English 102

Multimodal Composition at Heartland Community College

Overview of English 102

With it's focus on Multimodal Composition, English 102 is designed to help students better communicate across a variety of genres.


Module 1 — Introduction to Research

Module 2 — Genres and Primary Sources

Module 3 — Primary Sources

Module 4 — Secondary Sources

Module 5 — Genre Conventions

Module 6 — Complex Citation

Module 7 — 

Module 8 — 

Goals for the Course

My major goal is to help foster your habits of writing, and then to consider how you use genre to reach your intended audiences.  To remember this, think “Author, Artifact, Audience.”  I know, artifact seems a strange term to describe writing, but the written part of your writing is just that – an artifact.  Words on a page, video on a screen – language that has been carved into stone. It’s the solid evidence of how authors communicate with audiences.  Kind of like when Indiana Jones digs a tablet out of the ground. It communicates something – it’s an artifact. (And if you’re famous enough to be remembered in 2,000 years, they’ll put your writing in a museum!)

Communication, by its very nature, is messy.  You say one thing, but people read it another way.  Or your friends know what you mean before you even say it.  Artifacts alone cannot tell the whole story. But sometimes, artifacts are all we have.  A resume, a cover letter – a future employer might see nothing else about you. Unless they check your Facebook profile.  And then decide that the one picture you took on that one day is the one picture that sums up your entire life. (Hopefully it was a good one?)

In this course, we will focus on understanding Rhetoric.  This is the study of how we use communication to influence others, and Genres are the categories of communication that we use to accomplish this.  Some examples of genres are billboards, resumes, five-paragraph essays, menus, and newspapers.  Genre Conventions represent the “rules” of a genre — the specific types of writing you expect from a particular genre of communication.  For example, the most well-known convention of resumes is that they are exactly one page long.

However, rhetoric involves more than simply words.  Multimodal forms of communication use sounds, images, gestures, and other “unwritten” means to share ideas.  For this course, you’ll write a series of articles to study multimodal genres, and then you’ll use this understanding of genres and sources to help you conduct research and prepare multimodal presentations of your own.

The course is centered on two major projects.  In Project 1, you’ll work in groups to examine genre conventions.  For Project 2, you’ll use these definitions to expand your research into a 3,500-word paper.  For both projects, you’ll integrate visual elements and presentations to better share your findings.

For our course, I encourage you to choose topics you really enjoy, and then focus your research on the parts of life you care about.  Whether your writing turns toward your career or your personal interests, you’ll find plenty to research.

From the Course Catalog

Catalog Description

In English 102, students will put rhetorical principles into useful cultural practice via researching, designing, creating, and sharing multimodal composition projects that contribute to real academic or career purposes and audiences. Conceptual knowledge of genre, textual control, document design, writer responsibility, and collaboration will be applied as students research academic or career interests. Students will learn and apply both primary and secondary research skills, and will compose projects that successfully employ genre-appropriate reasoning, formats, and structures. 

Required Writing and Reading

English 102 focuses on assignments that take concepts of rhetorical strategies and genre expectations and applies them to real audiences using real genres in real contexts. Students will compose 3 major projects, 2 of which will total of at least the equivalent of 15 pages (3500 words) in revised form.

Readings from textbooks and other sources are assigned and can average 35 pages per week.  (Estimate is based on a 16 week course schedule. Please note if your class is not a 16 week class your weekly reading assignment will be increased.)

The majority of texts will be provided through online links or PDF’s.  It is the responsibility of each student to access and read these texts, whether through internet at home or printing on campus.  Class handouts will generally also available on Canvas.

If you are unable to access any of the assigned reading, please let me know right away.

Essential Competencies

Program Outcomes

1. Teach students to recognize and critique the constructed nature of information

2. Teach students how to employ appropriate multimodal strategies

3. Identify and demonstrate to students how to transfer learning and understanding between genres via metacognition

4. Model and foster intellectual curiosity by exploring and building upon new ideas, questions, and topics

5. Teach students to locate and synthesize a wide range of ideas and perspectives

6. Introduce and engage in collaboration

7. Teach students appropriate writing features and processes