Course Information:

Title: Writing and Technology
Number: ENG 314-001
Location: MO 204
Time: TR 9:30-10:45
Instructor: Dr. Jeremy Tirrell
Office: MO 150
Office Hours: TR 12:00-2:00 (and by appointment)


Students in this course will explore how digital technology shapes composing practices through critical engagement with new media formats. Students will have the opportunity to use a variety of network services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Docs to analyze and produce multimedia works including interactive maps, online community advocacy networks, and podcasts/video podcasts. Much course interaction will take place through a companion website that supplements class meetings with blog, comment, and wiki features. This course includes both individual and group projects, and some student work will take place in public online formats. Most reading materials will be provided online.

All class members are expected to treat each other with appropriate courtesy and decorum, and all coursework is expected to be completed in a thorough, timely fashion. All students must read and understand the policies articulated in this syllabus and sign the course contract in order to remain in the class.

Required Texts:

  • Online readings provided on the course website

Course Policies:

Technology Expectations:

  • ability to interact with the course website (requires a Google account) and other websites
  • access to word processing, visual design, and web design software
  • a suitable email account checked regularly for course-related business
  • a Flash drive or other means to backup coursework

Routine work with technology is a component of this class. Students need not be technological experts to succeed in this course, but digital technology interaction is integral, and computer problems are not valid excuses for incomplete work. Practice the core principle of digital data work: redundant backup. Digital technology will fail you; be prepared for that eventuality.

Personal Technology Devices in the Classroom:

Students may use laptops, cell phones, and other digital devices during class, provided that they do not disrupt other students' learning. This is not a trick. This course provides an opportunity for students to practice prioritizing their attention in an increasingly connected, multidata environment. Each student is responsible for his or her own engagement with class meetings, and thus his or her resultant success or failure.

Availability of Online Material:

Because of the nature of the course, some material posted to this website may be publicly accessible through the Web. (A student's grades and personal information will not be shared publicly, but students may opt to have their grades accessible privately online.) Additionally, any material posted to the course website may be used anonymously for teaching or published research purposes. For these reasons, students are encouraged to select usernames that are different from their real names.

Collaborative Work:

Teamwork and group projects are required elements of the course. When a group project is assigned, students will participate in activities that foster successful collaboration. Student groups will be mostly autonomous, but groups will inform the instructor about meeting times and fill out meeting attendance sheets. (This ensures that all group members meet as scheduled; any student who misses a scheduled group meeting will have points deducted from his or her project grade.) After the conclusion of group projects, individuals will complete forms to assess the contributions of group members and the global performance of the team.

Attendance and Punctuality:

Because this is a workshop and discussion-driven class, class attendance is crucial. Role is taken shortly after class begins. There is no attendance component of the course grade, but any in-class or out-of-class work missed because of an absence cannot be made up. If there are extraordinary circumstances that will cause a student to miss class, the student should notify the instructor before the affected class period. The class abides by the maxim that all members of the class should show respect to one another by meeting at designated times and places prepared to work.

Late Work:

Late work is not accepted.


This courses uses the plus/minus grading system. Pluses/minuses will appear on coursework feedback and final grade reports. The scoring breakdown is as follows:

  • 92-100 = A
  • 90-91 = A-
  • 88-89 = B+
  • 82-87 = B
  • 80-81 = B-
  • 78-79 = C+
  • 72-77 = C
  • 70-71 = C-
  • 68-69 = D+
  • 62-67 = D
  • 60-61 = D-
  • 0-59 = F

Grade Components:
Engagement Assignments = 25%
Online Community Advocacy Project = 25%
Local Mapping Project = 25%
Podcast Project = 25%

Engagement assignments include all the work necessary for the progress of the course, such as in-class activities, out of class short assignments, reading responses, blog posts, comments, etc. Most of these assignments are worth two points each. Students must produce professional, thorough, insightful work to receive full credit on engagement assignments. The final engagement assignment grade is a cumulative score based upon how many points a student gained versus how many were possible for the semester.

All projects will go through a drafting and revision process before they are turned in for a grade. I will provide extensive feedback on project drafts, but comparatively little feedback on final versions. This is because the primary purpose of feedback is to improve student work rather than to explain why it earned a particular grade. Students are always welcome to visit office hours to discuss work at any stage, including after it has been graded.

Academic Honor Code:

UNCW students and instructors are expected to adhere to the guidelines set forth in the University Academic Honor Code. Students are expected to produce original work in this course. Collaboration and incorporation of external material and ideas into original work is of course acceptable and necessary, but all writers are ethically obliged to document external sources through appropriate citation practices. If you are uncertain if some element of your work constitutes plagiarism or another honor code violation, please speak with me. The point of any class is to educate, not to punish. Nevertheless, the consequences of honor code violations are appropriately dire. Please consult the "Student Academic Honor Code" information in the UNCW website and the Undergraduate Catalogue for more details.

Statement Regarding Violence and Harassment:

UNCW practices a zero tolerance policy for any kind of violent or harassing behavior. If you are experiencing an emergency of this type contact the police at 911 or UNCW CARE at 962-2273. Resources for individuals concerned with a violent or harassing situation can be located at the UNCW Crisis Resources page.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities:

I and the university will make every effort to accommodate students with disabilities. If you require special accommodations, please feel free to see me privately during office hours to make arrangements or contact Disability Services directly. According to university policy, students must consult with Disability Services before classroom accommodations can be provided. Please make contact as soon as possible, as accommodations cannot be made retroactively.

Course Information

Intro. to Professional Writing
ENG 314-001
MO 204
TR 9:30-10:45

Instructor Information

Dr. Jeremy Tirrell
Office: MO 150
Office Hours: TR 12:00-2:00 (and by appointment)

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