Podcast Review Assignment
Podcasts have become a popular new media form with the advent of on-line
communication and portable digital devices. One can find podcasts about many and any
topic, certainly including the social sciences. Some podcasts are better than others in
terms of their engagement and entertainment value, but also their accuracy. Learning to
understand and assess their arguments is an important skill to develop.
Your task is to find a podcast episode about a social science-related topic and write a
review of it. This writing assignment is similar to an argumentative essay, but contains
some structural differences. Read the instructions below and follow the suggested
structure to help you write your review.
STEP ONE: Podcast Selection
x find a podcast series that covers social science topics, then select an episode; the
whole series does not have to be about social science, just the episode you select
o see Mr. Bowman for some suggestions, or do your own searches in iTunes or Google Play
x selection is limited to one person per episode (but not series) so book your
selection with Mr. Bowman as soon as you can
STEP TWO: Listen and Understand
x listen casually to the podcast first to understand its scope, organization, flow
x listen again and take notes about its main points, supporting examples, key lines
(quotations), etc. to break down its structure
x deǀelop a sƵmmarǇ of ƚhe podcasƚ͛s oǀerall ƚhesis and iƚs sƵpporƚing poinƚs
o use the note-taking and summary skills practiced and developed in the earlier
assignments in this course
STEP THREE: Research
x find 2 outside sources about the topic covered by the podcast
o seek academic, research-based sources
x use the information in these sources to help you on the next step
STEP FOUR: Assessment
x think about the arguments made in the podcast and the related research you did
and assess ƚhe podcasƚ͛s oǀerall accuracy
o in general, do you agree with the podcast argument? Why/why not?
o does the podcast offer detailed and relevant evidence to support its
o does the podcast use refer to or interview expert research or researchers?
are they and ƚhe podcasƚ͛s sources credible?
o is your related research generally supportive of and consistent with the
podcasƚ͛s argƵmenƚs or does it contradict them?
STEP FIVE: Writing
x use the following structure to organize and write your podcast review
x each section below can be multiple paragraphs
Introduction: hook, background information (broad topic, specific podcast in 2-3
sentences), outline of your arguments (thesis: your overall position or opinion of the
podcast, your assessment points) (¾ to 1 page, one paragraph)
Summary͗ sƵmmariǌe ƚhe podcasƚ͛s argƵmenƚs and some of its evidence; include some of
its content but focus on summarizing its overall arguments (1 page, one paragraph)
Assessment: what are your reasons or arguments for your overall position about the
podcast? Write about one paragraph for each of your supporting reasons or arguments. In
each, offer evidence to support your judgements: this will be a mix of examples from the
podcast and research from your outside sources. Aim for 2 to 3 reasons in this section. (2
to 3 pages; one paragraph per argument)
Conclusion: restate your thesis and reasons; end with a closing thought, significance,
broader importance, lesson to take away from the podcast and your assessment of it (½ to
¾ page, one paragraph)
Setup: use proper APA format to set up your paper (see the OWL Guide for instructions
- include a title page, running header, page numbers, and subheadings for each section
- double space all text; use a basic, easy-to-read font, size 11 or 12
- include in-text references of all outside research; quotations or examples drawn directly
from the podcast DO NOT need to be referenced
- include a reference list at the end: list your podcast here, along with both outside
sources used in your review
- write using formal style: third person, no contractions, formal phrasing
Submit the assignment through Turn It In. (only the essay, no drafts or notes)
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