A Guide to Composition Pedagogies, pp. 111-211
Leaders: Read the chapter for which you signed up, a source mentioned in the chapter, and two other chapters.
Others: Read four chapters.
- Literature and Composition
- New Media
- Online and Hybrid
General course descriptions for ENG 101 and CPLT 110.
- Live tweet one reading
- Prepare to lead discussion: As part of your discussion, take us through one of the sources mentioned in your chapter as a way to help us form a more detailed understanding of this pedagogy. Tell us also what steps you might take to implement this kind of pedagogy in a first-year class.
- Blog post: ENG 101 or CPLT 110 course description: These descriptions generally identify a theme or line of intellectual inquiry for the course, foreground the kinds of writing students will do in the class and, in some cases, forward the key texts students will read. Note that in all first-year composition courses, student writing produced in the course comprises the most important course text. Your description should be at most two (or three if very short) paragraphs long and should be written with an eye to attracting first-semester, first-year students. You can look at descriptions appearing in the syllabi of previous cohorts. I’m including three examples below.
Example 1, ENG 101
Image, Ambiguity, Argument
English 101 is a sequence of readings, discussions, exercises, drafts, conferences, revisions, peer notes, workshops, secondary revisions, and reflections designed to help you to make progress as a thinker and writer and thus to prepare yourself for your future in the university and beyond. In English 101 you will investigate and grapple with fundamental challenges faced by writers across the academic disciplines.
In this particular section of English 101 you will pay close attention to, infer from, and write about images—mainly paintings, photographs, and photographic essays—though written texts will be read and discussed in detail, and will be used as lenses on visual materials. Do not mistake this section for a course in which you will do less reading than in other sections.
Example 2, CPLT 110
This class will be a writing-intensive introduction to Literary Darwinism. Why do we write novels, poetry, make films? Why do we read them? Why do we go to the cinema? Why have human beings adapted to enjoy and pursue literary and cinematic texts? These questions, Literary Darwinists assert, can be answered through an evolutionary lens. Applying a biological concept to ‘humanities’ subjects engages students in an interdisciplinary mode of study, and strengthens their understanding of and proficiency in writing – specifically, in writing about writing and reading (and film making and watching). We will compose multimodal texts, including collaborative tasks and digital media presentations, as well as response papers and an argumentative essay in which you use evidence to support a claim. By the end of the course, you will have gained valuable tools in both writing and digital fluency, as well as having acquired knowledge of an increasingly important academic/literary field.
Example 3, ENG 101
Composition and Comics
POW! ZAP! You just thought of Batman, didn’t you? It’s practically impossible to read those words without thinking of the combination of text and images the old Adam West show employed so effectively, which is precisely the kind of multimodal composition this class will explore and create.
This class will engage critical thinking and reading skills through the discussion, analysis, and production of the ultimate in multi-modal texts — comics. We’ll read an array of comics, including superheroes, web comics, and comics journalism, to learn more about how these texts seamlessly integrate words, image, and design to create narrative and argument. You will develop composition skills through rhetorical analysis and the creation of your own comics, and will ultimately draw on those skills to compose a multimodal argument hosted on your own website.
This course is designed to reflect the changing nature of composition, recognizing that writing is often only one mode among many used to form and communicate our ideas. This class will help you learn skills to compose effectively in multiple modes and in web-based media, which will serve you well no matter your future field.
Continue thinking about
- A subject for your contribution to the video lexicon.
- A line of inquiry you’d like to pursue for the annotated bibliography entries and (modest) study proposal you’ll produce.