To:              Mrs. Higher Upson

From:         Miss Little Student

Date:                    16 Feb 06

Re:              Proposal for My Academic Project

This is the information on my project that you requested. I've included a brief discussion of what I plan to include in the project, who the audience of the project will be, what my own background on the topic is, and what the final product will contain. A tentative outline concludes this memo.

Introduction to the Project Topic and Contents

I plan to create a mini-documentary of a day in the life of a college student here on campus. The project will investigate what a particular student (and that student’s friends) does on campus and what that student thinks about. This mini-documentary not only hopes to open up other students to talking about college life and what they think about their world, but it also hopes to shed light on the “mysteries” of being a college student. I plan to show that students are not just the slackers everyone thinks they are, and I plan to show that college students can critically think about the world and comment on it in their own way, even if that “way” includes slang and swearing. The project will also compare and contrast this one student with others students to the best of its ability, given the length of time allotted to this project. The equipment needed in the process will be a digital camcorder and a computer with iMovie on it. Both needs are being met by myself and/or the computer staff on campus.

Purpose of the Project

This study will be directed toward the college staff and other college students. I will try to show the college staff (including the instructor of this class) just what college students are really like, and I will try put together a good representation for the college students on this campus. My hope is that this mini-documentary will be a somewhat true representation of college students here, and they will accept the documentary as a movie about their lives. This project may spark conversations on campus as to how campus can be more inviting to students, etc.

My Background on the Project

At this point, I know how to run a digital camcorder fairly well, and I have some experience with editing using iMovie. Having already chosen the particular student I will be taping, I asked another group member to aid me in the editing process. The biggest problem I foresee is taping the student during class, taping enough footage to do the project justice, and editing the footage down into an understandable format and organization.

Personal Advantages of Completing this Project

In the past, I have always wanted to put together a documentary, but I never had time. This project will allow me to try out my skills as a “director,” “editor,” and “creator,” of a small film – something I have always wanted to do.

The End Product

What I propose to do at the end of this project, is to a) show off the final mini-documentary in class, b) have students in the class discuss the documentary afterwards, and c) have the students fill out a small survey about what they thought about the documentary (anonymously). This way, they will get to see the end product, I’ll get immediate feedback on what they thought, and I’ll have a survey to use for editing the project further and for use in my last paper in this class.

Point Breakdown

-          Presentation of mini-documentary in class (50 pts)

-          Conduct a large group discussion of the documentary (10 pts)

-          Create survey for students to take (40 pts)

-          Finalized documentary (50 pts)

Costs and Equipment

The only cost for this project will be time. So far, I am using my own digital camcorder, one of the computer labs has iMovie on their computers, and the USB device was donated to me by the group member who will be helping me edit the footage.

Tentative Schedule of the Project

Here is a tentative outline of the project; I'll keep you informed of changes in it as they occur: