Professional Writing Teaching

Listing potential online readings for fall courses

I just put in my book orders for the Fall semester, a little late I know, but in this field, one is always dealing with fresh material, so there is much to consider. In any case, I also generally supplement my readings with online material. Next semester, I’m teaching two classes and supervising our internships (which technically is also a class). I’m teaching Writing in Cyberspace, which is a professional writing course that introduces students to convergent media and networked composition in both theoretical and practical terms. I’m also teaching FYC in a first-year learning community called Digital Living. I’ll be dealing with similar issues there, but I’ll be working with my colleagues who will be teaching video production and digital photography. As such I think I can develop a single reading list and draw on material for both for my course.

So here’s my list as it grows. Suggestions welcome.;count=20;bullet=%E2%80%A2

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5 replies on “Listing potential online readings for fall courses”

Thanks. It’s easy to tag sites with a particular course prefix. I haven’t gotten more detailed than that, but I could tag them by course section/topic or even by week (e.g. week1, week2, etc.).


Let’s see. In Cyberspace I’m using many of the same texts I used last semester, which went quite well.
-Smart Mobs, Howard Rheingold
-Play Money, Julian Dibbell
-A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink
Then I’m adding new for this semester
-Convergence Culture, Henry Jenkins
-The Long Tail, Chris Anderson
So Rheingold and Jenkins are the most academic. They will provide us with the real intellectual meat of the course I suppose.
Dibbell has some interesting comments and is also a fun read (I think). Part of the professional writing curriculum is teaching students to write in a thoughtful but entertaining way, which I think Dibbell does. So I guess that’s my reasoning there.
I know the knock on Anderson’s book is that his Wired essay really says everything that needs to be said. I don’t know that I agree with that. I think the book is also interesting in thinking about rhetorical approaches to networked audiences.
Finally, I though about cutting Pink’s book. It is interesting, but it’s not exactly the course topic. However, the students heavily favored it as their favorite book in the course last semester.
So that’s everything. In my FYC class, I’m just using Smart Mobs. In part, I want to keep the costs down there as we will be looking for students to bring iPods with them to our iTunes U-driven learning community. Also I don’t like to do a ton of reading in a comp course.


Thanks, actually I asked for mostly selfish reasons as I am teaching a similar course (for which I just got the assignment) and looking for ideas. I know I definitely want to use Smart Mobs, and Uses of Blogs, but after that I just have a bunch of thoughts.


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