to tell could be presented. The links below are resources to help you through the planning process of designing your podcast episode.


Because a podcast includes music, sound clips, and music (as opposed to a simple audio recording of someone talking), you will need to edit your various audio clips. Audacity is a software that you can use to edit your podcast.

Tip: It may be tempting to assume "I can fix it in editing" if there is an annoying background noise, or you can't complete a whole monolog in one take. However, spending time on recording high quality clips is always better and easier than trying to make mediocre clips sound good in editing.

Bonus: Adding Sound Clips/Music

Sound and music are an important part of what makes podcasts so engaging. What sound clips or music could you include to amplify what you want to say? When could you use a dramatic pause, or moment of silence? This interview with NPR's composer's and producers and Radiolab talk about how they effectively use sound and music in a podcast. Don't forget that if you are not using your own sound/music recordings, that you have permission to use the clips.