Policy Statement

English 325: Writing in Digital Environments

Professor: Matt King (he, him, his; more on pronouns here and here)
Email: mrking@sbu.edu
Phone: 716.375.2457
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 10:00-11:15 and by appointment
Office Location: Francis 231 (also available on Zoom during office hours)
Class Website: https://mattrking.com/courses/e325/ and Moodle

Class texts will be made available online as needed.

English Major Outcomes
Students successfully completing the English major will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Demonstrate critical reading practices of literary and rhetorical texts, with attention to contexts such as history, culture, race, gender, class, intersectionality, genre, period, production, and theory.
  • Produce effective written, oral, and digital communication necessary for literary and rhetorical criticism, creative writing, social advocacy, and professional success.
  • Identify and address ethical concerns related to literature and language, including diversity, equity, justice, and social oppression.

Writing Intensive Course
This course satisfies the Writing Intensive requirement for the general education curriculum and thus addresses the University Learning Goal and Objectives on writing and communication:

Students will develop competence in multimodal communication with special emphasis on oral, written, and digital communication, including an understanding of key issues relating to their use.

Learning Objectives
1. Students identify and respond to contexts using appropriate processes and modes of delivery.
2. Students use effective content and approaches to organization, style, and design that are appropriate for the discipline and genre of communication.
3. Students demonstrate control of syntax and mechanics by using language that communicates with clarity, fluency, and minimal errors.

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 Objectives
Students who successfully complete the course will:

  • 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
Read my statement on grading here. The grading statement also includes the policies for late work and attendance.

Student Success Center
Revising and responding to feedback will be an invaluable and necessary part of your development as a writer this semester. All students working on writing projects are encouraged to seek help from the SBU Writing Lab. Writing Lab tutors are available for both in-person and remote sessions (via Zoom). Even if you do not have a draft to share, a tutor can help you brainstorm or work through an outline for an upcoming project.

To meet with a writing tutor, stop by the Student Success Center in Plassmann 100 or email the Writing Lab at writinglab@sbu.edu with your request. You may either schedule a tutoring session in advance or simply attend drop-in hours. The Writing Lab’s schedule can be found on the Student Success Center page within the Academics section on MySBU.

Academic Honesty
The work you submit for our class should be your own; when you draw on the work of others, you should acknowledge it and include appropriate citations. Instances of plagiarism can result in failed assignments and potentially failure of the course. A list of unacceptable practices and procedures to be followed in addressing cases of alleged academic dishonesty can be found here.

Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities who feel they need academic accommodations should contact Adriane Spencer (aspencer@sbu.edu), Director of Disability Support Services Office, 100D Plassmann Hall (Student Success Center), 716-375-2065. Please reach out early in the semester so that they can assist you as soon as possible. Documentation from the Disability Support Services Office is required before I can make accommodations.

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 (Katie O’Brien, Vice President for Student Affairs) 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 (716-375-2525) or contact Rob DeFazio (Student Conduct, 716-375-2190, rdefazio@sbu.edu). Be aware that most university employees are mandated reporters.

COVID Policies
Your top priority this semester should be maintaining your own physical and mental health and safety and helping to protect the health and safety of others. If you have COVID-19 symptoms or otherwise believe you might have been exposed to the virus, please do not come to class. If you are worried about attending class at any point due to concern for your own health, please let me know. If you are placed on a mandatory quarantine or in isolation for potential exposure to or contraction of COVID-19, please let me know.

Other Concerns
If you have any other concerns that affect your ability to succeed in this course – for example, affording costs related to the class, having regular shelter and food, dealing with mental health issues, etc. – please let me know, and I will do what I can to help.