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2090 - Electives in Writing Course Descriptions

The following list is alphabetical, by instructor last name. Not every course shown below is offered every semester. Check the current Course Schedule.


This section of WRTG 2090 explores the trends and changes in networked writing, reading, collaborating, and information literacy now that we communicate primarily through digital media and network technology: we will survey, critique, and practice many of the digital tools and skills needed for successful communication in 21st-century academic, professional, and public contexts.  The course aims to offer students the opportunity to learn, discuss, and develop digital writing through structured “low-stakes” practice in several media forms and networked publications. Students will identify and analyze varieties of genres and messages conveyed through digital media and network platforms, including text, hypertext, images, animation, sound, music, video, games, and applications in several modes. One key objective, part of our method of study, is considering what makes certain digital communication more rhetorically effective and credible than other forms.

The course is designed as a workshop: readings, classes, and activities are directed toward project-based inquiry; time in class and online will help toward work individual and collaborative, with practical learning coming from our projects. Students will learn both by studying examples and mostly through practice — creating rhetorically effective genres, messages, and publications for specific audiences and purposes throughout the term.  Besides testing and “mastering” certain popular interfaces, more significantly students will learn and contribute strategies for planning, developing, publishing, and evaluating networked media forms. Overall, we will refine how to select the best tools and publication platforms—skills of digital rhetoric, critical awareness of the constraints and affordances of digital writing across multiple modes, media, genres, and platforms.

Primarily, we will use popular (and emerging) applications, freely available online. No previous experience with digital authoring is necessary; we will consult tutorials and practice composing techniques during class sessions and independently—with the expectation to try new digital tools and environments using skills you have already. In various projects, we will compose with media found and original, edited using techniques modeled on examples: text and image combinations (like Infographics, GIFs, memes); audio recording and music (in screen-recording commentary and podcasts); videos using original footage and “sampled” clips. Additionally, we will develop network rhetoric for how to publish your messages and projects in a variety of Web formats, such as blogs, social networks, presentation sites, and podcast and video hosting. The outcome will be demonstrable skills and rhetorical perspective that will benefit you in future courses and professional contexts, evident in your website portfolio (beneficial for employment or internship opportunities). In this way, the course aims to be an enjoyable and engaging hands-on production of skills relevant to you during and after college!