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2090 - Electives in Writing Course Descriptions

This is the current course list for the Fall 2015 semester. The following list is alphabetical, by instructor last name. Check the current Course Schedule.

All CU undergrads can learn (without prior experience) how to publish a journal in print and online, taking WRTG 2090-001, "Journal Twenty Twenty." Created by undergrads for undergraduate Creative Nonfiction, the first issue of Journal Twenty Twenty in 2013 was the only publication in the country satisfying all four of these criteria:
  1. We publish only Creative Nonfiction--in all its forms, from Satire to Memoir to New Journalism to Critical Ethnography to Travel Writing, even Creative Graphic Nonfiction.
  2. All writing is done by CU Undergraduates.
  3. All Artwork, Layout, and Design, as well as Editorial and Digital Production work is done by CU Undergraduates.
  4. We seek online growth, but publish a beautiful print journal each Fall and Spring semesters.

The Fall course develops the now annual issue to be launched each Spring. In learning to distribute and promote the current issue, solicit good submissions, and then edit, publish, market, and advertise a new issue, students develop critical skills that translate to multiple majors, a variety of career paths, and strong resumes. Our multi-modal journal extension online furthermore adds to the digital literacy and rhetorical knowledge necessary to publish Creative Nonfiction in print. Students can see our website at http://journal2020.wordpress.com/ and may reach current student Staff and Faculty Advisors through our email at journal2020@colorado.edu and through our Facebook page.

A minute-and-a-half promotional video for the course (starring John-Michael Rivera, Christy Macdonald, Ginger Knowlton, and Eric Burger) is here.


This section 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 various digital tools and skills needed for successful communication in academic, professional, and public contexts. The class offers students the opportunity to learn, discuss, and develop digital writing through low-stakes practice in several media forms and networked publications. We will identify, analyze, and produce various genres and messages for real audiences, conveyed through digital media and network platforms. One key objective explores what makes certain digital communication more rhetorically effective than other forms, particularly focused on circulation and participatory culture. Our approach is primarily assessing and testing applications in several modes and outcomes, in both short- and longer-term productions: in addition to individual and group-authored sites, we will also work as "digital rhetoric consultants" for multimedia content strategies partnering with organizations across (and potentially outside) campus.

Designed as a workshop, the class readings, meetings, and activities are all focused on project-based inquiry and learning. We will learn both by studying examples and mostly through practice, creating rhetorically effective genres, messages, and publications for specific audiences and purposes. By learning and contributing strategies for planning, developing, publishing, and evaluating networked media forms, we will refine how to select apt tools and publication platformsówith awareness of affordances (and constraints) of digital writing across multiple 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 often practice composing techniques during class sessions and independently. The main expectation is to try new digital tools and platforms using skills and experiences you have already. Throughout the course, students of any technological ability will develop digital writing skills and multimedia techniques for publishing in a variety of formats, including blogs, social networks, presentation sites, podcasts, screencasts, video hosting (and any new outlets recommended or discovered during the term). The result will be demonstrable skills and a sharpened perspective that will benefit you in future courses and professional contexts, evident in your website portfolio: the course aims to be an enjoyable and engaging hands-on survey of skills relevant to you during and after college. More information available here: http://wp.me/P6DZ6j-l


This course is inspired by the philosophy that we learn best when we teach others. You will learn about writing center theory and practice, apply what you’ve learned by tutoring fellow CU students, and become a more confident, knowledgeable, and collegial writer. Readings and discussions will also cover theories of learning, critical thinking, and the writing process. In the second half of the semester, you will participate in a six-week tutoring practicum in the Writing Center. Coursework includes writing response papers and a cover letter and resume, leading discussions, and presenting a writing tutorial to the class.

This class fulfills a writing elective and is open to undergraduates interested in learning to tutor writing and improve their own writing skills. Students who successfully complete this course will be eligible to apply for paid positions as peer writing tutors on the CU-Boulder campus.