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Week 11: Digital Citizenship and Analyzing Websites

After reviewing your preferences for the Multimodal Rhetorical Analysis assignment and the Online Advocacy Project, two things became clear: First, everyone wants to work together as one big group for our Online Advocacy Project, so I’m willing to give that a shot. Second, many of you wanted to study the same projects for the Multimodal Rhetorical Analysis assignment, so very few of you got your “first choice.” However, I was able to arrange things so everyone got one of their top-four choices, so please check your assignment and begin “following” your organization using as many different channels as possible.

Next week, we will get back on track with the reading assignments I postponed during Week 10, then we will spend a day honing our rhetorical analysis skills. Here’s a quick description of our plans for each day:

  • Before you come to class on Monday, please read two short essays by Ethan Zuckerman: “Understanding Digital Civics” and “What Ancient Greek Rhetoric Might Teach Us About New Civics.” After you’ve completed the readings, leave a comment on this post pointing to a specific passage or idea you’d like to discuss in class. (Post these by Sunday night, please!) After our reading discussion, we will select a project that the entire class can work on for Unit #4, so please come to class with at least one new idea that you’re excited about. Given that 11 people will be contributing to this project, try to think of problems/issues/causes that could benefit from a big group effort.
  • On Wednesday, we will spend the entire class period learning how to apply techniques of rhetorical analysis to multimodal artifacts. Before you come to class, please read “Understanding Misunderstandings: How to Do a Rhetorical Analysis,” by Trish Roberts-Miller (if the background color on that site makes it hard to read the article, try “printing” it as a PDF file), “Ethos, Pathos, Logos: Three Ways to Persuade,” by John R. Edlund, and “Basic Questions for Rhetorical Analysis,” by Gideon Burton.

If you would like to talk about ideas for Unit #3 or #4, please let me know — I’d be happy to meet with you during office hours (T 1-4; W 9-12). Otherwise, I’ll see you in class!

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