Policy Statement

English 325: Writing in Digital Environments

Professor: Matt King
Email: mrking@sbu.edu
Phone: 716.375.2457
Office Hours: Monday 4:00-5:30, Wednesday 2:30-4:00, and by appointment
Office Location: Plassmann D6
Class Website: https://mattrking.com/courses/e325/

Class texts will be made available online as needed.

Program Outcomes for Composition Courses
Outcome 1:  Students will develop a composing process that focuses on the production of writing/presentations across multiple drafts and strategies for research, invention, revision, editing, peer review, and reflection.
Outcome 2: Students will produce writing/presentations that address concerns of audience and purpose, both in terms of the conventions and standards of academic communication and in terms of framing speech and writing as social forces.
Outcome 3: Students will compose writing/presentations in different genres and in multiple media that respond to a variety of academic, professional, and social situations.

Course Description
This course will give students experience writing in a range of digital spaces. Possible writing environments and technologies include blogs, wikis, websites, videos, podcasts, social media platforms, interactive and electronic fiction, video games, and virtual worlds. Students will develop skills and writing practices related to analysis, argumentation, creative writing, media production, design, editing, and coding. At the same time, the course foregrounds writing in specific digital environments and asks students to consider how these contexts shift and shape the act of writing. (3 credits; no prerequisites)

Course Goals:

  • Become better readers of digital writing through understanding and applying key terms and concepts in digital rhetoric;
  • Develop writing and production strategies that facilitate both academic (analysis, argumentation) and creative (experimentation, play, discovery) pursuits;
  • Produce texts that effectively address concerns of audience and purpose with particular attention to digital publics, editing and design practices, and the capacities of a given media/platform;
  • Reflect on and attend to the relationship between digital writing, academic writing, and writing in your field or future profession;
  • Understand and apply standards and best practices in documentation, fair use, and accessibility in digital writing.

Grading Policy
Blog Posts/Short Papers = 15%
Social Media Project = 20%
A/V Project = 25%
Procedural Rhetoric Project = 20%
Website Design = 10%
Participation = 10%

Late Work. I tend to be pretty flexible concerning late work as long as you let me know ahead of time. I would rather you spend the time you need to in order to succeed with your writing, and if you need an extra day or two beyond the deadline to achieve that, I would rather you take advantage of that time. That being said, excessive or unexcused late work will not be acceptable, and I reserve the right to penalize late work in such circumstances (generally, such penalties will be a letter grade for every day an assignment is late). If circumstances prevent you from being able to submit an assignment on time, you should discuss the situation with me ahead of time.

Attendance. You should arrive to class on time with all assigned readings and papers for the day completed. If you have 3-4 absences, you cannot get higher than a B on your participation grade; if you have 5-6 absences, you cannot get higher than a C on your participation grade; if you have 7+ absences, you cannot pass the class. If you have perfect attendance, you will receive a 1/3 letter grade bonus on your semester average. Tardiness can also affect your absences: every three times you are late to class will be counted as an absence.

For athletes, students who provide documentation for absences related to athletic competitions will be excused for all such absences. Student athletes can also miss two more class periods throughout the semester without a grade penalty. If you have three or more unexcused (non-athletic) absences throughout the semester, then all of your absences will be counted toward the attendance policy.

+/- Grades. Plus and minus grades will be used in awarding final grades for this course. The letter-to-percentage conversion is given below.

Assignment Grades
A+ = 98.5  A = 95   A- = 91.5
B+ = 88.5  B = 85   B- = 81.5
C+ = 78.5  C = 75   C- = 71.5
D+ = 68.5  D = 65   D- = 61.5
F = 55

Semester Average
A = 93-100 A- = 90-93
B+ = 87-90 B = 83-87 B- = 80-83
C+ = 77-80 C = 73-77 C- = 70-73
D+ = 67-70 D = 63-67 D- = 60-63
F = Less than 60

Plassmann Writing Center
Revising and responding to feedback will be an invaluable and necessary part of your development as a writer this semester. Toward this end, you are strongly encouraged to visit me during office hours or by appointment, and you are also strongly encouraged to visit the Writing Center in the basement of Plassmann Hall (6A).

Academic Integrity
Academic dishonesty is inconsistent with the moral character expected of students in a University committed to the spiritual and intellectual growth of the whole person. It also subverts the academic process by distorting all measurements. A list of unacceptable practices and procedures to be followed in prosecuting cases of alleged academic dishonesty may be found in the Student Handbook and here.

Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Disability Support Services Office, Doyle Room 26, at 375-2066 as soon as possible to better ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. Documentation from this office is required before accommodations can be made. Please see the official SBU Student with Disabilities policy here.

Email will serve as an official means of communication for this class, and you should check the email account you have registered with the university regularly. Feel free to email me with your questions and concerns.

Title IX
Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender are Civil Rights offenses subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, etc. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you can find the appropriate resources at the Health and Wellness Center or at the Campus Safety Office. For on-campus reporting, see the Title IX Coordinator (Sharon Burke, Director of Human Resources) and Residence Life Staff (RAs, RDs, and other professional staff). The University’s policy and procedures regarding gender-based and sexual misconduct can be found online.

In the event of an emergency, call Campus Safety at 716-375-2525 or contact Nichole Gonzalez, Residential Living and Conduct, 716-375-2572, ngonzale@sbu.edu. Be aware that most university employees are mandated reporters.