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WRIT 501, Writing for New Media, is a new class that prepares you to think about and write for many new kinds of media that have evolved in the last three decades. We will be learning not only to compose for these outlets but also to come to terms with the demands of audiences and clients and the constraints of technology and legality. This is not a class in software use, though we will be experimenting with and practicing use of a number of programs. There will be some direct instruction in using software, but you must keep in mind that writing competently, thoughtfully, alertly, and usefully for new media involves much more than knowing the workings of a bunch of software (which will probably be obsolete before you graduate, anyway).

So this is a course that will be as much about interrogating the rhetorical and social factors of writing for new media as it is about doing that kind of writing. Since it is a 500-level course, the practical material will be enriched with readings from scholars, theorists, and professionals to deepen your understanding of the "whys" behind the "hows." It will require an enquiring and critical mind, a steady clicker finger, and probably a fair bit of patience.

We will be critiquing ways and techniques of reading, as well as critiquing and designing web pages, participating in a social media community, creating various kinds of print and nonprint texts, and reading, critiquing, and possibly even creating graphic novels and non-fiction texts, so this will be a rich, writing-driven course. It is listed as a writing-intensive course, so there will be a great deal of revising, peer editing, and attention to style, and it meets the technology General Education requirements for English majors, so there will be discussion of a number of delivery systems, with attention paid to the history, philosophy, and strengths & weaknesses of each. We are going to be busy. But I hope we will also have a lot of fun and come out of the course with a great deal of new knowledge and perspective.

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