Humor as Sensemaking

Imagine you are a journalist developing a story and you’ve been told by your editor that you may cover one of three topics, using the research to add credibility to your story: Humor as Sensemaking (Bochantin Download Bochantin). Your purpose is to share unique insights into human experiences with communication about the topic you select. People should be at the heart of your story, but you should also strive to inform, raise awareness, educate, and give your readers new language or concepts to understand & analyze shared human experiences. You will write a script for a  human interest podcast story.
The goal of this assignment is to demonstrate your ability to apply concepts from communication research to new contexts or situations, and to generate your own original insights from this application. You should build your story around the findings and key concepts developed in the research you select to cover. You will receive guidance on how to write a human interest story and how to write for audio recording in your writing workshop, and we will provide several examples of human interest stories from various media for your reference.
Format: Your Human Interest Story will be written as a script/transcript for a podcast. (Optional- You can record the script into an actual podcast audio file and earn up to 5 extra credit points.  We will direct you toward some helpful tools for audio recording if you are interested in extra credit for this assignment.)
Your script should be 800-1000 words, typed in a standard 12-point font and double spaced. Include a word-count for your script, along with your name and section number, in the header of your document. Please turn this in as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file. You will be expected to include a bibliography for any references you use (including the readings), and your bibliography should conform to APA formatting. Check out this resource to learn some basics of APA.
Links to an external site.
If you choose to do a podcast for extra credit points, your audio recording can be uploaded as a .mp3 to SoundCloud and then you can copy the URL as a link in your script and also in the comments space in the digital dropbox when you upload your paper. For information about how to upload and get a link to your file in SoundCloud
 (Links to an external site.)
 please see this user manual
 (Links to an external site.)

Topic: You will select a story of a person or group of people’s experiences that connect to the topic you’ve selected to write about. Your story should not be about you or your own experiences – you are a journalist narrating someone else’s story. You are encouraged, when possible, to include sound clips or interviews to add detail and texture to your story. If you know someone who has a unique perspective about the topic you select, an experience that connects, or is an expert, feel free to interview them and weave their words into your story with quotations.
Narrative Structure:
The story should be composed of the following parts:
* A catchy headline: This is your title.
* An engaging lead: This is where you get your reader hooked into the story. Introduce your subject and the setting, and give us a glimpse of the concept. (1-2 paragraphs)
* The body of your story: This is where you develop the main content and key information that expands upon, and develops, what you begin in your lead.  (5-7 paragraphs).
* A satisfying conclusion: Your conclusion should summarize and tie up any necessary loose ends (questions asked in the article), and it should leave your readers with a lasting thought to ponder (1-2 paragraphs). Most importantly, make sure that you have clearly connected the subject & situation you chose to your broader points about emotional labor and communication.
Because this script is a podcast, you can consider ways of developing your unique voice. Your choices should be understandable to a wide audience, but they also may have a target audience in mind. Also consider points shared during writing workshops about how to write for the radio/audio mediums.
Remember that stories should contain a beginning, middle, and end. You should use vivid, descriptive language – a key idea in storytelling is ‘show, don’t tell.’ As you’re writing, think both about the particulars of the story you’re telling, and the broader insight or idea about communication and/or emotional labor that it might point us to.

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