ENG101.CV1 -- English Composition I

Prof. Eileen Joy (Fall 2006)

Group Project: Multimedia Essay

DUE: Wednesday, Dec. 13 (10:00-11:40 a.m.)

The "Truth" of War

Fig. 1. Photos from the Iraq War, copyright David Gleeson (April 2003)

The purposes of this assignment are to help you gain experience in making presentations, in working within a group situation and in exploring the effectiveness of images as a part of persuasion.

The Assignment:
Each group will be expected to present a 10- to 12-minute visual definition essay centered upon the phrase, "the truth of war." You will want to spend some time within your group discussing with each other the various texts we have encountered so far in this class (O'Brien's The Things They Carried, the films Platoon and The Fog of War, and the Vanity Fair article "Rules of Engagement"), in relation to the phrase, as well as any other knowledge you may have, collectively (from your education, experience, and popular entertainment), about war. I would also like for each group to consider, in relation to this question, at least one text you have read and discussed in the HIST111B course. Together, as a group, you need to arrive at a "working definition" of the phrase--how you would explain, together, what you think it means, or should mean (this definition can be as long or as short as you want it to be). Once you have arrived at a working definition [which is also an argument, by the way], you will want to begin thinking about different ways you might present your definition to the class in a multimedia format [through images, text, and sound].

The Presentation:
Unlike a typical presentation/speech, your group’s members will not even be required to speak if that is the direction your presentation takes (although speaking can, of course, be incorporated--that is entirely up to each group).  A multi-modal presentation is one that involves more than one method (or mode) of presentation. I do expect it to incorporate at least two of the three main modes: text [written and/or spoken], images, and sound.

Your presentation must be made using either PowerPoint or some type of video/DVD/movie-making software. Remember that creativity is always rewarded.  Consider typed words, digital photographs, hands-on interaction with the class, a slideshow with music, posters, etc.  Consider appealing to all of our senses. Pay close attention to design elements – how images and words are visually presented, how fonts are used, how sounds are used.  All of these design techniques will combine to express your abstract word through imagery. Your goal is to communicate what your group feels the phrase, "the truth of war," means.  If you have started this project with wildly disparate views, you must reconcile that disparity in some way and reach a consensus.

Some tips:
Review chapter 3 in The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing for guidance on design, font styles, etc. Arrange for plenty of meetings outside of class for this project.  I will give you some class time, but you are unlikely to earn a good grade without meeting several times on your own. Try to work out group conflicts without my influence.  Part of this assignment is to learn how to work effectively within a group situation.  A large part of your college career and your life experience after college will involve working in groups. Try your presentation on a computer or DVD or CD player (whichever you plan to use for final presentation) on campus before the day you are to present it to the class.  Check with me ahead of time about the method of presentation you want to use, so that I can have all the equipment you need in the class during the final exam period. Make sure that your presentation is saved in more than one way and place.

The Groups:

Group #1: Leslie Barton, Emily Cowell, Louie Lazarides, Scott Welzbacher, Dustin Schildknecht

Group #2: Kyle Boehme, Jon Friedrich, Christine Weeks, Sabrina Martindale

Group #3: Bryan Wilson, Andy Jones, Laura Simmons, Mallory Zimmerman

Group #4: Dawn Burnett, Amanda Hayes, Jake Rodriguez, Kyle Wiese, Mike Cornstubble