My Old Instructional Videos

The Nature of the Videos

(copyrighted by Syda Productions and licensed from

I created the videos here for use with my students when I was teaching. Though I am by no means a professional video producer, and you will notice a few production flaws, especially in the early ones, they were effective in communicating the material, in part because the students enjoyed them. I tried, with some moderate success, to make them as entertaining as I could without sacrificing educational value. (However, if you don’t like my approach, it is possible to navigate around most of the entertaining parts if you like; see the navigation section below.) There are some specific references (for example, to my former school’s cheating policy), but for the most part they are generally applicable and still reasonably up to date, except that the MLA format ones were designed for seventh edition, and the eighth edition has since come out. The changes could make MLA Format Video 3 less useful, though, as I note in the navigation section, it is possible to view those sections that are still applicable without having to watch the whole thing.


I may not maintain the videos indefinitely, but as long as they are up, you are welcome to use them. They are free for classroom use, and you may give students the links for home viewing, but the videos may not be modified, incorporated in other products, or sold.

The videos on this site are also available at Screencast unless I indicate otherwise. The MLA format series, the two videos on essay writing, and “Things Every Freshman Should Know About High School” were actually planned as videos. The others are video versions of PowerPoint presentations but still provide useful information.


Please note that you do not need to watch the entire video if you just have one specific question. If you “mouse over” the video, a table of contents will pop up. Scroll until you find the relevant item, then click on it to go to that section of the video. That said, if you are unfamiliar with the subject matter of a particular video, it is probably best to watch the whole video.
Screenshot 2016-07-21 10.03.30
The screenshot above illustrates what you will see if you mouse over a video. The table of contents is on the upper left. On the lower right, you can see a time indicator, volume control, and a full screen toggle button.


These videos are provided in two versions: regular and mobile friendly. The regular one works on any device (desktop, laptop, tablet) with a screen wider than 800 pixels  and preferably longer than 600 pixels so you won’t have to scroll during the video (I created the videos at 800 x 600 to accommodate onscreen demonstrations.) Use this version whenever possible. However, if you are using a phone or other mobile device with a screen at least 320 pixels wide and 240 pixels high, you can use the mobile friendly version. The mouse-over controls are a little bunched up but do still function if the phone operating system supports them. The screen recorded demos and some of the smaller PowerPoint text will be really hard to read, though. (See the technical note at the bottom of the page for more information.)

Because of the 800 X 600 presentation of the video, they do load somewhat more slowly.  To reduce the problem, each video has its own page. You can navigate to the video you want by clicking on the link below or by clicking on the appropriate submenu.

(If you have not accepted cookies, the videos will not be viewable here. However, each page includes a link to the video on Screencast.)

MLA Format Video 1: Basic Page Layout

MLA Format Video 2: Understanding Plagiarism

MLA Format Video 3: Correct Source Citation

Essay Writing Basics: A Step by Step Guide

How to Write an A Essay in Fifty Minutes

Basic Public Speaking Tips

PowerPoint Tips

Things Freshmen Should Know about High School

(copyrighted by Shift Drive and licensed from

Technical Note: This WordPress theme, BE, is responsive, which means its various parts adjust to different screen sizes. Unfortunately, embedded videos don’t do that; instead, they are always whatever size is specified in the embed code. Videos from services like YouTube and Vimeo can be played through responsive players that do not have this issue, but Screencast videos can only be added through embedding. That’s the reason I had to embed two different sizes.


Copyrighted content may not be reused without permission.
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