Writing in Online Environments

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Projects

Mood Board and Design Plan (approximately 5%)

This project prepares you for the course’s two major projects—the Personal Website & Blog and the Long-Form Webtext—and it has two components:

  • mood board, which is a visualization of the emotions that you want your site to evoke. It includes colors, textures and adjectives
  • written design plan (your “online identity” plan) for the site that focuses on audience, purpose, and context and explains how these areas will be addressed in the content and design of the site

 

Blog Analysis (approximately 10%)

You will choose a blog and analyze it according to the design approach to composition that we will focus on in the first weeks of class. This approach is based on a classical rhetorical approach to composing that is outlined on the rhetoric page (add link). You will choose a blog based on your personal writing topic for the semester. For example, if you plan to promote yourself as a cultural critic and will blog about indie films, you will choose to analyze the blog of another cultural critic, preferably one who covers film.

 

Personal Website and Blog built in WordPress (approximately 25%)

This will be the first major project for the course and consist of several scaffolding assignments at the beginning of the course including the Design Plan and Mood Board and the Blog Analysis.

You will post to your blog weekly for 10 weeks. The rest of your site should be at least four pages (Welcome, About, Long-Form Project, and Fourth Page of your choice). The Fourth Page must tie into your semester-long design plan.

 

Quizzes, Homework, In-Class Work, and Forum Discussions (approximately 15%)

Pop quizzes may be given over the assigned readings, podcasts, and videos. Homework may include, but is not limited to, short writing assignments on readings or as preparation for a larger assignment. In-class work will be similar to homework but may also include group work; you will lose points if you are absent on the day of a graded in-class activity. Forum discussions will be used as homework and in-class work.

 

Research Journal (approximately 15%)

During the course of the semester you will write weekly entries detailing the research you have done that week on your chosen blog and long-form webtext projects. The objective for this project is to help you foster a new approach to research, one that is not tied to a specific project or deadline but one that assumes research as a continual daily part of a writer’s life. For example, if you are blogging about Italian cooking then you must think of yourself as a food writer and spend a significant part of each week researching the history of  and current trends in Italian cuisine.

 

Peer Group Work (approximately 5%)

I will place you in a group of three to four people based on your chosen blog/long-form webtext topic. At scheduled points you will share your work on both projects with your group and provide each other with constructive feedback that will help you grow as a writer and improve your work.

 

Long-Form Webtext (approximately 25%)

You will compose a piece of writing for online delivery. It should be the equivalent of ten double-spaced written pages. The topic and genre for this webtext is open, but it must fit in with your online identity design plan. Suggested delivery formats are video, podcast/audio, e-book, or website.

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