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Welcome to the website for English 384, Writing for Electronic Media!

Official Description

Study of writing in such electronic media as weblogs, websites, and other content management systems. This is a writing intensive course. The course uses a combination of informal and formal writing, drafting, and revision to cultivate writing development and an understanding of core course concepts. It meets one of three designated writing intensive courses required for graduation.

Unofficial (Fun) Description

This course rewards the active engagement of participants.  Lectures are the exception. Discussion, collaborative work, hands-on activities, and work at the computer are the norm. In this course we'll each build a small practice website from scratch (nothing like getting our hands dirty!), maintain an individual blog all term, work together in groups to develop an electronic magazine (e-zine), and collaborate as an entire class on a major online wiki-based writing project that will hopefully get each of us published in Wikipedia. (We'll see!) Along the way we'll be exposed to new software and online writing tools.  We'll find it frustrating at times, I'm sure. In the end, however, I hope we'll all have a better understanding of both the power and limitations of writing in online environments. We only meet once each week, making it imperative that we keep on top of our work. Put in 4-8 hours of homework each week and you should have little difficulty staying on top of things.

Books

There are two books on order for the course (listed below).  Other materials are "on reserve" or online.
  • Head First HTML with CSS and XHTML (2006), by Elisabeth Freeman and Eric Freeman (ISBN: 978-0-596-10197-8)
  • In the Beginning was the Command Line (1999; 2003), by Neal Stephenson (0-380-81593-1)
The first book is an excellent introduction to web development and will be useful beyond our class, especially for anyone who thinks he or she actually wants to build web pages.  I've looked at a lot of these kinds of books; this one is about the best I've seen. The second book is a nice, quick read. It's a bit dated in some respects, but that's ok.
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