Video Essay: Learn to Design an Engaging and Informative Piece of Work

What Is a Video Essay?

A video essay is a short video file that usually features sound. The duration of a video essay usually does not exceed several minutes. Although one may come across relatively long video essays in the Web, such examples are rather rare. In terms of style and genre, video essays differ drastically. The authors of such essays may employ any known or innovative techniques since there are no definite standards or guidelines that determine how video essays must be designed. If you want to know how to make a video essay, you should study the information presented below.

A common video essay may employ various visual elements to convey a message. Although there are no official guidelines related to video essays, some creators of video essays follow certain rules when designing their works and posting them online.

So what is a video essay? The majority of video essays feature voice recordings that accompany video elements and discuss selected topics. Although authors are free to focus on any themes they like, different aspects of culture and cinematography are among the most distinguished topics.

A video essay provides you with tools to convey your message in an efficient manner and to have a desired impact on your audience. Therefore, one of the most important video essay tips is to strive to choose images that would support and strengthen your claims and influence the intended individuals in a profound way. In fact, smartly selected video clips or photos can be more powerful than elaborately designed statements.

In order to understand how to structure a video essay that would satisfy your needs, you need to clearly comprehend what a video essay actually is. You must also understand what a video essay has in common with a standard essay, as well as understand the elements that distinguish it from a standard essay.

Common Features of Standard and Video Essays

Written essays and video essays are characterized by some common features. The section below may help you successfully complete your video essay assignment.

  1. You should concentrate only on one narrow topic. Create a statement that defines your selected topic and your position. Further, you ought to structure the whole video essay around that thesis statement.
  2. Do not try to discuss multiple problems. You must be cautious not to overburden your viewers with an excessive amount of information. Your task is to convey your message in a clear manner. Thus, you ought to use only those shots, video clips, and voice recordings that your target audience could understand.
  3. Your video essay should provide reliable evidence by referring to credible sources. In addition, you should have a clear vision of your future visual essay to be able to compile all data and materials in an aesthetically pleasing way.


Dissimilarities between Standard Essays and Video Essays

You do not need to know the video essay definition to understand that such an essay contains more elements than just text. You have to pay attention to various components, including pronunciation, the quality and relevance of images and video clips, musical accompaniment, and transition between elements. Moreover, you should consider the purpose of your video essay and target audience. If your goal is to entertain viewers, you might consider utilizing humorous remarks or pictures. However, in case your task is to objectively highlight a certain issue, some types of music, images, or oral commentaries might be considered inappropriate. Thus, a video essay is a medium that allows its author to demonstrate his or her communication skills and, at the same time, to convey a particular message in a way that its author finds the most convenient.

Moreover, some people favor this type of essay because it does not limit their abilities. Since there are not strict rules, authors are free to employ any methods, tools, or techniques they wish in the process of the creation of a video essay. Authors can shape their works the way they see fit, and, most importantly, they may enhance their arguments with visual supporting materials and evidence.

The tips for video essay creation listed below

Structure of a Visual Essay

There exist no definite regulations related to the organization of a video essay. Nevertheless, you still ought to provide ideas in a coherent manner. In fact, you should strive to organize your video essay the way you would design a common essay. Your video essay should include an introduction section, a body section, and a conclusion section.


You ought to start your video essay with an image or a video clip that introduces your theme. Further, you ought to include an inscription the purpose of which is to attract the attention of your target audience. The following images ought to provide more information about the topic. You should also add relevant commentaries and musical accompaniment if you feel that would set the right mood.

At the end of your introduction section, you ought to present an argument around which the whole essay will revolve.


In this section, you are supposed to prove that your position is valid. To convince the audience in the validity of your views, you ought to present three or more facts or ideas that support your opinion. You ought to support each of the ideas with a few visual components and oral commentaries. In addition, you ought to refer to real-life examples in order to make your claims sound more credible. Therefore, you ought to include visual materials that impress viewers and provide undeniable evidence.


The summary ought to reiterate the main points of your essay. In this part, you may choose to present tables, diagrams, or other tools that may help viewers to visualize the scope of the problem under discussion. You may also include images that have potential to trigger a strong emotional response among the members of your target audience.

In order not to make your video essay excessively bulky, you ought not to include too much oral or written context. You should not include whole paragraphs. Instead, you ought to devise short messages or statements directly related to the images they accompany. Nevertheless, your inscriptions ought not to simply retell the content of your visual content. The oral and texual elements need to contribute to the visual components and provide additional information to support the visual context.

Selecting a Theme of a Visual Essay

You may find it challenging to discuss certain issues in detail using conventional means. However, a visual essay provides tools that allow you to express your ideas using not only words. When selecting a topic, you may consider subjects that would be easier to explain using imagery and audio elements. For example, imagery might help to make an essay more emotional or to vividly preset data. Further, when pondering over a possible topic, you might try discussing a question that bothers you or a sphere of life you are passionate about. If you have a personal interest in your topic, you will likely design a creative work that will attract the attention of viewers.

Utilizing Visual Components

Selecting appropriate visual content is a complicated task. You must study a vast amount of available imagery and choose those materials that you think fit the topic, the purpose, and the target audience of your work.

In case you are not sure what images would suit your topic, you could study other visual essays that focus on a topic close to your one in order to get a general idea about the visual content you ought to utilize.

If you want to know how to make a video essay for college, you should adhere to the general tips presented below.

  • Pay attention to such rhetoric elements as ethos, pathos, and logos when selecting visual content.
  • Compile data with the help of diagrams and tables.
  • Determine the reliability of information you provide and the credibility of sources you use.
  • Demonstrate your work to peers or relatives in order to identify whether they find any visual elements inappropriate or unintelligible.
  • Determine whether there is a vivid connection between different images and whether the essay is organized in a satisfactory manner.
  • Make sure that the text does not cover the important portions of the visual content. Strive to combine oral, textual, visual, and audio elements in a harmonious way.
  • Keep in mind that copying is considered plagiarism. Therefore, you should either properly cite the content you use or borrow materials from websites that freely share content and do not have specific rules regarding where that content may be utilized.

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