ENGL488A - Topics in Advanced Writing: Web Authoring: Text, Image, and Design
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This course introduces web authoring from a rhetorical perspective, offering you the opportunity to rethink what it means to compose texts by engaging you in digital writing projects using the tools of graphic design, information design, and web design. We will consider some of the mirrored issues of creativity and structure involved in front-end design and back-end development that are central to making web texts that engage humans as they communicate via computers. Through course readings and weekly workshop activities we will examine and explore the interrelationships between content, presentation, purpose, and audience that become particularly apparent when composing texts in multimodal contexts—that is, in environments that allow you to enhance your texts with typography, images, and interaction. Prior knowledge of HTML and CSS (the basic languages of web development) is not a prerequisite for this course, but your success will depend in part on your commitment to developing fundamental technical skills as necessary to carry out your design visions. Over the semester, you will analyze and author a range of digital texts, demonstrating your understanding of course concepts both in critiques of others’ work and through the execution of your own work. The major projects for this class will not be in the form of traditional academic essays, but web projects accompanied by thoughtful accounts of the range rhetorical choices informing your plans and products. This course is both reading- and design/development/writing-intensive; the workload and expectations for critical engagement and writing level will be commensurate with that of any 400-level English course. Class meetings will emphasize active and consistent student participation through discussion and workshop activities. Student success in the course will be evaluated on the basis of online and in class participation, projects, and quizzes/exams.