Script Writing Recommended Practices

A script for your educational video will help condense and organize your content. Adopt a conversational tone and practice reading the script aloud. Edit passages that prevent a smooth delivery. Here are some recommended practices.

Less is more. 

Aim to be clear and succinct. Outline your content to track what you want to cover. If it is absolutely necessary to include anything that resembles a textbook or an academic paper, this should be provided using other means, (i.e. PDF, textbox, etc.).

Read aloud. 

The most important self-check you can do is to read your script aloud. Do it often. When you have finished writing a paragraph, read it aloud. This practice will help you hear when something sounds awkward or too long. Edit and repeat. When you complete a unit, read it aloud all at once and time yourself.

Adopt a conversational tone.

Keep your audience in mind. Create a narrative that helps you connect with that future audience. Adopting a conversational tone will help you from falling into academic or overly complex language that may include domain-specific lingo or acronyms. 

Write, rewrite, ask for feedback. Repeat.

The writing process is as much about rewriting with feedback from readers as anything else. Use that feedback and apply it to new content. Also, give yourself space and time between edits. When you approach a script that you have not looked at for a few days, you will be a better editor. 

Helpful guides:

When reading aloud, aim for 130 words per minute. Check the length of your script often to make sure you are hitting the 6-8 minute target per video unit.  Most writing  tools (Word, Pages, Google Docs) have a method for checking the “Word count” of your script and of a text selection. 

Consider barriers to inclusion and accessibility in your course content. Are you using inclusive language? Could someone with a visual disability understand what they need to from just hearing the narration of the video? How about someone who has a hearing disability? Can they understand your content just from reading the transcript? See this Introduction to Universal Design for Learning.

See also: DIY Video: Effective Videos

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