Review Mini Essay Assignment

Practice Integration of External Sources


  1. Summary
  2. Paragraphrase
  3. Quotation

Peer Feedback

  • Link your working draft from your Wiki Page (so I can check it in);
  • Pull up your working draft on your computer (Word Online);
  • get feedback from two classmates (Use Marginal Comments) Feedback Guide


Complete draft of your short essay; print and bring to class.


Grading: Content, Organization, Mechanics, Revision


Any mechanical errors you (or a classmate) correct mean points saved! Copy editing (sometimes called proof-reading) comes at the point when your ideas and organization have solidified. One last reading, especially by a fresh set of eyes, often exposes minor errors.

Please give the essay three passes:

  1. Look for sentence completeness (correct run-ons and fragments)
  2. Look for typos (spelling, extra spaces, missed capitalization, etc.)
  3. Check format (margins, page numbers, title, etc.) - see assignment for summary.

Please use copyediting codes when possible


What is multi-modality?

Increasingly, the words we encounter online are embedded in a multi-modal context. In short, they come with pictures, video, sound, perhaps interactivity. It was easier not to notice the “design” of books (although they too used visual elements to shape our perceptions). In the field of digital rhetoric, scholars and teachers speak about the “affordances” of different media, formats, and interfaces. What does it “allow” the writer to do? What does it make difficult?

As a bit of a palette cleanser, I want you to look at few examples of multi-model writing over the weekend.

  1. The first a famous book from 1967 called The Medium is the MessageExternal Link Marshal McLuhan's Medium Is the Massage Consider what claims McLuhan is making about how then “revolutionary” technology was changing how we communicate, how society was structured, how we think and experience the world. But – also – pay attention to the way the book tries to communicate this through juxtaposition of word and image; captions; visual rhythm; disorientation; materiality.
  2. The second is a what digital writer Alan Bigelow calls a “web yarn” - a story written for digital reading (about digital reading). Fast Forward Consider how Bigelow plays with our impulse to click, swipe, and scan.
  3. The third is an informative graphic or infographic for public relations specialists. Consumer Behavior Infographic Does the rendering of information in visual form (through icons and other illustrations) make it more understandable or more attractive? (Do you notice anything imprecise or misleading?)


Reflect on a digital theme. Consider something that has changed in your country, community, social sphere, or family as a consequence of digital tools or culture. Whether good or bad, it has caused some kind of shift. What questions does it provoke for you about where we are now? This could be something you uncovered in your mini-essay research.


How should I approach developing a multimodal topic? Consider ideas or themes about which you are curious. Identify some resources you want to work with (this might include images, video, etc.) Define your purpose, and then start playing around. Google is your friend!

What “technologies” should I use?

Use “tools” with which you are familiar. You can design a poster; assemble a collage of cell-phone photographs; make a “creative” PDF slide sequence (no Powerpoint); mix an audio program; edit a video, design a map, draw an infographic, etc.

Do I have to be a technical whiz?

Your are expected to produce a work, but it need not be a polished media masterpiece. The goal is to learn something about the way that digital formats shape us by using that medium and reflecting upon it. Your piece should either itself be “self-reflective” or you can append a note explaining how you were trying to use aspects of the medium and design to better express your ideas.