May 13, 2013

13 MAY 2013

Dear ENC 4404 Class:

On this day, your "multimodality" article passed review and was promoted to article status on Wikipedia! You may continue to edit it and/or to participate on the article's "Talk" page. In fact, it looks as if a conversation has already begun on the "Talk" page about linking to other Wikipedia articles. But I wanted to let you know that your hard work has paid off.

Have a good summer,
-Prof. Graban

Apr 25, 2013


Dear ENC 4404 Class,

This final posts marks the "end" of the blog (at least, in this kairotic space). Thanks for your engagement all semester. Be sure to watch our Wikipedia submission grow here (submission status is at the bottom of the page)! If it disappears from this page, it will likely be moved to a "Talk" page or moved into the online encyclopedia space.

As a final reminder, all instructions for submission of the final portfolio are on the assignment sheet, and I'm holding office hours today (Thursday) 3:30-5:00 and tomorrow (Friday) 11:45-2:15.

Finish well and prosper,
-Prof. Graban

Apr 23, 2013


Dear Wikipedians (!) :

As promised, here is our final preparation post of the semester, to be done in advance of class time on Thursday (4/25), since on that day we will "submit" our article together (most likely near the beginning of the hour).

The link for our article draft on "multimodality" is in BlackBoard (in the left-hand navigation menu). Follow the link and "log in" to Wikipedia for your editing task. I have also left our Class Space visible on Google Drive so that anyone who is stylizing the article in Wikipedia can look there to see what was underlined or indented, what was a section header vs. a subheader, etc.

And of course, if you run into trouble, I'm available in office hours and via e-mail, so don't hesitate to ask! Here are the editing tasks you selected at the end of class today:

1. Proofreading for Punctuation and Sentence Structure, especially
WWC on "passive voice" (pp. 58-65)
WWC on "subject-verb agreement" (pp. 70-78) and "parallelism" (pp. 79-82)
Style on "emphasis" (pp. 46-48, 49-51) and "elegance" (pp. 91-93)
WWC on "possessive case" (pp. 92-94) and "apostrophe" (p. 119)
  • Rachel Cushanick
  • Morgan Hough
  • Shay Morant
  • Lindsey Sullivan
  • Brittany Stephens

2. Numbering and Unifying all Endnotes/References
  • Amanda Diehl
  • Erik Reed
  • Dr. Graban (I doubt that you'll need my help, but ...)

3. Creating Section Headers and a TOC
  • Chris Menendez
  • Anneleise Sanchez
  • Jordan Spina

4. Editing for Tone and Stance
Style on "ethics of style" (pp. 126-129)
WWC on "passive voice" (pp. 58-65)
  • Tyler Avery
  • Stacey Cox
  • Nick Pelton

5. Proofreading for Spelling
Be sure to use lists of commonly misspelled words (in WWC and elsewhere) and check 2-3 sources on the spelling of a technical term!
  • Joey Arellano
  • Cassie Hamilton
  • Katherine Saviola
  • Danae VanPortfliet

6. Word Choice and Word Usage
WWC on "Sense and Sensitivity" (pp. 174-184)
  • Jenn Gaudreau
  • Brittany Morrill
  • Austin Tillery

7. Stylizers (i.e., boldfacing, italicizing, inserting hyperlinks, naming categories you want the article to be associated with, and cleaning up the page)
  • Catalina Quintana
  • Donovan Todd
  • Rachel Young
  • Dr. Graban (I doubt that you'll need my help, but ...)

And two final reminders:

Your Wikipedia Analytic Reflection is due (posted to your blog) by beginning of class time on Thursday (4/25). See the Assignment Sheet for particulars, but it probably won't seem completely new to you.

In addition to that (more formal) reflection, I invite everyone to submit a briefer for-my-eyes-only reflection on how the project went for you. (Obviously, this will not be linked to your blog.)

Have a wonderful 48 hours,
-Prof. Graban

Apr 19, 2013


Dear Everyone:

Nice work during Thursday's workshop. In our final week, there is much to do, so I promised a blog post to help you prepare.

Portfolio Workshop
As a reminder, Tuesday's portfolio workshop will be conducted as a peer review with an emphasis on navigating and user-testing each other's portfolios. This means you will need to have the following in place by the beginning of class time:
  • your portfolio's structure (either on or in your preferred application, though I highly recommend just reconfiguring your blog, since you have been working so hard on it all semester)
  • your portfolio's design (by which I mean both its look and its rhetorical velocity, where the visualization of your portfolio is actually demonstrating to viewers some of what makes rhetorical delivery so complex)
  • an overview page with summative statements (where needed) and all linked contents (at minimum, this should include Short Assignments and major assignments, as well as your analytical essay)
  • a full draft of your analytic reflection (either as a linked document or as a page on your portfolio)
  • at least one of the major assignments revised in final form (you do not need to have all of them revised for this peer-review workshop)

Wikipedia Article Draft
Also as a reminder, by the beginning of Tuesday's class, we need to have the Wikipedia article completed. I will then move it into our Wikipedia project space and assign the final round of editing tasks. So, this means you will need to have the following done in our Google Drive Class Space by the beginning of class time:
  • all content finished and clarified (I believe only 2 groups have content outstanding);
  • your editing task complete (see the workshop document for the various categories, as well as the pages on Wikipedia and in WWC and Style that are serving as our editing guide;
  • all bracketed call-outs resolved and removed, all editing marks resolved and removed;
  • all endnotes inserted with full citations.

Please do give it your all; I'm checking Google Drive frequently, so I have a good sense of who is doing what. But also, at this point you all "own" all sections of the article, so your expertise matters in all of it.

Looking forward to next week,
-Prof. Graban

Apr 16, 2013


Dear Everyone:

You know you have done a great job of drafting intensely -- and are doing a good job of editing intensely -- when the draft metamorphoses into something messy before the next phase. Welcome to the messiness! As you all start taking ownership of each other's sections, we'll move forward in editing teams, so as to focus on the integrity and coherence of the content, and so as to work towards smoothness of language and tone. (And in reality, those things work together, rather than as separate categories.)

Based on today's workshop, please make any major organizational changes (e.g., moving material into or out of your section, of copying/pasting between sections) as soon as possible, to ensure that content is at least located where it needs to be in the article. Then, by the beginning of class time on Thursday, please have completed your editing assignment directly in the Class Space on Google Drive. Here is the list of editing groups for which you volunteered:

  • Cohesion: Jenn Gaudreau, Stacey Cox, Morgan Hough
  • Explainers: Lindsey Sullivan, Amanda Diehl, Erik Reed
  • Perspective Checkers: Donovan Todd, Catalina Quintana, Katherine Saviola
  • Tone and Stance: Tyler Avery, Shay Morant, Rachel Young
  • Readability and Word Choice: Rachel Cushanick, Brittany Morrill, Austin Tillery, Brittany Stephens
  • Quotations (especially formatting and what to do with long quotes): Jordan Spina, Cassie Hamilton
  • Fact Checkers: Anneleise Sanchez, Joey Arellano, Nick Pelton
  • Paragraph Focus: Chris Menendez, Danae VanPortfliet

This time, you are taking control of the whole article for your particular task. Please use the "Wikipedia Peer Review 1" handout to guide you (if you don't have a hard copy, you can find it in BB "Handouts" at the very bottom of the list), since I offered up some examples from the actual article and even pointed you towards relevant resources, online and off. So in other words, those resources are our editing guide for this next phase.

You'll be working individually, which means it is possible that even those of you working on quotations might come up with different solutions to what you see as similar problems; this is perfectly fine. Edit and resolve what you can -- after all, you are giving each other permission to do so -- but if you are hesitant or unsure about making a major change, feel free to call it out in {{boldfaced double brackets}}.

At the beginning of class on Thursday, I will move our first revised version into a Wikipedia project space where it will live for a week as we do our second round of editing -- which will involve a whole new set of editing teams.

Much fun ahead!
-Prof. Graban

Apr 15, 2013


Dear Everyone:

As a reminder, we are following the syllabus and Wikipedia assignment sheet, which means that Tuesday's class will serve as a guided peer workshop for the first full (and polished) draft of our Wikipedia article. I'm asking for a "completed and well-rendered draft of your section of the article." By the beginning class time tomorrow, please be sure that your group has pasted its completed section into the shared class document.

Much has to happen by the end of our class period, including making final decisions about copying and pasting content between or among sections, and making final decisions about editorial roles. Thus, writing groups whose sections are incomplete will slow down the class and be unable to receive credit for the peer review.

Also, please bring to class the following:
  • When Words Collide
  • Style
  • Wikipedia assignment sheet
  • Portfolio assignment sheet (if you have lingering questions)
  • "Twinkie" book review (from Thursday's class)
  • sources or references you came across that are essential to your section of the article and/or to someone else's.

We will devote the first part of our workshop to a quick discussion of how we would rewrite the book review as a plot/book summary for Wikipedia, and we'll most likely take up some lingering questions from last Thursday's workshop on "Coherence, Cohesion, Rhythm, and Grace."

Looking forward to it,
-Prof. Graban

Apr 10, 2013


Hello, Everyone:

Good luck finishing <Short Assignment #6> (the last of the Short Assignments) and progressing with your group's contribution to the Wikipedia article. An invitation went out to the whole class last Thursday, following our workshop, inviting you to a class composing space, so please make use of that space as soon as your group has something to share with the other groups, even if you only have a "SFD" (in the words of Ann Lamott through Carra Hood). Two groups are especially in need of knowing what other groups have drafted at this point!

For Thursday's workshop, please read the Style section on "Emphasis" and WWC on "Sense and Sensibility." As well, please review the Style sections on "Global Coherence" and "Ethics of Style," and the WWC sections on "Style," "Adjectives and Adverbs" (pp. 35-40), and "Passive Voice" (pp. 58-65).

During our workshop, we'll be working with those sections alongside the following style points from Wikipedia, in case you are interested in browsing ahead:

You'll notice that some of these are whole subtopics within Wikipedia's Manual of Style, while others are partial topics embedded in other discussions about style. I have pointed us to these sections specifically, but there is certainly nothing preventing you from exploring further on any topic!

Looking forward to it,
-Prof. Graban

Apr 3, 2013


Hello, Everyone:

As you are working in your Google Doc spaces with your writing teams, please do keep in mind that -- in some cases -- the best sources you could be drawing from are the sources you have already read or somehow mastered for the class. In other words, rather than feeling as if you have to find sources with "multimodality" in the title, look more creatively at those sources that already reflect what you think to be true about multimodality.

I'll look for fleshed-out sections in your workspaces by class time, and then we'll spend the class writing, workshopping, and negotiating pretty extensively. If you're not sure of what to expect -- i.e., not having a firm product expectation is making it difficult for you to write -- I'd say, expect to present something complete to the class that makes sense according to how you understand your section of the article, and then expect to have it challenged, rethought, reorganized, and even renegotiated.

Please bring to class -- or otherwise have access to in class -- the sources you want to use. We have a lot to get accomplished in our 75 minutes. Please also bring your assignment sheet (just for reference).

Have fun with it,
-Prof. Graban

Mar 29, 2013


Hello, Everyone:

We will devote most of Tuesday's class to a discussion of ethics and fallibility as we understand it, not simply to think about a list of rules or etiquette for navigating these things in public discourse, but to think more critically about what we expect from our readers and what we hope to achieve through our delivery of information in Wikipedia, versus in other mediums or venues. Overall, we'll be discussing the affordances and possibilities -- as well as the challenges and limitations -- of working with other people's words on the public expression of complex topics.

Near the beginning of class, I'll ask you to do some media analysis and blogging in groups to prepare for our whole-class discussion of Hood's interesting essay on "Editing Out Obscenity" and Winterowd's brief demonstration of "Beneficience" in rhetorical persuasion. I have also suggested a third perspective that might be useful for our discussion and for your blogging, and that is Gates's call for rhetorical learning experiences that help with "Integrating the American Mind." If you are blogging or responding prior to Tuesday's class, I highly recommend all three readings, since Gates's short essay may give us a more deeply philosophical reason for considering "beneficence" and "editing out obscenity" as persuasive concepts that extend beyond just writing in a single medium.

So, be prepared to talk and blog in class, and please also bring Style and When Words Collide, as we will be looking to them to help us differentiate between ethical stances on at least one issue regarding "public style." 

Finally, please use this time to work diligently in your Wikipedia teams towards our April 4 deadline of having a fully fleshed-out version of your section of the article. As we discussed in class, there will be much negotiation and re-negotiation of content between sections, so it is important to draft your section as completely as you understand it, but also as clearly as you can. Ultimately, the finished article represents your informed presentation of the topic, not mine or anyone else's, and that presentation is what the Wikipedia community will decide to further take up.

Looking forward to our final weeks,
-Prof. Graban

Mar 22, 2013


Hello, Everyone:

In advance of Tuesday's class, I'd like you to register a Wikipedia username and ID. Although we won't start composing directly in the Wiki sandbox until next month, we will be completing some smaller steps online. To register, follow the "create account" link from Wikipedia English's main page

By class time on Tuesday, I will have combined your group outlines into a single suggested outline, with designated sections. We'll look at some Wikipedia project pages, but spend most of the class determining if that outline is do-able, and working together in your groups on the structure of each section. So, please just bring (or have access to) the sources your group has collected so far, and feel free to do some pre-reading and summarizing of texts in your Google Drive space. Nothing will be wasted, given that you'll have the opportunity to contribute to other sections as needed.

Based on the outlines your groups have generated so far, I can recommend the following sources from our "Further Reading" list (if you haven't already considered them):
  • Bezemer and Kress
  • Fraiburg
  • Bolter and Grusin
  • IP Caucus
  • Murray
  • Ball
  • Multimodal Issues Management Team
  • Wysocki

Finally, three of your group outlines suggested listing or linking to multimodal projects, as a way of either demonstrating some of the main characteristics of "multimodal" as you understand it, or as a way of presenting a classification system for different categories of multimodal texts. These are all great ideas, and I thought I would contribute to your brainstorming by sharing some of the texts I understand as "multimodal" according to the definition you have been forwarding:

Good thinking and problem-solving so far, everyone!

-Prof. Graban