This workplace writing course focuses on the creation of marketing materials produced by corporations, agencies, or non-profit organizations to interact with the public. The course teaches research and assessment, project management, and professional editing. Students will create an Industry Analysis, Creative Brief, Press Releases, and Social Media Blog promotional materials. To effectively write these forms of communication requires students to understand how different audiences impact rhetorical choices, to learn the conventions associated with each genre, and to engage in the writing process from drafting, revision, and the creation of a final product.
Surveillance and Social Media
The more we critically engage on social media platforms, the more important it is for us to critically examine the algorithms that maintain these online spaces. In addition to collecting and processing our information, platform algorithms influence how we connect and communicate with other people and obtain the information necessary to form our sociopolitical views. This course considers the rhetorical impacts of social media platform algorithms and the surveillance practices they enable. Students will explore the theoretical and ethical aspects of algorithmic rhetorics and surveillance, rhetorically analyze legal documents, collect and examine social media platform information, and write data-driven arguments.
How to Read an Essay
An essayist can transform a personal experience, like growing up listening to a Tribe Called Quest, into a meditation on music, race and creativity or take a topic that seems specialized like immigration policy or indigenous medicine and bring it alive for a reader who may never have understood its importance. In this course, you'll study essays that live at the intersection of the popular and academic, the personal, political and the critical. Your goal is to write powerful essays of your own.
Writing For Laughs
Writers in this course will read and produce humorous online list-based articles (listicles) that appeal to a wide readership. Students will read articles from successful humor writers on online repositories for comedy writing such as Cracked, College Humor, The Onion, and Medium. Based on our analysis of these articles, we will establish criteria for successful comedic writing, and apply these criteria to our work. Major assignments include a written analysis of a humorous online article of each student's choice and two original, list-based humor articles. Thoughtful prewriting activities, independent research, and extensive revision through independent review, peer critique, and extensive workshopping (modeled on Cracked Writer's Workshop) will be required.
Reading and Writing Blogs
This seminar will familiarize students with the history, theories, and practices surrounding blogging while offering an overview of some of the tools and sites available for publishing blogs like WORDPRESS, ATAVIST, TUMBLR, and TWITTER. In this course, students will consider how blogging has evolved, discuss the presentation of self, examine how the personal is political, read and respond to blogs, and to create and post their own blogs. At the end of the course, students will be able to speak about the origins and evolution of blogging, reflect on theories surrounding blog writing, speak about cyberactivism and its role in driving social change, and create and critique blogs. Students will submit a final portfolio of revised work including critical, creative, and reflective writing. This is a 4 credit course.
Writing and Producing Podcasts
Podcasting is an exploding medium that gives a platform to many previously unheard voices and narratives. In this course, students will examine a variety of genres, formats, and styles to help determine how they want to present their own voices. After analyzing existing shows, students will work individually, with a co-host, or on a small panel to build their own podcast from the ground up. Throughout the course, students will learn the podcast development process: content brainstorming, researching, writing, interviewing, recording, editing, producing, and publishing. Students will leave with a finished pilot episode with the option of publishing online.