Like other 300 level composition courses, CO302 emphasizes writing processes with specific attention to revising and editing, and critical reading processes with attention to reading from a writer’s point of view. CO302 focuses specifically on the analysis and production of texts in electronic formats. The goal is to prepare you to write as a member of a society in which increasing amounts of public and social discourse takes place online. In this course, you will explore the rhetorical and cultural contexts in which electronic texts occur, and practice strategies for interpreting and producing these texts.
The purpose of this course is not to produce expert web designers or computer coders; these are professions in their own right, and one class could never provide all the knowledge and practice necessary. The goal for this course is to learn how to approach online communication rhetorically:
- What are the affordances of various online spaces over non-digital print forms of publication?
- How does one determine one’s audience when an online text can potentially be accessed by people around the globe?
- How, as consumers of online texts, do we determine the reliability of what we read, see, and hear online?
- As producers of online texts, what do we need to know technically and consider rhetorically to effectively communicate?
- How do the enhanced multimodal components of online communication alter the rhetorical situation for readers and writers?
Finally, while ample resources will be provided, many of the online texts we study will be supplied by you—as will much of the design of the texts you produce. In other words, your interests and questions about writing online will remain the center of this course.
Central questions of the course
What do you really want to get out of life?
What can you offer the world that no one else can?
In the most general of terms, this semester in CO302 we will collectively endeavor to discover (with research, reading, practice, and presence), connect (by engagement, active learning, pattern recognition, peer-review, and critical thinking), and share (through creation, communication, and service) something that matters, something that will contribute to making our lives better. Individually, through a sustained process of presence and practice, you will discover and connect with something you feel strongly about, then share that passion with a specific audience, (in this case, our presentation mode will be the web)—a process which manifests possibility.
“In a world whirling so fast and so knotted together as it is, traditional approaches to text net us little in the way of understanding what it means to be human today.” ~Dene Grigar
“Confidence is the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment.” ~Susan Piver
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~Howard Thurman