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Arc 1

Translation and Process

1/21 to 2/11: In this part of the course, we'll build some key skills and awareness for language use and writing for translation. We'll learn about the writing process and how to build theory through writing.

Arc 2

Writing Across Borders

2/13 to 4/16: The main work of the course will take place in this arc. We'll partner with a nonprofit and create projects for them using digital tools. As part of this process, we'll do a rhetorical analysis of the organization to learn about their goals and key writing conventions.

Arc 3

Putting It All Together

4/21 to 5/7: In the final leg of the course, we'll reflect on the community engaged writing we've done and comment on the themes of the course through a final project and portfolio.



Week 1

What Is Writing? and Inquiry Overview

Tuesday, 1/21

Read: Nolan, “A Translation Crisis at the Border”

Thursday, 1/23

Read: “Literacy Narrative – My Journey” and Cisneros, “Only Daughter"

In addition, read one of the following narratives: Anzaldúa, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” Lu, “From Silence to Words” excerpt; Villanueva, “Bootstraps” excerpt; Davis, “Lennard Davis’ Literacy Narrative”

Week 2

Literacy and Process

Tuesday, 1/28

Read: Rule, “Writing’s Rooms” excerpts

Due: Short Homework 1

Thursday, 1/30

Read: Ede, “Academic Writing: Committing to the Process” excerpts

Due: Short Homework 2

Week 3


Tuesday, 2/4

Read: Young, “Should Writers Use They Own English?”; Fish, “What Should Colleges Teach?”

Optional assignment: Respond to either Young, Fish, or both using one of your own "Englishes" — that could mean a text message "conversation" filled with your specific colloquialisms and emoji usage, a hybrid-language response, or a response that uses a medium that feels more natural to you than conventional writing.

Thursday, 2/6

Due: Short Homework 3

Friday, 2/7

First Studio Meeting!

Week 4

Assessment and Discourse Communities

Tuesday, 2/11

Read: Gardner, "'Tis Better to Give and Receive"

Due: Translation Project

Thursday, 2/13

Read: Wardle, “You Can Learn to Write in General”; Scott and Inoue, “Assessing Writing Shapes Contexts and Instruction”; James, “Grading Has Always Made Writing Better”; Swales, “The Concept of Discourse Community” excerpt

Optional assignment: Find a grading rubric for assessing writing used in another course you're taking or have taken (or find one online). Annotate the rubric by analyzing the values that are being communicated by what that rubric focuses on. Why do you think these values are being emphasized by the person who created this rubric? You can use any format/medium you'd like for this assignment. If you're writing your thoughts through text, aim for at least 300 words.

Week 5

Rhetoric and Genre

Tuesday, 2/18

Read: Downs, "Rhetoric"

Thursday, 2/20

Read: Bickmore, "Genre in the Wild"

Optional assignment:

Option 1: Find a genre "in the wild" and do a rhetorical genre analysis of it. In this analysis, you should 1) Describe the formal features and also name its basic purpose and intended audience, and 2) analyze the social action the genre performs. You might answer the following questions in this analysis: How does the genre get work done? How does it prompt the audience to respond to it? What problem(s) does the genre solve, and what would happen to the community that uses it if it didn’t exist? Are there other genres that this genre borrows from? What does the genre tell us about the community that uses it? Use examples (including quotations and screenshots) of your genre here.

Option 2: Read one of the "Genre Optional Readings" (your choice) from GC. Annotate the reading, and write a 300-word response that summarizes the key points in the reading and articulates how it expands or complicates the definition of genre we get from the Bickmore reading. Post the response and the annotation to Google Classroom's stream for your classmates' benefit.

Friday, 2/21

Studio Meeting

Week 6

Context and Research

Tuesday, 2/25

Read: Kain and Wardle, "Activity Theory"

Optional assignment: Access the expanded Kain and Wardle reading on Google Classroom and write a 300-500 word response to one of the "Questions for Discussion and Journaling" prompts. Post that response to Google Classroom's stream by 8:00 PM on Monday, 2/24, since I would like a few hours to look it over so that we can bring it into Tuesday's class's discussion.

Thursday, 2/27

Due: Short Homework 4

Week 7


Tuesday, 3/3

Due: Rhetorical Analysis

Thursday, 3/5

Read: Radiolab trilogy

Optional assignment: Find a report, policy brief, or publication from one of the following websites:

Post a link to Google Classroom's stream as well as a 300-500 word summary of this document. You can feel free to tie your summary to the RadioLab podcast we listened to for today. The purpose of this summary is to help all of us become better informed about the issues affecting the US-Mexico border.

Friday, 3/6

Studio Meeting

Week 8


Tuesday, 3/10

Read: Wolfe, "Team Communication"; Reardon et al., “A Look at Successful Collaboration”

Thursday, 3/12

Due: Short Homework 5

Optional assignment: Find a software that could be used to help facilitate collaboration for the upcoming Community Partner Project and learn how to use it. Then use Kaltura to record yourself giving a walkthrough (including voiceover) of this technology; post a link to your video on Google Classroom's stream. (Check out Short Homework 2 for instructions if you've forgotten how to do this.) Examples of software could include things like Airtable (for project management), Otter (for meetings and interviews), or Slack (for communication) — but stay away from technologies like Google Docs that pretty much everyone already knows how to use. The purpose of this assignment is to review a collaboration tool and give us a quick tutorial on how to use it.

Week 9


Tuesday, 3/17

No class.

Thursday, 3/19

No class.

Week 10

Ethics and Intercultural Rhetoric

Tuesday, 3/24

Real-time session via Blackboard Collaborate (8:30 to 9:15 AM EST):

In this session, I will go over how this class will be changing to move completely online. I will answer questions and provide support. I will tutorial how to use Blackboard Collaborate and Google Hangouts, the two video conferencing platforms you will need to use for this class. (Google Hangouts will be used for workshops and conferences with me; Blackboard Collaborate may be used for some Friday studio activities.)

Thursday, 3/26

To Do: Read St. Amant, "Culture and Rhetorical Expectations"

To Do: Meet with Community Partner Project team

To Do: Sign up for a workshop time for next week (see Google Classroom); communicate with your team to determine a time that works for all of you.

Participation Opportunity: Annotate reading in Perusall

Participation Opportunity: Submit slide to"Comparative Cultural Analysis Google Slides" (located under "Online Participation Opportunities" in Google Classroom). Instructions for this activity can be found on Google Classroom.


Optional Assignment: Write a 500-word report on how the principles from St. Amant's "Culture and Rhetorical Expectations" could be implemented in your Community Partner Project. Save this report in your team's shared file, and email to instructor.

Friday, 3/27

Studio Meeting

Week 11


Monday, 3/30

Due: Community Partner Project prototypes (by 5:00 PM); share with or send to instructor via email

Friday, 4/3

To Do: Workshop with CPP team and instructor (Google Hangouts) between Tuesday and Friday of this week

Week 12


Thursday, 4/9

To Do: Meet with CPP team

Participation Opportunity: Team meeting minutes (Upload to Google Classroom)

Due: Community Partner Project Revision 1

Due: Optional writing assignment: Many of us are struggling to work as efficiently as before, since much of our work is now unstructured and digital. It can be helpful to learn strategies from each other as we adapt to these new workflows. Write approximately 500 words about 1-3 challenges you’ve experienced getting work done since spring break. Then write about changes you’ve made to your writing process to address these challenges. Post that reflection to Google Classroom's stream so your peers can see it.

Friday, 4/10

Studio Meeting

Week 13


Thursday, 4/16

To Do: Meet with CPP team

To Do: Read peer group project

Participation Opportunity: Team meeting minutes (upload to Google Classroom)

Participation Opportunity: Revision report (see Google Classroom)

Due: Short Homework 6 (peer review reports)

Due: A revision of either your Translation Project or Rhetorical Analysis (submit to Google Classroom)

Due: Optional assignment: None this week; consider taking on an extra peer review instead! (Write to your instructor if you'd like to take on this assignment.)

Week 14

Proofing and Circulating

Thursday, 4/23

To Do: Meet with CPP Team

To Do: Sign up for a conference time for next week (see Google Classroom)

Participation Opportunity: Proofreading exercise (see Google Classroom)

Participation Opportunity: Meeting minutes (upload to Google Classroom)

Due: Community Partner Project final version by 11:59 PM


Optional Assignment: Write a 500-word reflection on what you learned about writing by working with on the Community Partner Project. You should narrow your reflection to a specific part of the project; this can be anything you choose, but examples include: leveraging technologies and multimedia, working for a nonprofit, or collaborating with a team. Focus on one or two problems or conceptual challenges you encountered and how you approached them. Send the reflection in an email to your instructor.

Friday, 4/24

Studio Meeting

Week 15

Reflection and Curating

Thursday, 4/30

To Do: Complete SET Survey

To Do: Final conference with instructor (Google Hangouts)

To Do: Read Giles, "Reflective Writing and the Revision Process"; Kennedy, "Textual Curation excerpt"

Participation Opportunity: Annotate reading in Perusall

Participation Opportunity: Respond to end-of-semester questionnaire (see Google Classroom)

Due: Optional writing assignment (due 4/30). There are two options this week:

  • Usability test report: Look over the usability test video you get on Friday and write a brief (300-400 words) report on the major findings from the usability test as well as how you will address each concern. Use visuals and formatting (like bullets, headings) to make your report easily scannable. If you’d like some more guidance, has some good tips, and you might want to take a look at a sample report for some ideas. When you’re done, send the report to your instructor via email

  • Walkthrough of portfolio: In your portfolio, you get the chance to reflect on the work you’ve done throughout the semester. But you don’t necessarily get the opportunity to reflect on the portfolio itself. For this assignment, use Kaltura to record yourself navigating around your portfolio, and narrate the process you used to create the site, why you made the design choices you did, and what you learned from the process. Try to keep the video under 5 minutes long. Send a link to the video to your instructor via email.

Week 16


Thursday, 5/7

Due: Portfolio

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