ENG 3010: New Media Across the Disciplines

Instructor: Jim Brown
Office: 5057 Woodward Avenue, 10-410.2
Office Hours: T/Th 3pm-5pm (or by appointment)
Class Meeting Place: 327 State Hall
Class Time: T/Th 1:25-2:50
Email: jimbrown [at] wayne [dot] edu


Required Texts:
The Academic Writer, A Brief Guide by Lisa Ede
The New Media Reader, Edited by Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort

Prerequisite for ENG 3010
To enroll in ENG 3010, students must have completed their WSU Basic Composition (BC) requirement (ENG 1020 or equiv.) with a grade of C or better.

General Education IC Requirement and Prerequisite for WI
With a grade of C or better, ENG 3010 fulfills the General Education IC (Intermediate Composition) graduation requirement. Successful completion of an IC course with a grade of C or better is a prerequisite to enrolling in courses that fulfill the General Education WI graduation requirement (Writing Intensive Course in the Major).

Course Goals
In this course, you will learn to:

Identify and Evaluate Arguments

We will learn to identify and evaluate the structure of analysis and argument from a variety of disciplinary and (inter)disciplinary perspectives, including authors’ claims, evidence, appeals, organization, style, and effect. As you read arguments and create your own, you should be considering how an argument is put together, and you should be able to identify and evaluate your own arguments and those of others.

Analyze the Rhetorical Situation

We will analyze the rhetorical situation for writing in various disciplines, including audience, purpose, disciplinary context, and medium. As we read scholars in various fields, it will be your task to study and understand how scholars in different fields work within differing rhetorical situations.


You will conduct research using various resources in our academic library and on the Web. As you study new media technologies and the authors who write about them, you will evaluate and cite existing research. When conducting this research, you should be considering the source and its credibility.

Writing Process

We will learn to develop a flexible writing process that includes generating ideas, writing, revising, providing/responding to feedback in multiple drafts, and editing texts for correct grammar, mechanics, and style. Each writer's process is different, and you'll be developing your own process and reflecting on that process.


You will learn to make productive use of a varied set of technologies for research and writing. We'll use various technologies in this class with the goal of helping you make use of these technologies in other classes and in various writing situations. You are not expected to become an expert in these technologies, but you are expected to take the time to learn how they work.

Course Work

Short Writing Assignments
You will be completing a number of short writing assignments as you read The Academic Writer and The New Media Reader. These assignments will be shared with the instructor via Dropbox and must be submitted by midnight the night before class meets.

Comparative Rhetorical Analysis Paper (6 page maximum)
You will write a paper that compares two of our readings from the NMR. Using the skills of critical reading and rhetorical analysis presented in Lisa Ede's textbook, you will compare how two scholars in the NMR construct their arguments.

New Media Reader Chapter (5 page maximum)
You will design a chapter in the NMR. Each chapter in the book is a contribution from a new media scholar. These chapters are accompanied by an introductory essay that explains the scholar's significance and explains why this particular piece of writing fits with the anthology. These introductions also have "links" to other portions of the book (in the form of numbered tabs in the margins), text boxes, suggestions for further reading, and lists of references. Your chapter will incorporate all of these features. You will be both writing and designing this chapter.

Video Mashup
Using one of the videos included on the NMR's CD-ROM, you will create a video mashup. You will combine the footage contained on the CD-ROM with footage that you find online or with footage that you shoot yourself.

Learning Record Online
Grades in this class will be determined by the Learning Record Online (LRO). The LRO will require you to observe your own learning and construct an argument for your grade based on evidence that you accumulate throughout the semester. You will record weekly observations and you will synthesize your work into an argument for your grade. You will construct this argument twice - once at the midterm and once at the end of the course. We will be discussing the LRO at length during the first week of class. See below for more details.

Success in this class will require regular attendance. I will take attendance at each class meeting. Your Learning Record will include a discussion of attendance.

Computers and Cell Phones
Please feel free to use your computer during class, provided that your use of it is related to what we are class. Please silence and put away cell phones during class. Text messaging during class is distracting to me and those around you.

If you are more than 5 minutes late for class, you will be considered absent. If there is something keeping you from getting to class on time (i.e., you have a long trek across campus right before our class), please let me know during the first week of class.

Grades in this course will be determined by use of the Learning Record, a system which requires students to compile a portfolio of work at the midterm and at the end of the semester. These portfolios present a selection of your work, both formal and informal, plus ongoing observations about your learning, plus an analysis of your work in terms of the five dimensions of learning and the goals for this course. You will evaluate your work in terms of the grade criteria posted on the LRO site, and you will provide a grade estimate at the midterm and final.

The dimensions of learning have been developed by teachers and researchers, and they represent what learners experience in any learning situation:

1) Confidence and independence
2) Knowledge and understanding
3) Skills and strategies
4) Use of prior and emerging experience
5) Reflectiveness

In addition to analyzing your work in terms of these dimensions of learning, your argument will also consider the specific goals for this course. These goals are called Course Strands (these are also listed above in the "Course Goals" section):

(1) Identify and evaluate the structure of analysis and argument in writing from a variety of disciplinary and (inter)disciplinary perspectives, including authors’ claims, evidence, appeals, organization, style, and effect.

(2) Analyze the rhetorical situation for writing in various disciplines, including audience, purpose, disciplinary context, and medium.

(3) Conduct research using various resources in an academic library and on the Web.

(4) Develop a flexible writing process that includes generating ideas, writing, revising, providing/responding to feedback in multiple drafts, and editing texts for correct grammar, mechanics, and style.

(5) Make productive use of a varied set of technologies for research and writing

The LRO website provides detailed descriptions of the Course Strands and the Dimensions of Learning.

Your work in class (and in other classes during this semester) along with the observations you record throughout the semester will help you build an argument in terms of the dimensions of learning and the course strands. We will discuss the LRO in detail at the beginning of the semester, and we will have various conversations about compiling the LRO as the semester progresses.

Late Assignments
Due dates for assignments are posted on the course schedule. While I will not be grading your assignments, I will be providing comments and feedback. I will not provide feedback on late assignments. Also, late assignments will be factored into your argument in the LR (see the grade criteria for more details).

Intellectual Property
Much of what we'll be working on this semester involves the appropriation of existing texts. This is no different than any other type of writing - all writing involves appropriation. The key will be to make new meaning with the texts that you appropriate. Copying and pasting existing texts without attribution does not make new meaning. Some of your work will make use of different materials (text, video, audio, image), and you will have to be mindful of intellectual property issues as you create texts for this class.

Technology Policy
We will use technology frequently in this class. Although I am assuming that you have some basic knowledge of computers, such as how to use a keyboard and mouse, and how to use the Web and check e-mail, most things will be explained in class. If you don’t understand what we are doing, please ask for help. If you are familiar with the technology we are using please lend a helping hand to your classmates.

Course Website and Email
You should check your email daily. Class announcements and assignments may be distributed through email. The course website will also have important information about assignments and policies. Pay close attention to the course calendar as we move through the semester. I reserve the right to move things around if necessary.

Writing Center
The Writing Center (2nd floor, UGL) provides individual tutoring consultations free of charge for students at Wayne State University. Undergraduate students in General Education courses, including composition courses, receive priority for tutoring appointments. The Writing Center serves as a resource for writers, providing tutoring sessions on the range of activities in the writing process – considering the audience, analyzing the assignment or genre, brainstorming, researching, writing drafts, revising, editing, and preparing documentation. The Writing Center is not an editing or proofreading service; rather, students are guided as they engage collaboratively in the process of academic writing, from developing an idea to editing for grammar and mechanics. To make an appointment, consult the Writing Center website:

To submit material for online tutoring, consult the Writing Center HOOT website (Hypertext One-on-One Tutoring):

Student Disabilities Services
If you feel that you may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability, please feel free to contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. Additionally, the Student Disabilities Services Office coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. The Office is located in 1600 David Adamany Undergraduate Library, phone: 313-577-1851/577-3365 (TTY).

WSU Resources for Students

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