English 2 Winter 2007  223 St. Jos. Hall, 551-7088
office hours: W 4:45-6:45 pm and by appt.

project indexes

The written world has been sweepingly transformed by electronic media, especially the world-wide web. New forms of writing (weblogs, text messaging, discussion lists, email) have emerged in little more than a decade, and nonetheless are the major form of written activity for tens of millions of literate people. There are new forms of commercial, professional, and academic writing suitable for internet accessibility, from the irritating (pop-up advertising), the captivating (games and interactive simulations), to multi-media web journals and searchable archives.  Older forms of writing, such as poetry, diaries, personal letters, and genealogical records are all now available in new ways.  In this class, we’ll explore some of the possibilities for academic writing that emerge from the near-universal electronic mediation of the writing process.

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10

Policy for
computer facilities

The lab staff stringently enforce a no food and drink policy.

You must read and sign a contract stating you understand the consequences for violating these provisions, which include being barred from the facility.

(And if you are barred from the facility, you cannot complete the class!)

Things You’ll Need:
Access to the Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 html authoring tool, and a good image-management program such as Macromedia Fireworks  (part of the Dreamweaver suite, which is currently supported by the university). The Dreamweaver suite is available at a substantial education discount through the university bookstore. It is installed on a number of computers on labs across campus, but you cannot always count on access to them (because of class usage, variable attendant schedules, etc). 

A flash “thumb,” “stick,” or “keychain” drive to store your work in progress.

Some of our reading will be available online. However you should own copies of these four paperback books:

Tamara Draut, Strapped
Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation
David Shipler, The Working Poor

People You'll Need to Know: Gloria Hofer and Teri Escobar-Ochoa, Technology Training Specialists in the Orradre library. They run hands-on open lab advising sessions in the library's Information Commons three times a week--call for the schedule and/or to arrange a private appointment. Phone: 408-554-5430 or 408-554-5014 email: or info:

Coursework & Grading
There are four main projects for the class: a personal web site, weblog participation, and two hypertext essays. Except for the weblog, you’ll prepare multiple versions of these projects in response to feedback from me, from teaching assistants, technology trainers, other students and, possibly, from viewers of your projects online. There will also be a variety of participation projects and informal writing (such as playing “social impact” games and discussing the experience), which are also required.

At the end of the semester, you’ll prepare a hypertext letter linking to your web-published class work and discussing what you’ve learned. You can let that learning essay speak for itself or you can meet or write to propose a specific final grade, based on assessment criteria we’ll develop over the course of the term.

I'm always available to talk if you have questions about your grade and will always take time to help you figure out how to do as well as possible.  As long as your participation remains satisfactory, extra credit is usually available.  

My approach to grading is holistic: I prefer to take all of the assignments together, including participation, and consider the context of your personal goals for the class, your growth as a writer and thinker and, especially, your self-assessment. There are many good things about this approach: most people feel that it’s fair and they appreciate that it’s individualized, and they usually appreciate that I take their opinions seriously.  Most people also feel that it helps to keep the focus on the writing process.  On the negative side, we sometimes prefer what feels like the clarity, simplicity, and familiarity of a universal grading rubric that focuses on the results of your efforts:  (“A C paper fulfills the assignment, but lacks sophistication,” etc). 

My way of handling that is to ask you to develop a set of goals for yourself this quarter, and to describe the way those goals connect to the sort of grading possibilities you envision for yourself.  You’ll share those goals and ideas with others and with me, and those exchanges may motivate you to revise your goals. Eventually that statement will be part of your portfolio: your concluding letter will reflect on the work you’ve done and on your goals.   While I retain full responsibility for assessing your final grade, I take your assessments and grade proposals seriously. In the past I have agreed—within the range of a full letter grade---with the majority of student self-assessments. I cases where there appears the possibility of a substantially different assessment, or in cases where you feel that you haven’t been meeting your goals for a variety of reasons, I may suggest extra credit activities.

Outcomes, attendance, academic integrity, and disability accomodation.  The English department has produced a statement of intended learning outcomes for English 1 and 2, which I’ve provided for you on a separate sheet. In general, these goals reflect national norms for classes of this kind, as summarized in the CWPA statement that you’ll find on the reverse side of the departmental statement.  Because of the participatory and hands-on nature of the learning you'll do in this class, I suggest that you miss no more than one 3-hour class, and arrive late once only. Unexcused attendence problems beyond these guidelines will be reflected by a reduction in your final grade (usually 1/2 to 1 1/2 letter grades); attendance issues affecting 30% of scheduled classes will usually result in a failing grade. SCU maintains a detailed policy on academic integrity that applies to this course and which you may consult in the University Bulletin or on the Provost's web site: academicpoliciesprocedures.cfm   Students who experience a circumstance or condition that may affect their ability to complete assignments or otherwise satisfy course criteria are encouraged to meet with me to identify, discuss, and document any feasible instructional modifications or accommodations. You may contact the Disabilities Resource Center in 214 Benson (extension 4111, TTY ext 5445). Any other issues? Please email or drop by the office to talk about it.

Week 1: Introduction
What is the internet made of? Who “composes” the artifacts that are internet “places” and internet “culture”? How is the composition of internet culture different from the composition of television, radio, or mass-market book culture? Is “publishing” your music, poetry, memoirs, or political views on the internet different from other kinds of publicity? What do we mean by an internet “public”?  In what ways do we people “read” or “view” internet culture differently from other forms of reading and viewing?

In the lab:  Introduction to Dreamweaver

Creation of  a personal home page ("My Low-Wage Life"), at least one activities/interests page, and a schoolwork page, linked together.

Key thought: “self” presentation: the self as a member of groups; participation, community, and activities as guides for personal website design.

Before the end of class, SIGN UP for a lab session with Gloria or Teri.

1. Download Dreamweaver 30-Day Trial; purchase license.
2. Search the web for web design that interests you.
3. Design your own personal web site, fleshing out your activities/interests, schoolwork, and personal "My Low-Wage Life" pages.
4. Include as one page this brief writing assignment (the "I Resign" letter)
5. Include as one page a description of/links to sites that influenced your own design decisions.

Dreamweaver tutorial and help pages:
Contact Gloria Hofer or Teri Escobar-Ochoa for assistance or

Week 2:
Discussion of hypertext poetics and document design issues

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