All posts by Joe Harris

I teach writing at the University of Delaware.

Class, Fri, 5/16

E688 Spring 2014The Gang

Blog Stats

  • 174 posts [27 by JH (15%), 147 by class (85%)]

Process, Affordances, and Constraints (9:05—10:35)

Let’s talk about your experiences in writing your digital essays in groups of four, talk back, and then move on to the next group.

Arcade (10:45–12:05)

We’ll move up to the third floor, set up our essays, read, and talk.

To Do

Come see our garden in New Castle! 32 E 4th St

A Day in New Castle, Sat, 5/17, 10:00 am–3:00 pm


Digital essay, final draft

A few notes on the final version of your digital essay:

  • The final version of your essay is due on Thurs, 5/15, at 11:59 pm. You will present this piece in class on Fri, 5/16. Disregard all other deadlines and notices.
  • The final, final version of your essay is due on Tues, 5/20, at 11:59 pm. That is, if you want to make some changes to your piece after presenting it in class, you may. I will start grading on Wed, 5/21.
  • Creative Commons: You must license your work with Creative Commons.
  • Acknowledgments: A generous and witty note of acknowledgements is the sign of a strong writer. You must find some space in your piece where you thank the people who have helped you conceptualize, draft, and revise it.

You guys are doing amazing work. I look forward to reading it in its final version.

Class, Fri, 5/09

x12: Presentations and Arcade

New Digital Writings

Fastwrite: Find something new that one of your friends and colleagues has shown you. Tell us what interests you about it.

Digital essaysDancingGopher

Catch up with your fellow woodchucks, groundhogs, or gophers. What changes have you made? What advice would you like?

To Do

  1. Thurs, 5/15, 11:59 pm: Post x12, including the final version of your digital  essay, to this site.
  2. Fri, 5/16, in class: Present your digital essay.
  3. Tues, 5/20, 11:59 pm: Final, final version of your essay.

x12: Presentations and Arcade

I’d like us to spend our last class meeting presenting your digital essays. Our closing celebration of your work will be in two stages.

Presentations:  Process, affordances, and constraints

I’d like each of you to offer a brief presentation of your digital essay to the class.  I’ll project your project on the screen. You should then plan to speak about it for about five minutes—no more! In the second half of the class, people will have plenty of time to read through your piece and talk with you about the substance of your work. So in your presentation, I’d like you to focus instead on what composing for the digital media allowed you to do, and what it made difficult. Please point to moments in your essay that help you talk about:

  • How you developed your project, from idea through drafts and revisions to final version (process).
  • What you feel you were able to express that you could not have done as well in print (affordances).
  • What proved difficult for you in working in this medium (constraints).

At the start of this course, I asked the question: What changes when you write for the screen rather than the page? This is your chance to offer an answer.

Final drafts: A digital arcade

Please post a link to the final version of your essay to this website. We’ll spend the last half of the class walking about the room, viewing and discussing one another’s work.

In the body of your post, write a version of your presentation of your project to the class. The written form of your presentation may be read by people outside this class, so you might want to:

  • Offer a somewhat more detailed description of your actual project—a “teaser” to attract readers;
  • Say a little more about the history of your project, how you developed it;
  • Insert an image from your project.

Please post your work to this site by 11:59 pm on Thurs, 5/15. Please use both digital essay and x12 as your categories.  I look forward to a fun last class!

x11: New digital writings

In this assignment, I’d like you to add to our stock of new and interesting work on writing in a digital age.

Please provide us with a link to a text that you feel will interest and contribute to the work of the other writers and teachers in this seminar. Let me suggest the following possibilities:

  • A model digital text: Something you had in either the front or back of your mind as you were working on your digital essay, a text that you feel offers possibilities of form and expression that might interest the rest of us.
  • A comment on writing in a digital age: A piece —either online or in print—that has offered you an insight into the sort of work you’d like to do in your digital essay.
  • Anything (digital) else: A digital text that has somehow grabbed your attention, and that you’d like to bring to ours.

In the body of your post, please help us read the text you are bringing to us, to notice what you value in it. Be ready to guide us through the text next week and to point to what you find most interesting or compelling in it.

Deadline: Tues, 5/06, 11:59 pm. Please use x11 as your category. And please try to read and comment on several of the these text by Thurs, 5/08.


Class, Fri, 5/02

Draft One Workshops


Authors: Fastwrite: Read through the responses you’ve received to your essay. Formulate a plan: What part of your essay would you like to read and get further responses to?  What questions do you want to pose for your readers? (9:15–9:30)


Groups: Each essay gets 30 minutes. The task of each author is to direct her readers to a point in her piece that needs further work. The task of each reader is to offer a response that goes beyond what she has written. (9:30–11:30)

Revision Plans (11:30–12:00)

Write me an email in which you:

  1. Summarize your essay as it now stands, its strengths and problems;
  2. Summarize the responses you’ve received—in writing and in workshop—from your readers;
  3. Begin to draft a plan of revision: What will you cut? add? rethink? tweak?
  4. Ask me any questions that you’d like my help with.

I will send you an email in response—certainly by Thurs, 5/08, hopefully several days before. I will then reserve office hours for conferences from Mon, 5/12, through Thurs, 5/15.

To Do

  1. Tues, 5/06, 11:59 pm: Post x11 to this site.
  2. Thurs, 5/08, 11:59 pm: Post responses to x11.
  3. Fri: 5/09, in class: Be ready to talk about the new digital writing you are bringing to our attention.
  4. Fri, 5/09, in class: What help do you need in moving forward on your digital essay?

Class, Fri, 4/25



Uncreative Writing

Goldsmith on Daily Show

Fastwrite: What technique or assignment from Kenneth Goldsmith might you borrow or adapt in your own teaching? Your own writing?To what ends? As always, try to ground your writing in a specific passage from the text.

Moment of Zen

The Apotheosis of Uncreative Writing: David Shields on Stephen Colbert


Workshopping Proto-Drafts

Spend about 20 minutes per project. Authors should walk readers through their projects, with the aim  of getting advice in response to specific questions.

Fastwrite: Write a quick draft of your cover memo for your first draft next Tuesday. Come up with a title for your project, a quick description of its form (and platform), a summary of your argument, and some questions you want to ask your readers.

First Drafts and Responses

To Do

  1. Tues, 4/29, 11:59 pm: Post your first draft with cover memo.
  2. Thurs, 5/01, 4:00 pm: Post responses to your group members’ drafts.
  3. Fri: 5/02, in class: Workshop first drafts.