ENGLISH 315: Digital Writing


ENGLISH 315: Digital Writing

Instructor: Dr. Santosh Khadka

Classroom location: ED 2117 (College of Education)

Office: 834 Sierra Tower

Email: santosh.khadka@csun.edu

Course Description

This course engages the expanded notion of writing, and focuses specifically on the composing practices with multisemiotic resources, such as sound, video, images, web, graphics, and animation, in the digital world. It also deals with social media, digital identity, and ethical issues surrounding the digital production of texts.

Course Outcomes

Students will:

  • Gain experience with a variety of digital writing tools and platforms.
  • Explore the rhetorical effects of different media.
  • Build upon their current levels of experience and expertise with digital writing.
  • Read a series of texts that explore practical and philosophical issues related to digital writing.

Required Texts (List Subject to Change)

Anderson, Paul V. Technical Communication: A Reader-Centered Approach (Selection—PDF in Canvas)

August, John. “The Challenge of Writing in a Digital Age.” http://johnaugust.com/2007/writing-digital-age (Online)

Beach, Richard, Chris M. Anson, Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch, Thomas Reynolds. Understanding and Creating Digital Texts: An Activity-Based Approach (Buy at Matador Bookstore).

Everything is a Remix Video Series. http://everythingisaremix.info/watch-the-series/.

Hempe, Barry. Making Documentary Films and Videos: A Practical Guide to Planning,

Filming, and Editing Documentaries (Buy at Matador Bookstore).

Inge, M. Thomas. “Collaboration and Concepts of Authorship.” (PDF in Canvas)

Kennedy, Krista. “Textual Machinery: Authorial Agency and Bot-Written Texts in Wikipedia.” (PDF in Canvas)

Kim, Inhwa, and Jasna Kuljis. “Manifestation of Culture in Website Design.” (PDF in Canvas)

McKee, Heidi. “Sound Matters: Notes Towards the Analysis and Design of Sound in

Multimodal Web Texts.” (PDF in Canvas)

National Writing Project, DeVoss, Danielle Nicole, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, and Troy Hicks.

Because Digital Writing Matters: Improving Student Writing in Online and Multimedia

Environment  (Buy at Matador Bookstore).

Porter, James E. “Recovering delivery for digital rhetoric.” (PDF in Canvas)

Schmidt, Christopher. “The New Media Writer as Cartographer.” (PDF in Canvas)

Selfe, Cynthia L. “The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal

Composing.” (PDF in Canvas)

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (Buy at Matador Bookstore).

“Wikipedia: Five Pillars.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Five_pillars

“Wikipedia: New Contributors’ Help Page.”


Wysocki, Anne Frances. “The Multiple Media of Texts: How Onscreen and Paper Texts

incorporate Words, Images, and Other Media.” (PDF in Canvas)

Course Requirements and Grade Distribution

Major Assignments (For detailed descriptions, see sample assignments below)

  1. Digital Literacy Narrative (10%)
  2. Audio Movie Review (20%)
  3. Documentary Film (20%)
  4. Collaborative Wikipedia Article (20%)
  5. Digital Portfolio (20%): Links to Student Portfolios Spring 2018
  6. Blog Responses to Course Readings (10%)



A 120 or higher gigabyte portable or external hard drive, USB 2.0.

An 16 gigabyte SanDisk SDHC memory card, class 6

Required free materials include a blog space.


(Subject to change)

Part I: Digital Narratives/Composing with Sound


Week 1, M, Jan. 22

M: Introduction to course syllabus.  Setup of initial website.  Sample post.  Initial Twitter use/set up.  Create Blogs. Introduce digital literacy narrative assignment.

Week 1, W, Jan 24

Introduction to digital writing

National Writing Project: “Introduction: Why Digital Writing Matters.” From Because Digital Writing Matters.

John August: “The Challenge of Writing in a Digital Age

Introduction to Audio Movie Review Assignment


Week 2, M, Jan. 29


Digital Literacy Narrative Due.

Discuss criteria for Evaluating Print and Online Sources

Discuss writing technologies with a particular focus on audio.

Listen and analyze sample audio movie review from NPR:


Week 2, W, Jan. 31

Cynthia Selfe. “The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal

Composing.” (PDF in Canvas)

Mary Hocks and Michelle Comstock. “Composing for Sound: Sonic Rhetoric as Resonance” (PDF in Canvas)

Audio Only Documentary Sample: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csvsjn

Blog Post 2 Due

Week 3, M, Feb. 5

Audio Movie Review Proposal due

Discuss Fair Use. Watch Lessig’s TED Talk Video <https://www.ted.com/talks/larry_lessig_says_the_law_is_strangling_creativity?language=en. Peer revision of Audio Movie Review proposals.

Week 3, W, Feb. 7

Workshop on Sound editing. Drafting podcast script. Recording 30-60 seconds of audio review, and learning editing skills.

Week 4, M, Feb. 12

No Class. Workshop on your Movie Review at the space of your Convenience

Week 4, W, Feb. 14

Presentation of Audio Movie Review

Week 5, M, Feb. 19

Presentation of Audio Movie Review

II. Composing with Video

Week 5, W, Feb. 21

Audio Movie Reviews due

Introduction to documentary making assignment.

Watch a sample documentary film: A Billion Dollar Hippy <http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xn3fbz&gt;

Formation of Documentary Groups

Week 6, M, Feb. 26

Workshop. Introduction to iMovie. Bring to class several short clips of video footage on your camera that total about 5 minutes for download and manipulation in iMovie.

IMovie tutorial by Apple.

Sample Documentary: Digital Nation <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/digitalnation/>

Week 6, W, Feb. 28

Some videos from Everything is a Remix Video Series. http://everythingisaremix.info/watch-the-xseries/.

Part III: “What Will You Show” and Part IV: “Writing Documentary” (PP. 89-216) of  Making Documentary Films and Videos: A Practical Guide. 

Blog Post 3 Due

Week 7, M, March 5

Proposal for documentary film due. Discussion of proposals

Barry Hempe, “Editing a Documentary” (PP. 324-340) from Making Documentary Films and Videos: A Practical Guide.

Discussion of some Film Editing Terms

Video Explanation of Some Editing Terms:


Ted Talk on Editing:

Week 7, W, March 7

Workshop on video production/editing

Download Resources from here for the video composing workshop: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B37jKaJwn4ElaXVBMHNRdFJnMkk

Week 8, M, March 12

No Class. Field Work. Collect further Data or Workshop on video production/editing

Week 8, W, March 14

Complete Video Composition.


Week 9, March 19-25–Spring Recess

No Class–Complete Video Composition..


Week 10, M, March 26

Video Screening

 III. Collaborative Authorship

Week 10, W, March 28

The Five Pillars of Wikipedia

Create a new Wikipedia account.

The New Contributors’ Help Page.”

Formation of writing groups

Intro to Wikipedia Article Assignment


Week 11, M, April 2

Inge, “Collaboration and Concepts of Authorship”

Kennedy, “Textual Machinery: Authorial Agency and Bot-Written Texts in Wikipedia.”

Blog Post 4 due

Week 11, W, April 4

Tapscott & Williams, “Wikinomics” from Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything.

Richard Beach et.al “Co-Constructing Knowledge through Collaborative Writing” from Understanding and Creating Digital Texts.

Blog Post 5 Due

Collecting, locating, evaluating sources for Wikipedia Article


Week 12, M, April 9

One-on-one Conference with professor

Proposals for Wikipedia Article Due

Week 12, W, April 11

Workshop on Wikipedia Article


Week 13, M, April 16

Peer Review of Wikipedia Article

Week 13, W, April 18

No Class–Complete your Wikipedia Article

Week 14, M, April 23

Presentation of Wikipedia Articles

Part IV: Composing with Web and Portfolio Exhibit

Week 14, W, April 25

Introduction to Digital Portfolio Project.

Paul V. Anderson, “Creating Reader-Centered Websites.”

Richard Beach et.al “Composing Multimodal Texts through Use of Images, Audio, and Video” from Understanding and Creating Digital Texts.

Blog Post 6 Due

Week 15, M, April 30

Workshop on additional artifacts for the portfolio

Week 15, W, May 2

Workshop on Digital Portfolio


Week 16, M, May 7

Portfolio Exhibit/Course Evals

Week 16, W, May 9

Portfolio Exhibit/Class Wrap Up


Links to Student Portfolio Spring 2018

Links to Student Digital Portfolios FALL2017

Links to Student Digital Portfolios Spring 2017