wra 415 digital rhetoric


digital rhetoric
 
 
 


syllabus in PDF format: pdfs/syllabus_FINAL.pdf

  INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION
   
 

Dànielle Nicole DeVoss
url: www.msu.edu/~devossda
email / im: devossda@msu.edu / shynosh
office: 235 Bessey Hall; 355-2403
office hours: T 9–10:30am or by appointment

   
  COURSE GOALS
   
  The focus of this course is actually a question: What is digital rhetoric? We will approach this question with a subquestion: How do reading and writing practices change in digital environments?

We will explore the dynamics of online, networked reading and writing practices by examining the rhetorical, social, cultural, political, educational, and ethical dimensions of digital texts; we will examine issues of technology and literacy; and we will interrogate identity (including gender, race, class, and more), subjectivity, and representation in digital spaces.

This course is designed as a survey course; we will explore a very broad range of issues related to digital rhetorics. You will have the opportunity to engage a specific issue in depth through a final project.

The topics we cover, the readings we do, and the discussions we have in this course should help us to:

  • explore and understand digital spaces as deeply rhetorical spaces;
  • understand the sociocultural dynamics of digital writing spaces;
  • better understand the multiple and layered elements of digital writing conventions and digital documents;
  • become more sophisticated navigators of the information available to us in digital spaces; and
  • become more effective writers and communicators in print and digitally mediated spaces.
   
 
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  NAVIGATING OUR COURSE ANGEL SITE
   
  Head to angel.msu.edu and then to wra 415 | | | digital rhetoric | | | to access our course ANGEL site. In the “READINGS & MATERIALS” area, you will find materials for each class day:

  these readings are required for everyone,
grad and undergrad >
required readings
     
  these readings are required for grad students and recommended for undergrads > recommended readings
     
  all of the class notes, in-class materials, and PowerPoints > notes and materials from class
   
  POINTS AND GRADES
   
 
    digital rhetoric example presentation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
    digital rhetoric resource presentation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
    project 1: digital literacy autobiography.. . . . . . . . . . . . 300
    project 2: rhetorical analysis of digital media. . . . . . . . 300
    project 3: your choice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    300
    final project proposal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
    final project presentation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
    final project. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500
    total points. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1800

    points
    1800–1710 = A
    1709–1620 = A/B
    1619–1530 = B
    1529–1440 = B/C
    1439–1350 = C
    1349–1260 = C/D
    1259–1170 = D
    1169> = E
      percentage
    100–96 = A
    95–91 = A/B
    90–86 = B
    85–81=B/C
    80–76 = C
    75–71 = C/D
    70–66 = D
    <65 = E
      gpa
    4.0–3.7 = A
    3.6–3.1 = A/B
    3.0–2.7 = B
    2.6–2.1 = B/C
    2.0–1.7 = C
    1.6–1.1 = C/D
    1.0–.7 = D
    <.6 = E
     

      a third absence will make a difference in your final grade; for every absence after two, your final grade will go down .25
   
 
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  ASSIGNMENTS
   
  Note that the following descriptions are merely brief overviews of the assignments; full assignment descriptions and examples will be provided in class.

Digital Rhetoric Example Presentation
everyone does it once; due dates assigned in class week 2; 100 points
PDF file of assignment and schedule > pdfs/digital_example.pdf

For this assignment, you will be responsible for bringing in an example of digital media that you think is particular well-designed and/or particularly well-written. Plan to show the example and to explain why you feel the way you do about the example and how the example is rhetorically effective (for approximately 3–5 minutes).

Digital Writing Resource Presentation
everyone does it once; due dates assigned in class week 7; 100 points
PDF file of assignment and schedule > pdfs/digital_resource.pdf

For this assignment, you will be responsible for bringing in some sort of resource you’ve found related to writing or creating digital media. This might be a technical book, a design guide, a how-to article, an online commentary, a corporate style sheet, etc. Plan to show and share the resource and to explain why you think it’s a helpful resource and how it might be used (for approximately 3–5 minutes).

Project 1: Digital Literacy Autobiography
due Wednesday, September 20; 300 points
PDF file of assignment > pdfs/project_1.pdf

For this project, you will write about a technology or technologies that has affected your skills, abilities, and/or experiences as a writer and/or as a reader.

Project 2: Rhetorical Analysis of Digital Media
due Monday, October 16; 300 points
PDF file of assignment > pdfs/project_2.pdf

For this approximately 5–6 page report, you will choose a specific piece of digital media to analyze and prepare a rhetorical analysis of it.

Project 3: Your Choice
due Wednesday, November 15; 300 points
PDF file of assignment > pdfs/project_3.pdf

For this assignment, you will have several options through which you can further explore digital rhetoric and the impacts of digital technologies.

Final Project
proposal due Wednesday, November 1, 100 points
presentation due week 15, 100 points
project due Wednesday, December 13, 500 points
PDF file of assignment > pdfs/final_project.pdf
.rtf (rich-text format) template of proposal > final_project_proposal_template.rtf
.doc (Word format) template of proposal > final_project_proposal_template.doc

PDF file of final project presentation assignment > pdfs/final_project_pres.pdf

You will design your own final project. The design and content of the project is primarily up to you, but you must demonstrate a working knowledge of the principles discussed in class—rhetorical, technical, and creative.

   
 
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  GRAD STUDENTS
   
 

You will do the same work as the undergraduate students. You will, however, approach the assignments somewhat differently. Specifically:

  • Readings: You are required to do all of the readings—both the required readings and the recommended readings. The recommended readings are optional for the undergraduate students, but they are not optional for you.
  • Written work: I expect that you will engage the course assignments with more depth, integration, analysis, and field specificity. I expect that your work will be longer and more robust, and will draw in a more focused way on course readings, will include more outside sources, and will hopefully lead to a significant product. I hope, specifically, that you will consider a publishable product for your final project; this may be a book review, a conference presentation, the first draft of an article for submission, etc.
  • Flexibility of assignments: I am open to revising the focus and product of the three projects required for the course. There is room in the assignments for some maneuvering; that is, you can revise the assignments to your interests and needs and still complete the assignments and earn the points for the assignments.

For instance, if you would rather prepare a book review for eventual submission and publication rather than complete project 2, let me know ASAP. If you would rather develop a digital rhetoric unit for your first-year writing course than complete project 3, let me know ASAP.

   
  ADA
   
  MSU complies with all federal and state laws and regulations regarding discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). If you have a disability that could affect your performance in this class or that requires an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please see me as soon as possible so that we can make appropriate arrangements.
 
 
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dànielle nicole devoss | devossda@msu.edu
 
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