Assignments & Grades

GRADED ASSIGNMENTS

  1. Comparative Analysis – Students will choose a form of media that has endured changes from ‘old’ to ‘new’ media, ranging from comic books to movies to communication technologies. Students will then create a comparative analysis (4-5 pages) of these two forms of representation. For example, students could compare writing on a typewriter versus writing on a computer, or how comic book characters were animated by hand versus by technologies today. This comparative analysis will draw specifically from Lev Manovich’s and David Golumbia’s writing on new and digital media. This assignment is meant to develop awareness about genre, audience, form and other contexts, as well as see work as a critical dialogue and develop this thought.
  2. Annotations – Students will respond to the weekly readings for a total of six weeks. These weeks, specified on the schedule, will be theme specific. Students will use the annotation plug-in Hypothes.is in order to mark up the text. Annotations will consist of embedded comments, highlighting and replies to fellow student’s notes. They must provide a student’s original thoughts on the readings and are used to practice critical thinking as well as develop writing skills. Each annotation will have a specific focus on analyzing the readings, such as responding to the use of rhetorical devices or illustrating the logic of the argument. Annotations are to be written in a semi-formal personal narrative. For example, a sentence from a comment might state: “I thought the author’s use of pathos to involved the audience…”. Students will share their annotations in class and these will serve to develop skills regarding editing, revision, and mastery of language and conventions. Further it will develop an analytical voice and present students with an opportunity to question diction, tonality and other choices in writing. Lastly, it offers the chance for reflection on the student’s own writing and abilities.
  3. Digital Archive -This assignment is meant to emphasize the following:
    • Use of Primary Evidence
    • Developing Critical Thinking Skills
    • Developing Digital Literacy
    • Use of Visual and Written Rhetoric through Multimodality
    • Writing and Editing with Peers

    All of these points are in conjunction with the Colorado Council on Higher Education’s goals for upper division writing. In groups of 2-3 students will prepare a website through WordPress. Here are the first steps:

    1. Decide group and pick an object or collection of objects from the Media Archaeology Lab
    2. Create a wordpress website.
    3. Invite all group members as editors for that wordpress website

    Each website should have sections or pages on the following:

    1. Blog- I want students to keep track of their progress on this assignment. Blog entries will reflect the following:
    • First impressions- what are your initial reactions to the object and the assignment?
    • Difficulties encountered- what difficulties are there in describing or working with your object? What difficulties are you having with learning about your object?
    • Information- How are you searching for information on your object? What difficulties or successes are you having?
    • Website creation- How are you planning on using visual rhetoric? What are some of the problems with your website? How are you allocating work?
    • General progress- Keep a log of how you are approaching your object and what work you are doing

    There is no set number of blog entries however I would like each group member to contribute at least to 2 entries. Blog entries can be at minimum 300 words, maximum 500 words (approximately)

    1. Introduction – This page should introduce site visitors to the main project you are working on. Length: 250 words
    2. Information- You should have a space in which you provide images and basic information to help orient your reader about your objects. Example include size, weight, approximate price, programs available, configuration, date of creation, secondary literature available on it. Accompanying this include photos which support the evidence you have gathered.
    3. History- Give a brief history of your object. The length may vary depending on the age and complications within the history itself. Make sure to cite secondary sources. Length: minimum 1500 words, maximum 2000 words (approximately)
    4. Concepts- Have sections or pages dedicated to discussing and critically engaging with concepts or theories. You are welcome and encouraged to look through the Theory Toolbox book as well as Reading Writing Interfaces for concepts or theories to address. Each group should have 2-3 main concepts. This is where the “civic” comes in. Based off our list of “civic” issues here are some ideas: gender, LGBTQ, amendment rights,  copyright, judicial systems, corporate influence, acts of resistance, writing and publishing, communication, social media, race, authority, class, socio-economic status, accessibility, knowledge production, education, advertising, new media engagement. Each concept should be approximately 2000-2500 words. Try to have 1 concept per group member (although you can collaborate on this).

    Roughly this assignment will require each group member to contribute 3150-4000 words. However work can be divided any way the group sees fit. This project is meant to strengthen communication skills and understanding a collaborative process to writing

  4. Research Paper – Students will compose an individual research paper of approximately 10-12 pages in MLA format. This research paper will be composed of several elements: using theory; using an element of new media as primary evidence for a case study; reflecting on the cultural statements between these former two. In essence you will be learning not only how to include “research” from secondary sources but how to integrate complex theoretical ideas into your essays and develop your own critical engagement with it. The emphasis here is on critical thinking and using complex rhetorical strategies involving a myriad of secondary evidence. This is ultimately the goal of higher level university level writing and thus it is important for you to start writing with this in mind. These theories we will be learning over the course of the semester from your theory toolbox. You will be able to reference the textbook throughout your essay. You will be expected to do research beyond the text I provide and I am happy to help you with it. This assignment will help you develop more complex arguments that draw from a myriad of sources and require you to independently develop a thesis based on your own conclusions.In class we will discuss constructing an argument about applying theory to real world applications. For example: If my new media was twitter and I picked a theory on authority my research question could be: How does Twitter reinforce or deconstruct typical notions of authority? What are specific examples that help my argument? Does Twitter create a discourse that resists authority and why is this important to specific social movements? The prompt for the essay is: How does ____(a)___ effect ____(b)___ through __(c)___ and why is this important? Where (a) is a specific form of new media, (b) is a group or event or civic construct, (c) is the theory you are using.
  5. Media Presentation – Students will create a multimodal presentation using the Pecha Kucha format. This presentation will be a summation of their research paper and thus students will have to effectively choose their main points and find ways to use visual rhetoric to argue for their point. This is important as it is meant to emphasize concise writing skills and the ability to effectively use multimodal formats. After the presentation students will compose a short essay (2-3 pages) reflecting on the challenges of using multimodality and theory in writing, as well as how their presentation went.

 

GRADING

Assignment Draft/Final Version Percent of Final Grade
Attendance & Participation 5
Comparative Analysis Draft 5
Final 15
Annotations Final 12.5
Digital Archive Draft 5
Final 15
Research Paper Draft 5
Final 22.5
Media Presentation Draft 5
Final 10

A word doc version can be found here: (A-F Rubric)

A range A-range paper will:

-demonstrate a clear research question within the first paragraphs and this research question will have a reasonable scope and context

-have a development and sophisticated thesis and argument

-have a well organized structure that illustrates a complex understanding of argumentation

-use secondary source material with full integration

-have evidence of being well researched -show extended mastery of English grammar and sentence construction

-exhibit transitions between paragraphs, sections and sentences

-make use of rhetorical devices

-show a keen awareness of audience through tone, diction and format

-illustrate deep analysis and critical thinking

-have ideas presented in a clear and logical manner

-an effective conclusion that addresses the research question/thesis as well as larger social constructs

B range A typical B-range paper will:

-demonstrate a research question within the first paragraphs

-have a thesis and argument that matches the goals of the paper mostly

-have a structure that follows logical format but may have a few misplaced paragraphs

-attempts to use secondary source material

-have some evidence of being researched

-show understanding and some mastery of English grammar and sentence construction

-exhibit transitions between paragraphs, sections and sentences

-make use of rhetorical devices

-show awareness of audience through tone, diction and format but not always have consistency

-illustrate some moments of deep analysis and critical thinking

-have ideas presented in a clear and logical 3 manner

-a conclusion that attempts to address the research question/thesis

C range A typical C-range paper will:

-demonstrate an area of research, but perhaps not a clear research question outline

-have a thesis that is not fully developed -have an unorganized structure

-only uses a small amount/no secondary source material

-have evidence of little research

-show basic understanding of English grammar and sentence construction

-exhibit few transitions between paragraphs, sections and sentences

-does not make much use of rhetorical devices or misuses them

-show no awareness of audience through tone, diction and format; i.e. uses colloquial language for inappropriate situations

-illustrate little analysis and critical thinking and mostly summary instead

-have ideas presented in an unorganized, illogical manner

-a conclusion that does not address the research question/thesis as well as larger social constructs

D/F range A typical D/F-range paper will:

-demonstrate no clear area of research

-have no thesis or one that is hard to understand -have an unorganized structure

-uses no secondary source material

-have no evidence of research

-show little to no understanding of English grammar and sentence construction

-exhibit no transitions between paragraphs, sections and sentences

-does not make use of rhetorical devices or misuses them

-show no awareness of audience through tone, diction and format; i.e. uses colloquial language for inappropriate situations

-illustrate no analysis and critical thinking and mostly is summary instead

-have ideas presented in an unorganized, illogical manner 4

-a conclusion that does not address the research question/thesis as well as larger social constructs

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