A Guide to Making Audio Projects
  • Publication Date: December 9, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781554815111 / 1554815118
  • 256 pages; 6" x 9"

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A Guide to Making Audio Projects

  • Publication Date: December 9, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781554815111 / 1554815118
  • 256 pages; 6" x 9"

Written in an encouraging and accessible way, this unique textbook is about how to compose with sound—how to make powerful podcast episodes, audio essays, personal narratives, and audio documentaries. Using ideas and language from rhetoric and writing studies as well as the authors’ extensive personal experiences with soundwriting, this book teaches new and more experienced soundwriters how to approach the world with a listening ear and body, determine a natural and productive writing process, target the perfect audience, use such rhetorical tools as music and sound effects, and work in an audio editing program.

The many exercises throughout the book and the supportive resources on a companion website will help budding makers strengthen their practical skills and deepen their understanding of what it takes to make compelling audio projects.


“This is the book we’ve been waiting for: the perfect guide for students and teachers on how to bridge sound studies with sound design and composition. Soundwriting anchors the craft of working with sound in the exciting worlds of audio, sound research, and pragmatic first-person reflections. As a textbook, it provides every essential tool and insight for new audio-composers; as an introduction to sound studies and composition, it draws us into the fascinating and absorbing terrains of musicology, rhetoric, affect studies, and beyond. The book is accessible, theoretically sophisticated, and inspiring.” — Ada Jaarsma, Mount Royal University

“As the authors suggest, and as this compelling text aptly demonstrates, this is, indeed, ‘an exciting moment for sound.’ Soundwriting is a timely, smartly conceived, well-designed, innovative, and highly accessible text that provides readers (and listeners) with a rhetorically informed, hands-on approach to composing with sound. In addition to offering users instruction, tips, and activities geared toward the successful realization of sound-based texts, Tanya Rodrigue and Kyle Stedman generously share details of their own soundwriting experiences in a series of reflective, process-based Interludes, further underscoring the complexity, richness, diversity, and potential of writing with sound.” — Jody Shipka, University of Maryland

“This is the textbook I wish I had had when I first taught soundwriting and sonic rhetoric. In an increasingly multimediated era, students need to analyze and intervene in their sonic environments, and Soundwriting provides them with tools and approaches for such interventions. A wonderful mixture of theoretical approaches and very practical advice—students and teachers looking for sophisticated approaches to composing with sound in a variety of genres and approaches should turn to (and tune in to!) this book.” — Michael J. Faris, Texas Tech University

Soundwriting crackles and buzzes with exciting ideas and sonic possibilities. Whether you’re a seasoned soundwriter or a total beginner, a student or a teacher, this highly engaging book offers an impressive range of accessible strategies, models, and hands-on activities for every stage of the production process. Rodrigue and Stedman have written an essential guide for anyone interested in the art of sonic composing.” — Steph Ceraso, University of Virginia

“… Soundwriting: A Guide to Making Audio Projects is more than just a beginner’s handbook to sound design—it’s a thoughtful, original, and personal appreciation of what the field can achieve at its best.” — Cam Miller Rain Taxi REview of Books


Chapter 1: Sound, Soundwriting, and Rhetoric

  • Interlude A: Remixing a Written Memoir into Soundwriting: How Kyle Composed “Pincushion”

Chapter 2: Listen Like a Soundwriter

  • Interlude B: Using Rhetorical and Genre Analysis to Make Soundwriting: How Tanya Composed “Peaceful Warriors”

Chapter 3: A Toolbox of Choices

  • Interlude C: Podcasting with a Partner: How Kyle Composed “Grumble, Grumble”

Chapter 4: Planning and Gathering Sounds

  • Interlude D: Working within the Limitations of a Structured Writing Process: How Tanya Composed “Play it Loud”

Chapter 5: Editing, Revising, and Sharing

Photo Credits

Tanya K. Rodrigue is Associate Professor of English at Salem State University. Kyle D. Stedman is Associate Professor of English at Rockford University.

  • ● Written in a playful, engaging, and accessible voice
  • ● The first textbook on audio work grounded in rhetoric and composition
  • ● Draws on multiple scholars’ work in composition and rhetoric
  • ● Student activities called “Try-Its” throughout the book that can be used as in-class activities, homework assignments, or can be adapted for high-stakes assignments
  • ● Interludes between each chapter give readers a chance to read extended personal narratives from the authors about their own soundwriting experiences
  • ● A supplemental companion website with resources such as documents to support the soundwriting process, links to websites that host sounds that can be downloaded, and audio-editing tutorial videos
  • ● Affordable price
  • ● Flexible for different audiences—designed for university students in all levels of rhetoric and writing courses, but also applicable to any class assigning work in audio production and to beginning podcasters outside of the classroom
  • ● Can productively be read in order or out-of-order, using numerous cross-references throughout to draw connections between chapters
  • ● Consistent attention to accessibility throughout, with exercises that work for hearing, hard-of-hearing, and d/Deaf people, and with attention to transcripts and full-body forms of listening

A companion website offers template documents for brainstorming, pitching, and peer reviewing your work; links to websites that host downloadable sounds; and audio-editing tutorial GIFs and videos. The site passcode is included with any purchase of the book and with examination copies.