Rhetoric, Composition, Computers

Course Goals:

course is designed to introduce you to the theoretical and practical elements
of composing arguments for public audiences in the digital age using new
technologies. You will examine foundational principles of classical rhetoric as
they are enacted in traditional print media and as they are reconfigured in/by
electronic media. You will apply those principles as you analyze and produce
digital (or digitally enhanced) compositions that make use of a variety of
currently popular software applications (including especially cloud-based
computing sites).


this is an introductory course that explores the intersections among rhetoric,
composition, and computers, you will not be expected to learn any particular digital
composing applications in serious depth; nonetheless, you will be expected to
learn about (and begin to make use of) a handful of contemporary applications
that will facilitate electronic communications. In past courses, for example,
students have learned to utilize programs like GarageBand, Audacity, Acid, Photoshop,
Weebly, Prezi, and WordPress—all at an introductory level, and all through a
lens of rhetorical theory and practice. This will be a highly collaborative
class: you will learn through seminar-style discussions, through workshops in
which you teach each other new software applications, and through shared
processes of writing and revising.


writings you produce for this class will primarily consist of the following:

  • email interactions and/or blog posts,
  • an analytic academic essay that will be
    web-based and will incorporate graphics, hyperlinks, and/or other media,
  • a series of “low stakes” mini digital
    compositions, and
  • one substantive digital composition in which you
    make use of an array of digital tools in a rhetorically effective

of how collaborative and interactive this course will be, attendance will be
mandatory: if this is a semester in which you cannot come to basically every weekly
class session, this is not a course you should take at this time.