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Week 8: Crafting Arguments, Learning CSS, and Understanding Networks

All of you came to class last Wednesday with great ideas for your tap essays, and I can’t wait to see how your essays take shape over the next few weeks. Now that you have an approved topic for your essay, you should take what you learned using Tapestry to reformat someone else’s words and apply those lessons to your own tap essay. Tapestry may not be the best application for drafting your essay, but don’t forget about Tapestry’s affordances and constraints as you write. Remember: concision, pacing, and selective emphasis are incredibly important to the success of your project.

Your homework for spring break is to produce a first draft of the text for your tap essay and begin collecting images that you might use to enhance your essay. When we come back next week, we will pick up where we left off in Week 7. Here’s how we’ll spend our time in class:

  • On Monday, we’ll begin by looking at the tap essays of famous political speeches that you worked on before spring break. Don’t worry about polishing your essay, but come to class ready to show us at least a few screens that you created. Afterwards, we will conduct workshop to learn how to customize your tap essays using cascading style sheets (CSS). Please bring an electronic copy of the text you’ve drafted for your own tap essay.
  • On Wednesday, we will discuss the importance of networks in a digital society. Please be ready to discuss Net Smart, Chapter 5 (pp. 191–238), in class. No later than Tuesday night, leave a comment on this post containing a passage from the text you’d like to discuss in class, along with your analysis (or rebuttal) of that passage.

I will be at a professional conference for the remainder of spring break, but you can reach me via email if you have any questions as you draft your tap essay. If you’d like to chat about your project next week, please come see me during my regular office hours (T 1–4, W 9–12).

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