My RHET-125 Writing in a Digital World class focuses on the ways that writing happens in digital environments: how writing circulates and travels across spaces and situations, how it complicates ideas of plagiarism and originality, and how the tools we use shape, and are shaped by, the audiences and contexts we write for/in.

For this project, students choose an assortment of existing texts—texts that have already been composed by someone else—and produce a new text made solely of parts of those texts. In other words, this new text cannot contain anything (words, images, sounds, etc.) that the students have made. Their assemblage should repurpose the pieces of other texts and relocate them in new contexts in order to make some kind of argument/statement.

Students write a rationale that accompanies their assemblage, which addresses the new contexts the texts are in, what they took and changed from the original the original and why, and how each text operates rhetorically—in other words, what rhetorical work do these new texts perform? How/why?

In class, we spend a lot of time tracing the movement of texts, noting how texts are linked together and the rhetorical work that such linkage affords us in the composing process. Writing, then, does not exist in a vacuum—texts are always linked to antecedent texts—and memes, websites, videos, and other digital texts often illustrate this for us. But we don’t always think about these antecedents, and contextual changes, that goes alongside with this type of writing. This project invites students to confront this head on and analyze the effects that these changes can have on meaning.

This projected is associated with the course: RHET-125

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