Research Resources

Sneaky Google Research Tricks

The SMELL Test – Distinguish Between Fact and Fiction Online

PARCA (or “CRAAP”) Test for Evaluating Sources

Research Techniques– William Cronon

This is an excellent site by a professor at our very own university. It outlines ways of narrowing research questions, evaluating historical sources, interview strategies, and a number of other issues relevant to the composition process.

The section on Research Questions is an especially useful for students in E100 and 201.

Avoiding Bias – Walden Writing Center

TED Talk: “How To Use Experts–And When Not To”

TED Talk: Eli Pariser–“Beware Online Filter Bubbles”

Media / Genre Reflections

Neil deGrasse Tyson Deconstructs the Soundbite

The Structure of a Radio Story (99% Invisible audio on the broadcast clock)

The Role of the Expert: Course Discussion Topic


XKCD on Overused Similes

Alot vs. A Lot: Hyperbole and a Half

Note to Self podcast: “Judging Originality in a Cut-and-Paste World”

Narrative Examples

LIVE EVENT: Anica Rissi – “Confessions of a Fourth-Grade Science Fraud”  (In-class podcast activity)

PODCAST: 99% Invisible’s “Broken Window”

LIVE EVENT: The Story Collider’s “Mentor with a Nose for Science

PODCAST: The Memory Palace

Nate DiMeo’s podcast blends historical research and narrative storytelling techniques.

 Photo/Audio combination: “A Photo I Love”

Erin Mystkowski reflects on a portrait of two co-conspirators after each has been interviewed after a murder they committed.


What is Public?” by Anil Dash

Research Examples

Retro Report

Retro Report’s mini-documentaries revisit major news scandals of the past to see what has happened since the public stopped paying attention to them. These short films address questions like “What actually happened to the whale from Free Willy?” and “How did changes to Yellowstone’s fire policy actually make its wildfires worse?”

PODCAST: 99% Invisible– “Kowloon Walled City”

The 99% Invisible podcast episode explores Kowloon Walled City, a 6.5-acre plot in China that held more than 33,000 people and developed a fascinating underground infrastructure as a result of its incredibly high population density.

PODCAST: 99% Invisible– “Thomassons”

This podcast discusses doors that don’t open, stairways that lead to nowhere, an the controversial name that people have given to such objects.

Planet Money Podcast: Economics and the High Tech Cow 

Backstory: American History Podcast

The Backstory podcast does a great job of exploring how American ideas and practices changed and developed over time.

In the words of the podcast’s About page: “BackStory is a public radio program & podcast that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. On each show, renowned U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths.”

INFORMATIVE FEATURE ARTICLE: “UW’s bug-eating advocate had global impact”

Check out the UW news page for some additional examples of general-interest informative articles!

PBS ARTICLE: “What Babies Understand About Adult Sadness”

ARTICLE: Scientists quit their day jobs, head over to YouTube

VIDEO: “Color Film Was Built for White People. Here’s What it Did to Dark Skin” (Vox)

VIDEO: “Why Are Things Creepy?” (VSauce)

E100 Student Award-Winning Digital Project (2014) 

Pecha Kucha Video Presentations

Luis Mendo:”I Became an Artist and So Can You

Vlog Advice


Tech / Media Resource Information

Recording Audio On Your Computer

Infographic software

This Creativebloq post lists a variety of different (and free) infographic-making tools you may be able to use to assemble the media component of this assignment. Past students have had luck using Canva and Piktochart.

Audacity – Free Podcast-Making Software

* Note: You can also make podcasts on iMovie by using the sound file insertion function and ignoring the visuals.

Recording Audio in Powerpoint

(This is one way to make a Pecha Kucha video presentation)

Creative Commons

This site provides resources for media content that creators have made available for others to use—simply make sure that you’ve checked the box that says “I want something I can modify, adapt, or build upon” at the top of the search page.