Course Overview

As our sense of self and understanding of personal identity has expanded to include our presence online, both the popular media and academic scholars have devoted increased attention to how technology shapes our cultural awareness of concepts such as privacy, personal and professional reputation, intellectual property, public speech, civility, and rhetorical ethics. At the same time, technology and new media have themselves influenced the processes and forms we use to write about and discuss such issues. In this course we are studying the role technology plays in shaping who we are as individuals and how we interact as a society, while also examining how technology is transforming the work of academic research and writing.

Over the course of the semester, in the proposal, multimedia annotated bibliography, literature review, and multimodal research essay, students will explore, compare, and contrast how a topic that is generally related to the themes of this course is discussed and analyzed in the mainstream media and in academic scholarship. For the most part, all of the work in this class will be directed or related to the multimodal research essay.

This course builds on writing proficiencies, reading skills, and critical thinking skills developed in ENGL 1101. It incorporates several research methods in addition to persuasive and argumentative techniques. A passing grade is C. Prerequisite: C or above in ENGL 1101. Projects will integrate a focus on academic writing with multimodal composition strategies designed to prepare students for working with and creating multimedia texts.

By the end of this course, students will be able to: Analyze, evaluate, document, and draw inferences from various sources; identify, select, and analyze appropriate research methods, research questions, and evidence for a specific rhetorical situation; use argumentative strategies and genres in order to engage various audiences; integrate others’ ideas with their own; use grammatical, stylistic, and mechanical formats and conventions appropriate for a variety of audiences; critique their own and others’ work in written and oral formats; produce well-reasoned, argumentative essays demonstrating rhetorical engagement; and reflect on what contributed to their writing process and evaluate their own work.