Writing with Digital Media

Writing with Digital Media builds on ENGL 1601: Writing for the Liberal Arts. Like WLA, this class focuses on analysis and argumentation; unlike WLA, it requires students to compose with images and sound in addition to traditional print.

In this course, students learn about and practice planning, designing, creating and revising digital texts. We explore the benefits and limitations of the various media available to us in order to make informed decisions about which modes, media, and genres best suit specific audiences, purposes, and contexts. We practice assessing writing situations: What forms could a particular project take? What form should it take?

Much of this learning is learning-by-doing: students produce texts using the building blocks of writing in digital environments (text, sound, images, video) as a way of testing their rhetorical and aesthetic value. Students also read theories of multimodal composing and analyze digital media works, but we focus on applying these theories and insights to students' own digital compositions.

Although the class meets in the media lab and considerable class time will be spent learning about and experimenting with particular technologies, the course is primarily about composing processes and rhetorical decisions: how to draft, how to revise, how to make an argument, how to create a multimodal text that meets the needs of a particular audience.


  • Kristin Arola, Jennifer Sheppard, and Cheryl Ball, Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects
  • materials on electronic reserve