Prototypes in Technical Writing: What are They?

Many a high school student has muddled through a book report in a single caffeine-fueled sitting, but successful research term papers or quarterly progress reports require planning. In technical writing, a prototype might be a full table of contents (with summaries for each major section) and one or two complete chapters.   If conducting a survey is an important part of your project, your prototype might be a complete survey of a…

Washington Post, Breaking News, Is Also Breaking New Ground

The Washington Post, famous for breaking the Watergate scandal that brought down Nixon’s presidency, is churning out top-quality journalism in the age of Trump. As an organization the Post is gaining readers, hiring journalists and scooping its competition. As a private company since 2013, when the deep-pocketed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought it for $250 million, The Post doesn’t disclose much financial data. But by all visible measures, including the…

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Why Doesn’t Ancient Fiction Talk About Feelings?

Not a day goes by without The Girl reminding us that everyone else her age has a phone — but she also compares her desire for a phone to Gollum’s desire for The Ring. Many adults have told her she’s lucky not to carry around the burden of social media updates, though part of her is convinced she could resist the temptation, and that she would only use her phone…

My hard-working media students curated a collection of psychology student editorials & infographics at blogs.setonhill.edu/DissingDissonance

My “Media Aesthetics” students worked with students from Elizabeth Jacobs’s “Social Psychology” class, where students wrote editorials and designed infographics about cognitive dissonance. My students helped the psychology students with their drafts, then chose essays they thought had a good chance of going viral, and used WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and Hootsuite to publicize those selections.

The future is in interactive storytelling

An interesting piece. Easy-to-learn hypertext authoring tools like Twine and TextureWriter have encouraged many of my students to give this kind of storytelling a try. As longtime experimenters and scholars in interactive narrative who are now building a new academic discipline we call “computational media,” we are working to create new forms of interactive storytelling, strongly shaped by the choices of the audience. People want to explore, through play, themes…