History of Economic Thought
Video Guidelines

Steve Gardner
Fall 2021

Basic Specifications

Produce the video at a level understandable by an "average" student in this class.
You can complete this assignment on your own or in cooperation with one other student in the class. If you do it as a team, you should also submit a statement, approved by both of you, explaining how the work was divided.
The video should open with a clear title, and should end with a list of credits, which will include your information sources and acknowledgement of any help that you received in research and production. Please also send that list of credits to me as an email or Word file, providing all of the information I would need to locate your sources.  Otherwise, you will have a lot of freedom in the format, and the video can includes many different kinds of material -- video clips that were shot by you and/or imported from other sources (with proper acknowledgement), still photos and graphics, background voice-overs and music, etc.
About 5-10 minutes.
Turn in a topic statement (one-two paragraphs), a plan for the video, and a preliminary bibliography of information sources by September 23. Depending on the nature of your project, you may also find it helpful to include a storyboard in your initial plan. The finished video is due November 30, and should be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo. Send me a link to the final product and any other supporting material submitted electronically as an email attachment to steve_gardner@baylor.edu.


Driven by improvements in technology and changes in demand from the general public, video content is used more and more in marketing, education, entertainment, and other forms of communication. A well-executed video can be a valuable part of your portfolio when you are searching for employment and other opportunities. If your video is done well, it should serve several purposes:
  • Application: You will have an opportunity to apply concepts and explore topics learned in this course.
  • Focus:  You will gain in-depth knowledge of one subject. If you produce your video on, say, the the economics of Confucianism, you may become an authority on that particular subject.
  • Research:  You will need to perform research for the video in roughly the same that you would for a term paper, so you will gain additional experience performing library and on-line research. To find the most current and complete information on your topic, you will need to consult a wide range of research sources.
  • Video Production: Your grade will depend, in part, on the quality of the lighting, shooting, sound, titling, and editing of the video. If you were producing this video for an employer, it would be clear that you need to do it as professionally as possible. This will give you an opportunity to learn and develop those skills


Several different kinds of topics are acceptable in this course for your video. They include the following:

  1. A historical survey of economic theories or philosophies on a particular topic, such as population growth, environmental protection, determination of wages (or rent or profits), effects of colonialism, arguments for protectionism, economics of education or health, philosophies of taxation, etc. These are only a few of the possibilities; choose a topic that is interesting to you. In this case, you might begin by exploring whether the topic was addressed by ancient authors (Bible, Greeks, Romans, etc.), and then you can move forward through time to review its treatment by classical economists (Adam Smith and his followers) and modern authors.
  2. A review of the economic ideas of an author who is NOT covered extensively in this course.  You could, for example survey the work of Henry Thornton, who played an important role in the development of monetary theory, or perhaps one of the prominent Austrian economists: Carl Menger, Ludwig Von Mises, or Friedrich von Hayek.  Again, select an author who is interesting to you.  In this case, you should read as extensively from primary sources (the author's own works) as possible, rather than relying heavily on secondary sources.
  3. Since most of this course is about economic thought in the Western world, you may want to explore economics ideas in some other region. You could, for example, produce your video about the economic ideas that have been influential in East Asia (including, for example, ideas derived from Confucianism) or the Middle East (including, for example, economic concepts in the Koran).
  4. Although this is a course about the history of economic THOUGHT, you could also focus your video on the history of an important EVENT, such as the Great Depression or a major war, and include a discussion of the role of economic ideas in that event.
  5. If you have an idea for some other kind of project that would apply the material covered in this course, come in during office hours and talk to me about it.

Production Methods and Style

Your video should address your topic as clearly, informatively, and professionally as possible, taking into account your current level of skill and access to video/audio equipment and technology:

  1. As already mentioned, your video should open with a clear title, and should end with a list of credits, which will include your information sources and acknowledgement of any help that you received in research and production. The content should be based on a clear plan and organization, and any narrative sections should be based on edited scripts.

  2. The video can be shot with your smart phone or pad if that's the best video camera available to you. You may want to include, for example, original interviews on the subject with Baylor faculty members or others who are knowledgeable of the ideas or events you are exploring. For good video quality, you will need to pay attention to lighting, backgrounds, and steadiness of the camera. For good audio quality, you should avoid background noise (loud air conditioners, fans, and other sounds unrelated to the video), and take test shots to be sure that interview subjects or other speakers are picked up well by the microphone.

  3. In addition to video that is shot for the project, you can also incorporate still photos and graphics and video and, within limits and with proper acknowledgements, video imported from other sources (such as YouTube). Since your video will, in some sense, be a historical documentary, you may want to look at the techniques used by people such as Ken Burns in their work. In the end, however, this should be your ORIGINAL creation, so material imported from other sources should be used sparingly and incorporated into a final product that is essentially new.

  4. When it's done professionally and in good taste, the video can include humor, music, and other elements to make the final product more engaging and effective.

  5. I STRONGLY recommend for you to explore the services, hardware, and software that are available to you at the Techpoint Media Lab in Moody Library. You can reserve the use of their video/audio booths and equipment online at this site.


Your grade on the paper will depend on its satisfaction of the purposes listed above. In particular:
Relevance of topic and application of course concepts.
Documentation: Your information in your video should be drawn from a large number and broad variety of sources.
Presentation: I understand that this is not a video production class, but your project will still be examined for the quality of its videography, sound, editing, and clarity of its content.

Plagiarism and Other Dishonorable Conduct

According to the newly-revised Baylor Honor Code, students found guilty of misconduct are subject to a range of sanctions, including suspension or expulsion from the university.  According to the Code, dishonorable conduct includes (among other items) the following:
  1. Offering for course credit as one's own work, in whole or in part, the work of another.
  2. Plagiarism, that is, incorporating into one's work offered for course credit passages taken either word for word or in substance from a work of another, unless the student credits the original author and identifies the original author's work with quotation marks, footnotes, or another appropriate written explanation.
  3. Offering for course credit one's own work, but work that one has previously offered for course credit in another course, unless one secures permission to do so prior to submission from the instructor in whose course the work is being offered.
  4. Submitting for course credit work prepared in collaboration with another, unless the student secures the instructor’s permission in advance of submission...
As mentioned above, you can incorporate material from many other sources, but they must be carefully acknowleged, copyrights must be respected, and the final product should be new and original.
Information Sources 
The research that you should perform for production of this video is very similar to the research that you would perform for a term paper, except for the fact that you probably will make fuller use of other video and photography, and you will need to learn the basics of video production.

Video Production
For a general introduction to student video production, look here, and for a short and free course, look here.

For video editing software, Adobe Premiere is the industry standard used by many video producers. It works on both PCs and Macs, and is available for your use on some Baylor campus computers, including those in the Techpoint Media Lab in Moody Library. It's also available for purchase at a discounted price in the Baylor Bookstore. Look here to see information about OpenShot and several other free alternatives, and look here for a tutorial about OpenShot..

To upload your video to YouTube, you will need to create a free account, and then follow the instructions that you can find here.

Books usually are your best source for "the big picture" and background information.  However, but some of that information is usually out of date soon after the book is published.  That's why you need to supplement books with the other current sources that are given below. Your main bibliographic source for books in the Baylor Library is the OneSearch search engine

These will provide more in-depth information, and will give you access to the latest research.  EconLit is the best bibliographic search engine for articles in advanced economics journals. Look here to find out whether Baylor has full-text online access to the particular journals you need. If we don't have immediate print or online access to a journal, you can obtain most other articles within a few days through Interlibrary Loan.
Online Resources
See Baylor's full list of online databases in business here.