English 2720: Writing with new Media (D720)
New York City College of Technology, CUNY
Fall 2015, Th 2:15-3:55pm
Classroom: Namm 601B

Professor: Dr. Jill Belli / (718) 260-4974
Office: Namm 520 / Mailbox: Namm 512
Office hours: Tu 1-2pm, 4-5pm, & by appt.

OpenLab Course Site:

Course Description (4 credits, 4 hours)
An exploration of the changing nature of composition practices and rhetorical strategies in the digital age. Students are introduced to a variety of digital writing platforms that expand communicative practices beyond print-based media. Taking advantage of the visual and interactive properties of computer-mediated communication, students consider the ways in which rhetorical strategies are transformed in digital environments.

*This is a required course for the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing
*Prerequisites: ENG 2700 Introduction to Professional and Technical Writing

Required Texts

*If you order these texts directly from, using discount code “PASS5” before 9/15, you will receive 20% off your order (and save a total of ~$20) and free shipping.

[Recommended Text]

  • Morey, Sean. The New Media Writer. Southlake, TX: Fountainhead 2014. [ISBN: 978-1-59871-780-8], $86.50 on Amazon (but used copies start around $30)

*All non-required texts will be provided in-class or on our course site (including readings on writing process/strategies to accompany our frequent in-class writing workshops). If asked to do so by the professor, is your responsibility to print out these texts and bring them to class with you. You may print up to 30 pages per day in the City Tech computer labs, but if you do not have a printer at home, you may want to invest in one (a laser printer is a good, long-term investment for your college & professional careers).

*You will be required to attend local, relevant events and exhibitions for this course, so please factor transportation/admission (some events are free) into your budget for our course materials.

Your final course grade is calculated according to the following breakdown:

  • Participation: 15%
  • OpenLab compositions (writing in networked environments): 40% (includes weekly multimedia reading responses, digital experimentation, participation in/analysis of online communities)
  • Projects: 45%

Participation counts as 15% of your final course grade and includes:

  • consistent and punctual attendance
  • timely completion and thoughtful engagement with of all reading (reading blog posts, comments, and materials posted on OpenLab is part of course reading/viewing)
  • having the assigned text(s) in class with you on the dates they are to be discussed (printed, if they are online texts)
  • active participation in-class
  • taking class notes (at least once during the semester) & posting them on OpenLab
  • miscellaneous homework assignments
  • announced & unannounced in-class quizzes and writing exercises based on prompts, activities, and readings
  • presentations
  • collaborative group work
  • pre-drafts
  • peer review
  • conferences with the instructor outside of class (in my office hours)
  • additional work (and tutoring) at the Learning Center, as necessary
  • respectful attitude toward your instructor, peers, and coursework
  • improvement throughout the semester

OpenLab Composing counts as 40% of your final course grade.
Our OpenLab site is where you can find everything you need this semester (all announcements, updates to the schedule, posted readings, reading responses, and online discussions will take place here). However, this is not just a place where you will come to find information and read what I have already written. Instead, you are expected to consistently and actively participate in creating content on our Course Site such as posting responses to the readings/films, discussing ideas with me and your classmates, reading and commenting on what others have posted, and linking to interesting/relevant material you have found through everyday experience as well as outside research. This material (your writing) will become part of our class meetings: we will discuss excerpts from student posts (both to facilitate writing workshops and to use as a jumping-off point for the day’s reading/discussion). In addition, everyone in the course will be reading your writing (and our course blog and all of its content is become public to the larger college community and anyone on the Internet), so you should spend time and take pride in composing your posts and comments there. Please see our Course Site for a blogging grading rubric and detailed blogging guidelines/expectations (under Assignments, OpenLab Composing).

Your OpenLab Composing grade includes:

  • blogging (creating your own posts)
  • reading/commenting on each other’s blog posts
  • active participation in our class digital discussions

Course Policies

  • You are responsible for having a working, accessible City Tech e-mail and for checking this account daily (all announcements, notifications, and messages from me will go to your City Tech address, and you must email me from your City Tech email).
  • If you don’t already have one, you must sign up for an OpenLab account and join our ENG 2720 Course, and check our OpenLab Course Site regularly.
  • For this course you will also be required to sign up for other accounts to study about / compose various new media environments.
  • Throughout the semester, you may be required to visit cultural institutions and attend events outside of class time, and some of these outings may require admission tickets. These admission fees are part of the “required materials” for the course (just think of it as having to set aside money for another textbook).
  • Audio or video recording of any kind is not allowed during class sessions or office hours unless you receive prior, explicit consent from both the professor and your classmates.
  • This class takes place in a computer classroom, and regularly uses a variety of media for coursework. You should arrive to class a few minutes early so you can log in to a computer and all of your accounts (this should be done by the time class begins). However, you should not be on the class computers, or you own device (laptop, tablet, smartphone) unless doing so is explicitly required by the class activity.
  • Consistent absence/lateness will lower your participation grade significantly (and potentially result in failure of the course). If you must miss a class, it is your responsibility to contact a classmate and to find out/complete missed assignments &/or to see me during my office hours; however, in-class work (including quizzes, freewriting, discussions, peer review, and in-class essays and exams) cannot be made-up.
  • All assignments are due on the dates/times specified. Late assignments will not be accepted, unless you have discussed it with me ahead of time and received approval.
  • You should always come to class prepared with a notebook, folder, dictionary (it can be one on your phone, tablet, or laptop), and writing utensils (pens, pencils, and highlighters). You should also have access to all of your electronic writing for the course (I encourage you to use a cloud-based service, such as GoogleDrive or Dropbox). All course materials (including in-class freewriting, quizzes, handouts, readings, essays, peer review, exams) must be kept in a binder, and brought to each class session.
  • Disagreement and (constructive) criticism are encouraged in our class and on our OpenLab course site. However, you must always be respectful of the work/opinions of others, and conduct yourselves (in person and online) in a mature, respectful, and generous way.
  • A consistent display of organizational, logical, syntactical, and grammatical errors in your work disrupts your writing and will lower your grade. Students are encouraged (and may be required) to take advantage of online resources (linked through our course blog) and available services at City Tech.
  • I strongly encourage you to visit me during my office hours throughout the semester to discuss your work in the course. If you ever would like more individualized feedback on your work in the course (including blog posts, freewriting, quizzes, exams, projects, or texts), you should come see me to discuss your work.

Attendance and Lateness Policy

  • According to College attendance policy, a student may be absent during the semester without penalty for 10% of the class instructional sessions (for our twice-per-week course, this policy translates to three absences).
  • In my class, frequently coming to class late will significantly lower your grade, and consistent lateness will add up to absences. If you are frequently absent &/or late, you may not pass the course.

New York City College of Technology Policy on Academic Integrity
Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion. The complete text of the College policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the catalog.


  • All reading and writing assignments are due on the days listed.
  • Aside from our three required books (which you must purchase, rent, or borrow yourselves), all texts will be provided in-class or on our OpenLab course site (including readings on writing process/strategies to accompany our in-class writing workshops and help you with your assignments). It is your responsibility to print out these texts and bring them to class with you (you can print for free at the college’s computer labs). It is mandatory to have the assigned texts printed and in class when we are discussing them. If you don’t, you will be considered absent for the day.
  • Additional texts/assignments may be added throughout the semester to supplement the texts listed here.
  • Some weeks require a heavy amount of reading and/or writing, so I encourage you to plan ahead.
  • Always consult the dynamic Schedule on our OpenLab site for the most up-to-date version of the schedule, access to readings, and more detail about assignments.