This course is designed to give students opportunities to learn multiple approaches to rhetorical analysis, writing for an audience, close reading, strategic communication, multimodality, research methods, and the writing/revision process. The course will feature a hybrid structure that will help students learn to navigate digital spaces, 21st century communication strategies, and college-level collaborative projects. By the end of the semester, students will be better prepared to engage with multimodal communication, college level research, and composition processes.
Our course theme this semester will be “Adulting: Coming of Age in 21st Century America,” which means we will be working together as a class to define what it means to grow up, become an adult, and to be a part of the Millennial generation. Once we have defined these key terms and examined the historical changes in the conception of these ideas, you will work to use those definitions in order to communicate your own ideas about your generation and what it means to come of age in the 21st century to a variety of audiences (older generation, peers, younger generation) through a variety of media (digital editorial, film, picture book).
Additional readings will be provided via TSquare.
Course: ENGL 1101
Course Title: “Adulting”: Coming of Age in 21st Century America
Semesters Taught: Fall 2016 (3 sections)
Section Size: 25 students
From Georgia Tech’s Writing and Communication Program’s Description of English Composition I:
Dr. Rebecca Burnett, Director of the Writing and Communication Program, wrote about the student work from this course that was displayed in the annual STUDENT VIEW, the Writing and Communication Program’s annual juried art exhibition. See the “Assignment 4” below for more details about the picture book project featured in this story.
Fitzsimmons ENGL1101 Syllabus
Students in this section will work to define what it means to grow up, become an adult, and to be a part of the Millennial generation. Once we have defined these key terms and examined the historical changes in the conception of these ideas, you will work to use those definitions in order to communicate your own ideas about your generation and what it means to come of age in the 21st century to a variety of audiences (older generation, peers, younger generation) through a variety of media (digital editorial, film, picture book).
Course Blog: “Adulting”: Coming of Age in 21st Century America
Students respond to prompts, complete scaffolding assignments for their larger projects, and use the space to respond to face-to-face and online class activities.
Assignment 2: Editorial Response
Students will seek out an editorial that centers around the term or concept defined in his or her definition paper. Using the extensive research and expertise accumulated through writing the definition of the paper, the student will respond to the editorial in order to correct misconceptions, defend a specific group (such as Millennials or rejuveniles), or present a different viewpoint. The audience for this editorial will largely be individuals from older generations who regularly make assumptions about “kids these days.”
Assignment 4: Group Picture Book Project
In small groups, students will create a picture book aimed at young children (aged 2-4). This audience will represent the younger generation, whose experiences of growing up will be as different as the students’ experience is from someone who is 15-20 years older. Stick figure drawings, Microsoft paint art, pictures made from typography, collage, crayons, colored pencils, finger painting, graffiti, InDesign, AutoCAD, and other creative mediums are all acceptable for designing the book’s illustrations and creativity is encouraged. Each group will be asked to create an original story based around one of two assigned themes:
1. When I Grew Up – This option may be autobiographical/memoir, based on a historical figure, or may be completely fictional.
2. When You Grow Up – This option may be a factual-based story or a more imaginative or fantastic story, imagining what it will be like for tiny humans to come of age 15-20 years from now. This text may be didactic, inspirational, silly or gently ominous, but the story should focus on what it might mean to become a grown up in the future, recognizing the differences between the contemporary generation and future generations.
Student Sample Work:
Look Up Peter by Jacob Blevins, Owen Rosini, and Denny Lee
Lolishicha Wayushna-Shni Chantesuta Chetan by Sereym Baek, James Bronsted, and Mark Larvie
Activity: Molly Bang Illustration Exercise
After reading Molly Bang’s “How Picture Books Work,” you will create two different picture book illustrations to practice the principles she introduced. These illustrations should depict the following scenes:
A small child watching birds on a peaceful summer afternoon
A large bird of prey (hawk, eagle, etc.) hunting a small animal, (rabbit, mouse, etc.)
Like Bang, you will be limited to using only basic shapes, like squares, circles, triangles (i.e. shapes fewer than 5 sides) and 4 colors (white and black count as colors; you do not have to use the same 4 colors as Bang or anyone else in class). Like Bang, you can manipulate the shapes or combine them to create new shapes (like rounding the corners on the “mother” triangle on page 12 or building pine trees out of triangles on page 20). You may choose to use the same medium as Bang, paper-cut outs, or you can draw, paint, color, or use digital illustration tools. (*Student sample work shown with permission*)