Multimodal Composing, Sketchnotes, and Idea Generation

Using the mixed media of sketch notes, animation, and voiceover, this video explores the field of composition’s relationship between multimodality and composing. The piece illustrates how multimodal strategies such as sketchnotes can enhance idea generation and learning and provide classroom strategies for multimodal composition. […] We must remember that, yes, digital composition is multimodal but multimodal composition isn’t necessarily digital. In her introduction of Toward a Composition Made Whole, Shipka…

For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned.

Farhad Manjoo says he’s a better, more-informed person thanks to his decision to try getting his news only from print sources. Turning off the buzzing breaking-news machine I carry in my pocket was like unshackling myself from a monster who had me on speed dial, always ready to break into my day with half-baked bulletins. Now I am not just less anxious and less addicted to the news, I am…

Thesis Critique Activity: Another Use of a Class-edited Google Doc

A few weeks ago, I had students in my upper-level media class collaborate on a Google Docs study guide for The Name of the Rose. In my freshman writing class yesterday, I did something else with Google Docs… I created a page with three columns, and asked students to type their preliminary thesis statements on the left, and give their peers affirming comments and constructive criticism in the other boxes.The…

Weak: Personal Intro. Strong: Blueprint, introducing supporting points. Weak: string of stand-alone paragraphs. Strong: Transitions develop complex conclusions. Weak: Last sentence introduces synthesis for the first time; no room to develop it. Strong: Conclusion synthesizes original ideas that have been part of the paper all along.

New handout: “The Shape of an Academic Paper”

I’ve given an in-class presentation on “The Shape of an Academic Paper” enough times that I’m ready to turn it into a stand-alone web page, which I’ll ask my students to read for homework, in order to save more class time for writing workshops. Musical friends, I’d welcome your feedback on point #5, “Think of your introduction like an overture.” The Shape of an Academic Paper If you are used…

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Jane Eyre and the Invention of the Self

Those who remember Jane Eyre solely as required reading in high-school English class likely recall most vividly its over-the-top Gothic tropes: a childhood banishment to a death-haunted room, a mysterious presence in the attic, a Byronic hero, and a cold mansion going up in flames. It’s more seemingly the stuff of Lifetime television, not revolutions. But as unbelievable as many of the events of the novel are, even today, Brontë’s biggest accomplishment…