What is this course?

Accelerated Composition is a course that will redefine how you view composition. While composition is often black words on a white page (like this syllabus), it encompasses much more. This course will equip you to write and think critically in both print and digital environments and will build on prior knowledge and introduce new skills as well: research, analysis, rhetorical situation, rhetorical appeals, fallacies, and multimodal composition. In particular, ENGL 1030 will focus on composing with digital creativity and will utilize Adobe Creative Cloud and Apple’s coding program, Swift. You will learn how rhetoric works through attention to persona, audience, and persuasive appeals (such as pathos, logos, ethos, kairos). Throughout the semester, you will learn about various kinds of rhetoric, including visual, written, oral/sonic, and digital. Your five projects will reflect these different kinds of rhetoric, as well as the significance of developing digital literacy and creativity.



What will I learn?

  • Rhetorical knowledge

  • Critical thinking, reading, and writing

  • Processes of composing

  • Knowledge of conventions

  • Composing in electronic environments

What materials do I need?

Envision in Depth: Reading, Writing, and Researching Arguments 4th Ed. By Christine L. Alfano and Alyssa J. O’Brien. Pearson Longman, 2014 (only the 4th edition is possible, all other editions are different)




Google Docs

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Spark Page, Adobe Spark Post, Adobe Spark Video

Apple’s Swift


What do I need to do?

This course is project-driven and centers around applying theoretical knowledge from the textbook to the production of five projects. Deadlines for delivery of each artifact are noted below. All visual assets, artwork, and text must be original and created by you.

1) Video Production

Technological skill set: Adobe Spark Video

You will get acquainted with video production in this assignment  through an excellent beginner-level software, Adobe Spark Video. Your work with Spark Video will also help you develop proficiency in rhetorical analysis and argument. The first step to this assignment is to think about the technology you will be using and to ask yourself how you need to approach this project—how is a project using video different from a project using Microsoft Word? How is it similar? I suggest that you watch YouTube videos to get familiar with the genre as well as play around with the software so you are comfortable with it. You will then choose a piece of visual rhetoric and discuss—using the rhetorical tools of persuasion—how your chosen visual text offers a persuasive argument. The form of this assignment is a 3-minute video using Adobe Spark Video that utilizes visual images and the rhetorical elements of composition, presentation, intended audience, and argument.

Requirements: This assignment should include two sources (the one you’re analyzing and another supporting source) in your credits. You should include background music, a title screen, voiceover, images, and credits. You will include the image that you are analyzing as well as other images (a mix of your own images and Google images that are licensed for reuse/modification) to back up your discussion. Remember to talk about rhetorical appeals (logos, pathos, and ethos) as well as the rhetorical situation (argument, author, and audience) in your analysis of the image. Also, include (in a Word doc) the text of your voiceover. Use p. 38 “At a Glance” to help guide your writing/creating. 20% of Final Grade.

2) Podcast and Instagram Campaign

Technological skill set: Adobe Audition, Adobe Spark Post, Lightroom and/or Photoshop

In the last few years, podcasts have become increasingly popular. If you haven’t heard about Serial or S-Town, then you certainly need to download these podcasts ASAP! In addition to these creative, narrative-based podcasts, there are countless podcasts that address a variety of topics. For this assignment, you need to first get familiar with the genre. Some excellent podcasts include “This American Life,” “How Things Work,” “Stuff Your Mom Never Told You,” as well as the ones I mentioned above. Since you will need to use Adobe Audition to create this podcast, please take some time to watch tutorials on YouTube so you know how to work with different audio tracks and add background music and effects. Also, you will need to be comfortable with Adobe Spark Post, so check out how easy it is to make beautiful social media posts with this software before you start this assignment.

This assignment requires students to develop proficiency in aural, sonic, and visual rhetoric. The aim of the assignment is to create a persuasive Public Service Announcement (PSA) via a podcast using Adobe Audition. There are two parts to this assignment: the first is a PSA podcast and the second is a photo-based Instagram created using Adobe Spark Post. You will create a hashtag that explains your PSA (i.e. #NoMoreGMOs). You can choose an issue that you see around campus, within your major, or a more global concern for your podcast. The goal, of course, is to persuade your audience to 1) listen to the PSA, 2) be convinced that what you’re discussing is important through your use of rhetorical appeals and your awareness of the rhetorical situation, and 3) possibly to change their stance.

Requirements: You will create a 3-minute podcast that includes a voiceover, music, and sound effects. Be sure to listen to popular podcasts (This American Life, How Stuff Works, etc) to be able follow the podcast genre. You will make 5 Instagram posts using Spark Post and must use  5 original, good-quality, instructional photos enhanced with text and visual effects. 20% of Final Grade.

3) Webtext

Technological skill set: Adobe Spark Page, Lightroom, Photoshop

Many of you are pursuing careers in STEM. Science encourages you to be objective and to remove anything personal from your work. Instead of removing yourself, this project will ask you to think about how who you are impacts what you plan on doing with your life. It asks you to think about yourself in correlation with the problems you see around you. If, as Gregory Ulmer says, that “Problems B Us,” why is it important to be subjective?

Since most of the reading you do is probably on a screen, it’s important that you know how to write in this way. For this assignment, you will create a webpage using Adobe Spark Page that functions as a Mystory. A mystory is your story as opposed to a more general “history.” Here is a link that will help you better understand the mystory: https://wrd.as.uky.edu/mystory. You will explore your Mystory through the four stages of the Popcycle: Personal (family), Entertainment/pop culture, Discipline (what you are an expert in), and School. This project is a narrative: what is your story? This assignment will merge visual, oral, aural, and alphabetic textual rhetoric on the Spark Page, so you will include blocks of text, images, videos, and/or music/sounds to create a well-rounded argument about who you are and how you have gotten to this moment in time.

Requirements: 1) You will use a mix of personal photos (you’re talking about yourself, after all) and images available in Spark Page. 2) At least 1,000 words. 3) At least 15 images. 4) Discuss all four stages of the Popcycle. 20% of Final Grade.

4) Write a Paper

Technological skill set: Microsoft Word, Google Docs

There is great value in being able to write a scholarly publication. While it is not the only way to write or the most important genre, it is, nonetheless, the way that you will frequently write during your college years. So let’s get good at it!

Part One: After identifying potential sources for your Research Argument (Project Four- part two), compile a list of 5 sources into an Annotated Bibliography. List your sources in alphabetical order, provide complete identifying information for each source, and compose a concise annotation for each source in a paragraph of at least 5 sentences. These annotations should include summaries and/or supplementary information about the source (how helpful is it, what is the author's ethos and stance, does it provide background information, etc.). Format according to MLA standards. You will use Canvas to turn in this assignment by uploading your Word file. 5% of Final Grade.

Part Two: This assignment requires students to practice your rhetorical knowledge and develop an extended researched argument using composition strategies. Write an argumentative essay on a topic that really matters to you. Remember you are writing an argument to a general and diverse audience, so in order to be persuasive and effective it is necessary to support your claims with evidence from a variety of sources. Remember to incorporate possible objections to your argument (i.e., rebuttals to those objections) with a goal of helping to mediate opposing sides of an issue (rather than offer mere opinions). The goal is not to achieve consensus, but to put forth a well-reasoned and well-supported argument that helps your audience move toward understanding, rather than conflict. Your essay should be at least 2000 words and have a Works Cited of at least 10 sources (formatted using MLA guidelines). This project will have a First Draft and a Final Draft. You will use Canvas to turn in this assignment by uploading your Word file. 15% of Final Grade.

5) Multimodal Argument (GROUP PROJECT)

Technological skill set: Adobe InDesign, Lightroom, etc.

This assignment requires students to develop an extended argument using multimodal composition strategies (visual, textual, audio, tactile). Examples of the form your multimodal argument can take are: op-ads, photoessay, website, remix, collage/montage, blog, or other multimodal combinations. It will be important to decide on your topic, create a plan, then organize, and structure your project according to effective argumentative writing and design principles you are learning in this course. You are free to choose whatever genre and format you want to use for your Multimodal Project. Because the options are so open, I wanted to provide some example ideas for you. This is not an exhaustive list, just a collection of ideas.

• a series of cartoon animations

• a series of comic strips or a graphic novel (Shakespearean Web Comics (Links to an external site.))

• an online museum display

• an infographic (Shakespearean Infographic (Links to an external site.))

• a Harry Potter-style newspaper (with embedded animated gifs/videos)

• a Facebook-style profile and timeline (If Facebook existed during WWII (Links to an external site.))

• a photo essay

• a sculpture or structure that you build

Requirements: The project also requires a Works Cited, or video credits, etc., that documents all sources used. Projects will be evaluated on the overall quality of the argument, the design quality, as well as the creativity and effort needed to produce a final product comparable to a 2000-word traditional essay. [NOTE: This does NOT mean your project needs to include 2000 words, but it should represent an equal amount of work (research, designing, writing). Projects will be presented in class the final week of class (see schedule for due dates) as well as turned in to instructor. 20% of Final Grade