Introduction to WEPO

ENG 3416 (WEPO) is one of three core courses for EWM, and as such, it helps provide a foundation for the major. As part of this foundation, this course introduces you to the principles of composing and editing across different media environments, paying special attention to how your process will be affected when working in different contexts, with different materials and genres, for different audiences. This course attempts to help you (1) understand principles of composing and rhetoric, especially the ways they function across different composing spaces; (2) compose for each of three spaces—print (including posters, flyers, newsletters, pamphlets, and booklets), digital (screen), and network (internet) using different technologies and design strategies; (3) edit and revise appropriately the texts created in each space; and (4) understand the relationships that exist across and between texts, technologies, and materials. To accomplish these goals, we'll engage with multiple kinds of texts: we’ll read some, write some, talk about some, and create remediated forms of some.


Throughout, we’ll be developing a language and a vocabulary that we can use to describe those texts and interactions and to describe what happens to them and to us when we do this work. We will begin with keywords utilizing circulation as a uniting concept meant to guide our exploration of composing throughout the course. However, it is important to note that you will expand and alter your own personal composing theory and develop your own list of keywords. In doing so, you will discover what terms and concepts characterize you as a composer. Our goal here is to help you create and read texts differently, to help you become much more informed about how others will interact with your texts, and help you articulate your own theory of composing and editing.

Guiding Questions & Key Terms

We will explore these questions through class discussions, and you will answer them in the three primary composing spaces—through journals, reflections, and projects:

  • What’s rhetoric?

  • What’s a rhetorical situation and what components make up a rhetorical situation?

  • What does it mean to write vs. to compose?  How, if at all, are the two acts similar or different?

  • What’s the role of genre in communication?  

  • What’s the role of multimodality in communication?

  • What’s the role of materiality in communication?

  • What’s the role of design in communication?

  • What are the differences in communicating in one medium—say, print—as compared to the screen as compared to the network?

  • How do things like audience, context, and circulation affect a text’s meaning?

  • What is remediation?

  • What role does copyright and fair use play in the creation of (digital) texts?

  • What makes texts (in)accessible to different audiences?

  • How do we assess our own work?

  • How can we help others improve upon their work?

  • What are some principles of editing for ourselves and for editing the texts of others?

  • What does it mean to develop a network of texts, and how and why do texts circulate?

  • How do we market ourselves professionally via an online portfolio?

  • What is your theory of composing?

Key terms guiding the course: Design, Audience, Circulation, Network, Genre, Material, Assemblage, Exigence

Requirements of the Course

Materials: Access to a computer and printer (including ink and paper), access to internet during class (preferably on a laptop), access to course readings. You might also consider utilizing our Digital Studio so you can access programs in the Adobe Suite and work with tutors to develop expertise in these programs. Every program you master can be added to your resume. Although we do not have an official textbook which you must purchase, we will be utilizing PDFs that you are expected to read and engage with (whether that means printing these out and marking or digitally annotating).


Expectations: Participate in class by attending and being actively engage, complete readings regularly and on time, completion of major projects by their due dates – including these projects’ drafts and in-class peer review activities, respect both your teacher and your peers.

Breakdown of Major Assignments


Twitter will be used in the class as an informal space for class-wide communications. Students will be required to create an academic Twitter handle (if they have one from a previous class, that is fine, but they should not be using their personal Twitter account) and tweet 10 times a week using the course hashtag, #fsu3416. In addition, students will each “live tweet” a class to provide support for absent (or absent-minded) students and leading classroom discussion that day. Tweets will be graded every Monday morning. Besides supporting classroom-based conversation, using Twitter will give us a genre with which to discuss distribution and circulation practices as well as a way to form a discourse community. Tweets that occur during class activities will count towards the student’s weekly requirement.



Students will complete blogs over the course of the class. Students must complete the blog activity by responding to the questions asked and reaching the minimum word count range. Blogs will be given half credit if they are no more than 24 hours late contingent on the student notifying the teacher that their late blog has been posted (you can DM or email me). Blogs will support a conversation about the writing process as well as help students develop (over time) a professional digital presence while grappling with the course’s major concepts.

Late Work: Turning things in late is an issue of professionalism, and, thus, will have consequences in this course. A project will be marked down ⅓ letter grade (e.g., A to A-) for each calendar day that it is late. Journals that are late will receive half credit if submitted within 24 hours of the due date. In other words, be professional, responsible and punctual in completing your work. That said, extensions can be made available for those with extenuating circumstances, so please do let me know if there’s a reason you don’t think you’ll be able to complete your work on time before it is due and with time to make accommodations as best as possible on my end. I do not offer any makeup assignments or extra credit.


Attendance and Lateness: Attendance and participation are an important part of the learning process for this course. Our classroom community will function based on how much everyone contributes and participates—if you are not here, you’re not contributing or receiving the benefits of myself and your peers interacting. Therefore, I expect you to attend every class. Seriously. But that’s the bare minimum: I also expect you to participate.


Excessive absenteeism will result in the deduction of your participation grade. Documented emergencies and illness will be considered on an individual basis. However, I enforce an attendance policy according to which you are allowed 4 absences, excused or unexcused. Missing more than 4 total absences (2 full weeks’ worth of classes), will negatively affect your final grade. After 6 or more absences, you cannot pass this course.


Finally, do not be late. Continued lateness (you are late after I mark attendance) will be counted against you. Three tardies equal one absence.

Digital Technology, Privilege, and Potential Excuses: In this class, computers are an integral part of the course, and you will be interacting with your laptops, notepads, etc. during our classes frequently. For this reason, you will need to bring your technology to each class meeting – including conferences. That being said, please recognize that there is a difference between engaged and disengaged computer usage – unhealthy or disengaged computer usage (texting/emailing, surfing social media or unrelated sites) will result first with a warning but second with a request that you leave the class and take an absence. Furthermore, a reality of digital composition is that computers crash, files are lost, and platforms crash without automatically saving – you need to create precautions to ensure that when (not if ) you experience technological problems, you have your files stored elsewhere (you might backup files on Google Drive or keep a copy of your writing in a Word doc before you move it to networked spaces like an ePortfolio). As well, when this happens, please explain your situation to me before the due date has passed but do know extensions for this reason are unlikely.


Plagiarism: Plagiarism is grounds for suspension from the University as well as for failure in this course. If you were unaware, it’s also incredibly tacky. Plain and simple: it will not be tolerated. Plagiarism is a counterproductive, non-writing behavior that is unacceptable in a course intended to aid the growth of individual writers. Plagiarism is included among the violations defined in the Academic Honor Code, section b, paragraph 2, as follows: “Regarding academic assignments, violations of the Academic Honor Code shall include representing another’s work or any part thereof, be it published or unpublished, as one’s own.”

As a class, we’ll also explore critically the notion of plagiarism, originality, and citation as well as the role of copyright and fair use in the creation of new media texts.

Americans with Disabilities Act: Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should: (1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center and (2) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type. This should be done during the first week of class. This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.

For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the:

Student Disability Resource Center 97 Woodward Avenue, South 108 Student Services Building Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 323064167 (850) 6449566 (voice) (850) 6448504 (TDD)

Because we are composers and developing professionals, we will discuss how digital publishing and design impacts accessibility for various audiences. You might read this part of the syllabus and think “I am not part of the disabled community, this does not apply to me,” but, because you will create texts you want all persons in the world to be able to access and engage in, issues of access and disability rights matter for you, too.

Statement of Inclusion: You belong here. So do your classmates. You belong here if you had great teachers and positive experiences of schooling or terrible ones. You belong here if you are Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Secular Humanist, Pagan, not religious. You belong here, ESPECIALLY, if you are still figuring out what and who you are. You belong here if you are documented, DACAmented, or undocumented. You belong here if you are a person of color, or “white,” or perceived to be white, or mixed, or perceived to be a bunch of things that you aren’t. You belong here if you are disabled, differently-abled, or neurotypical and able-bodied. You belong here if you identify as gender non-conforming or LGBTQIA, or if you’re still learning what some of those letters mean. You belong here if you grew up speaking like an NBC news broadcaster, or your abuelita’s language, or if you style-shift from one kind of English to another or code-switch from English to another language of heart and home and back again. You belong here if your mom was a professor or if you were the first one in your family to graduate from high school. Whatever your body type, appearance, talents, abilities, identities, histories, or backgrounds, you belong here if you are here to learn how to make classrooms and schools more humane, inclusive, respectful, rigorous, and just.

Douchebag Clause: This class will tolerate neither disruptive language nor disruptive behavior. Disruptive language includes, but is not limited to, violent and/or belligerent and/or insulting remarks, including sexist, racist, homophobic or anti-ethnic slurs, bigotry, and disparaging commentary, either spoken or written (offensive slang is included in this category). While each of you have a right to your own opinions, inflammatory language founded in ignorance or hate is unacceptable and will be dealt with immediately. Disruptive behavior includes the use of cell phones, pagers or any other form of electronic communication during the class session (email, web-browsing). Disruptive behavior also includes whispering or talking when another member of the class is speaking or engaged in relevant conversation (remember that I am a member of this class as well). This classroom functions on the premise of respect, and you will be asked to leave the classroom if you violate any part of this statement on civility. In other words, do not act like a jerk, and we will get along fine. Remember that you will send me an email that indicates you have read and understand this policy.

Course Policies

WEPO Grading
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Writing & Editing in Print & Online

Instructor: Amy Cicchino          @ciccamy


WEPO will take place Mondays and Wednesdays in WMS 317 from 11:00-12:15. Office hours will be held on mornings before class from 8:00-11:00 in WMS 213.