Video Essay Assignment

Purpose of the assignment:

The purpose of this assignment is to take a stance on an important issue and defend it convincingly. Instead of explaining your stance in an essay, you’ll be explaining it in an original video. This will allow you to use research as well as audial and visual elements to persuade your audience. NOTE: Your topic, stance, and references may be identical to those used in your video essay script assignment.  In fact, this is encouraged since you received feedback on your video essay script can use it to improve your original ideas!

You get to choose the format of your video:

  • You can use any format we’ve discussed in this course so far, such as digital storytelling, a format presented by a TED talk, etc. Be creative! You could have a series of images with a voice over, or simply film yourself talking.  In other words, you do not have to show your face for this presentation!
  • The format is entirely up to you, but make sure you adhere to the rubric and guidelines below as all assignments will be graded the same way

Video guidelines

  • Your video essay can only be a MAXIMUM of 5 minutes in length
  • You may choose to work with one other partner on this assignment, or complete it alone.  If you work with a partner, be sure to include both your names and student numbers on the first screen of your assignment.  Also, partner 1 must present the introduction and body paragraph 1, while partner 2 must present body paragraph 2 and the conclusion.  This will ensure both partners get practice using their presentation skills.
    • If you work alone, only include your name and student number.  Both partners will receive the same grade. 
    • Only one partner needs to upload the assignment to Blackboard, not both! If you don’t include your partner’s name by the due date, they will receive a grade of 0% (partner’s names cannot be ‘added’ after the due date).
  • Your video essay must include the proper components of an essay.  Suggestion: you may want to re-visit your video script assignment and make a script for your final video!
  • Please refer to the rubric (last page of this document) and the chart below to ensure you have all the correct components in the correct order:
IntroductionHookNarrow in scopeBackground info (terms, definitions, important events or policies, etc.)Ends with a clear thesis statement – must have 1 main argument and 2 claims
Body Paragraph 1 (Claim 1) Not sure what proper body paragraph structure is, like a topic/concluding sentence? Go back to week 7 in the weekly learning folder!Must have a clear topic sentence linking to thesis and claim 1Scholarly evidence to support claim (evidence must be verbally cited the way you would read an in-text citation (e.g. “according to Khan et al. 2012, eating 10g of chocolate or less a day can aid in digestion”)Concluding sentence linking to the thesis and claim 1
Body Paragraph 2 (Claim 2)Must have a clear topic sentence linking to thesis and claim 1Scholarly evidence to support claim (verbally cited)Concluding sentence linking to the thesis and claim 1
ConclusionThesis restated in new wordsBrief summary of what you discussed/its significance No new information presented
APA Reference Page Should be last slide of presentation, not a separate documentAt least 3 scholarly sources properly cited in APA format

What other details do I need to know?:

  • Your video cannot be longer than 5 minutes in length
  • Presentations will only be graded up until the 5:00 minute mark (except for the APA reference page, that doesn’t count!), so if you go over this additional content will not be graded.  That means if your conclusion is at 5:30, you’ll get a “0” on that part of the rubric.
  • Presentations must be uploaded via Blackboard by the due date outlined in the syllabus.   
  • Please ensure you only upload your presentation as ONE of the following acceptable formats.  If it is NOT in one of these formats I will not be able to open it and you will receive a grade of 0%:
  •       Mp4 file – Not sure how to convert your file to an mp4? There are many websites like this one where you can upload files and they will convert the file for      you:
  •       Link to YouTube video on your channel
  •       Link to Georgian College One Drive (see Blackboard for how to do this).  
  • It is your responsibility to ensure your presentation works after uploading it – if I can’t open the file or link, you will receive a grade of 0%!
  • It is your responsibility to make sure your presentation is uploaded by the due date – I recommend uploading your assignment at least an hour before the due date as it may take some time to upload/the server may be busy if your classmates try to upload all at once! If you use screencast-o-matic, you can upload the sharable link rather than the file which is faster and takes up less server space.   If your assignment is NOT uploaded by the due date, you will receive a grade of 0%!
  • It is very important that you upload your video as one continuous file rather than a bunch of voice clips on powerpoint slides (e.g. 30 seconds on slide 1, 20 on slide 2, etc. it MUST be a single continuous video!). 

What other guidelines do I need to know, regarding copyright issues?

  • You may use still shots and video or images from other sources if properly referenced
  • If you want to film a large crowd of people without focusing on any individual, you don’t need to ask permission
  • If you want to film specific individuals who can be identified, you must ask them for permission
  • If you want to film on private property, you need to ask permission
  • No filming of children is allowed (no schools, daycares, etc.)
  • Need a few great sites for getting images?,, or searching for creative commons licenses on google are a good start! This video walks you through how to search on Google:

Where can I go for help if I’ve never filmed anything before or need equipment?:

  • You can use your phone and/or personal computer for this assignment
  • Video editing software like Windows Movie Maker is often available already on your computer
  • You could also Google or YouYube “video editing software on a <insert mac or pc here>” and read an article/watch a video
  • You could also use screencast-o-matic to record your screen, which you should have a free subscription to as a Georgian student. Here’s a link to the tutorials:
  • You could use Flipgrid, which you should have a free subscription to as a Georgian student.  Here’s a link to the tutorials:
  • You could rent or borrow equipment from campus (COVID-19 restrictions pending):
    • Digital voice recorders, digital cameras and camcorders are available in Media Services – E009A (Barrie Campus); Library Commons (Orillia Campus)
    • 24 hour loan Monday – Thursday, Friday for the weekend
    • Windows Movie Maker available on public college computers
    • There are also additional stations in Media Services – E009A (Barrie); Library Commons (Orillia)
    • Stations are open library hours
    • Skilled, friendly staff are available to answer your questions and offer assistance and help between 8 and 4:30
    • Equipment and editing suites available on a first come, first served basis

Evaluation & Rubric: This presentation is worth 20% of your term grade.  I will be grading all videos according to the rubric below:

CRITERIONExcellentSatisfactoryNeeds Improvement
Introduction An effective hookNarrows the topic’s scopeExplains any relevant background information neededEnds with a clear thesis statement210
Body 1 A clear topic sentence that connects back to the claim and the thesisContains relevant evidence that is scholarly and verbally cited A clear concluding sentence that connects back to the claim and the thesis210
Body 2 A clear topic sentence that connects back to the claim and the thesisContains relevant evidence that is scholarly and verbally cited A clear concluding sentence that connects back to the claim and the thesis210
Conclusion The presenter restates their thesis in new wordsThe presenter outlines their main arguments and significance of their topicThe presenter includes no new information210
Delivery The presenter’s voice is clearAny visuals that are used enhance the presentationIf the speaker does not use visuals, they make clear eye contact throughout the presentationThe presenter is within the 5 minute timeframe If partnered, partner 1 presented the intro/body 1, and partner 2 presented body 2/conclusion  210
APA The reference slide at the end contains 3 properly formatted sourcesAll 3 sources are scholarly2  1  0  

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