Tonight we have the following fun things to go over:
- Syllabus and course requirements
- Class Interviews
- Fabulous First-Day-of-Class Exam!
Tonight we will get to know each other and find out the course goals and requirements. I will go over the syllabus first, which will only be located online. We will use this website and Canvas to communicate course material.
After we go over the syllabus, I’ll highlight some important dates and assignments to come. Then, we’ll get to know our classmates.
Let’s make sure any new classmates are on the same page as we are; then, we’ll go over the following fun things:
Syllabus and course requirements
- Define Digital Technologies
I want us to get to know one another briefly tonight. Usually, I pair you up with a neighbor and have you answer the following questions, but, tonight, talk in groups of 2 or 3 for 15 min, and then each of you will report back to class about yourself. Ask the following:
- Year (don’t say “2018″; I mean your year in the/a program)
- Job/Future Job
- Favorite Book
- Favorite Movie
- Favorite TV Show
- Favorite Video Game
- Favorite Technology
- What technology do you use the most?
- What do you expect in “Editing with Digital Technologies”?
Asimov’s “A Cult of Ignorance”
On Canvas, I have a pdf of Asimov’s article. I use this to start off nearly every class I teach. Those of you in past semesters that focus on cultural studies might remember the significance of this. But* how can Asimov help us think about editing? Some topics to consider:
*Omg! Did he start a sentence with ‘but’? WTF!?! I was told to never start a sentence with “and, or, but, because…”
- Responsibility to the public
- Elites and Mass Culture
- The Public’s Right to know
- Credibility and trust
- Reading scores
- Drop in magazine readership
- “true concept of democracy”
Why not trust the experts? Also, what’s wrong with highway signs having pictures instead of words? What does this have to do with punctuation styles?
“Technical Writing” vs “Technical Communication”
Before we get too far into the specific reading, let’s talk about the difference between “technical writing” and “technical communication.” Is there really a difference? Let’s focus on “writing” and “communication.”
This course is not necessarily an introduction to document design because, presumably, you’ve already had that in English 2116 and other Technical Communication courses/situations, or you’re a quick learner. Instead, this course is an intermediate (or advanced) step in your becoming effective technical communicators. Whether or not you actually become an employee with the title “Technical Writer,” is irrelevant: ALL OF YOU WILL HAVE TO COMMUNICATE TECHNICAL INFORMATION TO AUDIENCES.
Make sure you’re reading the assigned material. Your Midterm and Final (which is slightly cumulative) will be based nearly entirely on the reading. I’m going to try my best to make sure we use the vocabulary from the book because I think the concepts are very useful. In different contexts the terms might have different meanings, but the ideas and strategies the terms describe are practically universal.
Ethos, Pathos, Logos
I always like to start classes on rhetoric with a discussion of ethos, pathos, and logos.
- Ethos: appeal or presentation of one’s character or credibility.
- Pathos: appeal to emotions; evoking emotional responses.
- appeal to fear
- appeal to patriotism
- appeal to desires
- Logos: appeals to logic or facts in a message.
- Deductive arguments
- Implicit or explicit message that “if you’re smart, successful, important, etc., you wil do something” (i.e., quit paying more for…)
- Graphs, statistics, legal codes
Please consider the above elements when doing your assignments. Also, consider how you can craft your prose (or edit the prose of others) for a rhetorical effect. What can we say about the following advertisement?
You should have the books by next week. I was just at the bookstore, and they have both books (but not my Italian book…). Do the reading for next week, and come in happy! I’ll want you to read the following:
- Rhetorical Grammar “Introduction” (pp. 1-3) and Ch. 1 (pp. 5-16)
- Perfect English Grammar “Introduction” (pp. 11-15) and Ch. 1, 2, & 3 (pp. 16-38)