English 225 – Internet Cultures & Digital Lives (Hughes, S.)


Name: Sarah Hughes

Download syllabus

Date published: 2021

Course level: Upper-Level

Course title: English 225 – Internet Cultures & Digital Lives

Course description: In English 225, we will focus on examining and employing effective academic argumentation. Academic argumentation here refers to the presentation, explanation, and assessment of claims through written reasoning that utilizes appropriate evidence and writing conventions. Our theme for this section is Internet Cultures & Digital Lives. While the internet has increasingly been an important part of human community and experience for decades, in this pandemic moment, it has become a part of our ordinary routines in ways we’ve likely never experienced before. Inspired by this phenomenon, we will study academic argumentation through the lens of digital cultures and communities, exploring what digital culture is and what it means to be a good citizen of digital culture. We will consider the spaces of social media, news media, online privacy and publicity, fandom, celebrity culture, and ethics online, and your interests will guide our conversations and your writing. Language both shapes and is shaped by its society, and in this spirit, we will explore the discourses unfolding within and about digital cultures. We will consider how these discourses affect our understanding of cultures within and beyond the internet.

Course philosophy/motivation: “This course is grounded in the practices and processes of writing, so students engage in thoughtful, comprehensive peer review workshops, sharing drafts with each other for feedback to guide revision. As my syllabus notes, ‘A core assumption of this course is that every person is a writer, and in our weeks together, you will cultivate your writing. The process of crafting text, of spilling words onto the page and reconsidering them, of engaging with feedback from readers, and replacing the original words with new language and ideas, is exhilarating. You will explore and experiment with your writing, considering new and challenging questions and pursuing the complex knowledge of this world. You will read expansively and revise dramatically, and you will harness language as a productive, powerful force.'”

“Because rhetoric is indelibly intertwined with the digital realm because so much of our writing and reading today takes place online, I wanted this upper-level writing course to center the notion of the digital citizen and what it means to be an ethical citizen of and on the internet.”

Cite as: Hughes, S., English 225 – Internet Cultures & Digital Lives, July, 2021, Gayle Morris Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative.

About Author

Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes is a PhD candidate in the Joint Program in English & Education at the University of Michigan, where she also teaches in the English Department Writing Program. Her research interests include digital rhetoric, gender and discourse, and gaming studies. Her dissertation project explores how women use multimodal discourse—grammatically, narratively, and visually—to navigate online gaming ecologies.

Jianfen Chen

Jianfen Chen is a PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition at Purdue. Her research interests include public rhetoric, digital rhetoric, risk communication, intercultural communication, and professional and technical communication.

Nupoor Ranade

Nupoor is a PhD Candidate in the Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media at the North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on audience analysis, digital rhetoric, user experience and information design primarily in the field of technical communication and artificial intelligence. Her research experience and partnerships with the industry help her bridge gaps of knowledge that she then brings to her pedagogical practices.