I created this 8-minute video to imitate filmmaker John August's scriptcasts on his personal blog. I wanted to see if his scriptcast idea could work for more mundane writing tasks. For instance, could someone like me, with modest technological know-how, use the same software and create a lesson that might be useful for students in college or graduate school?
In the following video, I show my UPenn students how to use in-text quotations in the context of APA-style. There are several videos on YouTube that demonstrate the general format of APA-style, like how to compose a title page or a bibliography, but I couldn't find any that explicitly addressed how to erect an idea out of the brick-and-mortar of another writer's words, and still get the formatting right.
Eventually, we will have wildly popular writers like Stephen King and David McCullough "unpacking" their writing process in digital format, thereby puncturing a sizable hole in that elusive black box known as the writer's craft.
This new way of using technology to demonstrate the writing process1 may not turn good writers into great writers. But lessons like these may help mediocre-to-good writers become very competent, even accomplished writers. All it takes is an Internet connection and a little determination.
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