Writing & Recording Narration
narration is very important. It serves a variety of purposes.
thread. It tells the story: beginning, middle,
- Interprets what the judges are seeing. The images, themselves, are not
the interpretation. Your own words give meaning to the documentary.
- States the
thesis and the conclusion. If you leave
it to the judges to draw the conclusion from the images alone, the only conclusion they will draw is that you do not have
a conclusion and thus you did not prove your thesis statement.
not want to "read" the narrative, they want to "hear" the narrative. Do not type
text onto your slides…except for your title at the front end and “produced by ……” and “National
History Day 2004” at the end. You also may use text to label or identify some things in your documentary.
idea is very important. I can’t stress enough the idea of "proving" or "arguing" the main point. Effective documentaries work the theme words directly into the script
a number of times, especially in the introduction and in the conclusion. Work the key theme words (The Individual in History:
Actions and Legacies) into your thesis statement.
In the first
30 seconds, you should create an introduction to your documentary. This is where
you will capture the judge’s attention. At the end of the intro, state your thesis. This is your main point—what your documentary will show and prove.
intro and thesis, display your complete title, then tell your story.
your narration, remember,
- The script comes first – audio shapes the selection of visual images
- Use your narration and visual images
to illustrate the intellectual, physical, social, and cultural setting of your topic. Put your topic into a historical setting. History doesn’t happen in a vacuum. What
caused these events (your story) to take place? Give a little background.
- Be sure your script allows for an
explanation of the causes and consequences of your topic; ie, why did it happen, and what happened
because of it?
- Always keep in mind the question “Why
is this important?”
- Do more than describe the obvious;
if you can see it, why say it?
- Keep your narration fairly simple. You’re not writing a book, your narration should be the thread that holds
all of your pictures, movies, and sounds together. Remember your time constraints;
you will have to move it along to finish the documentary in under 10 minutes.
- Write your narration in the form of
an outline, with the Roman Numerals as the rough equivalent to your slides/ideas.
- When you have finished the narration,
use your storyboard to plan the relationship between audio and visual.
- Good sound quality is essential when
recording your narration– the viewer must be able to hear and understand you loud and clear. Use microphones for interviews and recording your narration to get the best sound quality. Do all of your recording at the same time to ensure a level sound quality.
- The narration must be your voice or someone within your group
- Your narration must follow this outline:
Introduction – “the hook”
State the Thesis
Setting – establish the historical setting
Causes – what happened before to make your story possible
Story – the meat of your documentary
Consequences – why is your story a big deal
Synthesis and Analysis – put a lot of work into this
- VIII. State the Thesis - again
- Remember: this is not imaginative
writing, it’s narrative; so you
And most importantly,
Take the information, apply an analysis
to gain a new understanding