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WAB Learns

MS Writing Tools: Podcast Scripting

Tips and tools for writing in Middle School in all subjects

Process

The general steps for creating an audio project (i.g. podcast, review, audio drama, PSA) include:

  • Plan and write out a detailed script for your project
  • If applicable, craft interview questions for guests
  • Reserve equipment from the library or buy your own equipment
  • Record all original audio (your voice, cohost, guests)
  • Gather additional audio clips (sound effects, music, ambient noise)
  • Edit audio using GarageBand or Audacity
  • Store your podcast on a suitable site (OneDrive; Sharepoint; Moodle)
  • Promote your project

How to start

Planning, or pre-production, is a crucial step when creating an audio project or podcast.

1. Consider your constraints

   Be aware of your constraints, which often include:

  • The goal(s) of the assignment itself. Examine your rubric thoroughly. Understand exactly what your teacher expects from your project. This is the most important starting point.
  • A short time limit
  • The software and equipment you will be using. (For recommended gear, check out the Production section)
     

2. Brainstorming

   It can be tough to get started, especially if you have a very open-ended assignment.

  • Decide on a topic (try to pick something that interests you!) e.g. "I am interested in Indigenous people's rights."
  • Narrow your topic by generating questions or new ideas to explore. e.g. "What was the impact of the oil pipe on indigenous women?" / "What exactly is the current status of the pipeline?" 
  • Do the research. Explore news, academic journals, blogs -- whatever is appropriate for your assignment. Your research will lead to more questions to explore, and interesting new insights. 
  • Summarize what your project will do in one sentence. e.g.  "An investigative podcast speculating on the outcome for indigenous people combining excerpts from news reporting on the recent history of the Keystone Pipleine" 

3. Write a script

A script is the road map that is going to get you to your finished product. Even though the final outcome may differ significantly from your script, it will save you a lot of time and keep you focused.

The goal of scripting is to start putting together ideas for how the story of the piece will come together through its various media components (spoken words, music, etc).

  • Start with an outline.
  • Consider and decide on what types of media you will use. See the sidebar to the right to find out more about what is involved in using different media in your project.
  • Start assembling the script. Use the scripting resources to the right to find a template or format to use.

Planning

G6 Heroes Script writing

Start with a strong beginning 

  a startling statement 

  a rhetorical question 

  a quotation 

  a funny or fascinating fact 

  a dramatic opening 

Persuasive Language Ideas 

Phrases to Illustrate a Point: For instance, for example, specifically, in particular, namely, such as, like 

Phrases to Introduce an Example: For example, thus, as an example, in the instance of, in other words, to illustrate 

Phrases to Make Suggestions: To this end, keeping this in mind, for this purpose, therefore 

Phrases to Transition Between Information: Also, furthermore, additionally, besides that, equally as important, similarly, likewise, as a result, otherwise, however 

Phrases to Contrast Points: On the other hand, nevertheless, despite, in spite of, yet, conversely, instead, by the same token 

Phrases for Conclusions and Summarizing: With this in mind, as a result of, because of this, for this reason, so, due to, since, finally, in short, in conclusion 

I am certain. . . 

I’m sure that you can see that . . . 

I ask you to think about . . . 

I am writing in order to . . . 

Nevertheless . . . 

On the other hand . . . 

It has come to my attention that . . . 

Moving forward you can see . . . 

Obviously. . . 

Surely . . . 

Regardless . . . 

If [ ] were to happen, then . . . 

Although it may seem... 

Writing

Write your script:

  • Introduce yourself and the topic
  • Determine your "intros" and "outros"
  • Figure out how you will transition from one segment to the next
  • Find a structure that will enhance the story you are trying to tell
  • Determine who your audience will be
  • Determine your style:

Use a simple conversational style
Remember you are creating an AUDIO project so use simple clear sentences and try to avoid being wordy and longwinded

  • Write out each word, number, and symbol (and, if needed, add the phonetic pronunciation)
  • Watch out for awkward pauses and filler phrases ("um," "you know")
  • Use the active voice
  • Use the words "we" and "our" to build a connection with your listener(s)
  • Consider using sound effects, music, and ambient noise to add more texture to your final audio project. Plan how you will incorporate these additional sounds by including them into your script.

Script Examples