ENGL 4300
Writing and Persuasion Beyond the Classroom:
Apprenticeship in the Digital Humanities


course description

English 4300 is a course that blends theories of composition and rhetoric with their practical applications in community-based settings. Students will undertake the advanced study of rhetorical theory, while simultaneously applying what they learn to digital literacy activities throughout the semester that revolve around a practicum project. According to their aptitudes and career goals, students will be placed in a practicum that will require a minimum of twelve hours of volunteer (non-paid) work

  1. As a high school outreach assistant or video production assistant for KDocs, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s official film festival (supervised by Manon Boivin and Janice Morris); or
  2.  As a website author for the Criminology department's Social Justice Centre or as a working group intern to help promote one of the Centre's community events (supervised by Michael Ma).

Working collaboratively in clusters of 2-4, students will carry out their semester-long practicums in online, community-based, and secondary school settings with support from their instructor and other DH specialists. As an applied course, ENGL 4300 will provide students with the opportunity not only to study rhetoric, but also to put its persuasive techniques into practice outside of the classroom. Their training will have them working with the following DH platforms:

  • Wordpress & Squarespace
  • Vennage
  • Tableau
  • StoryMap
  • Online Journal Systems (OJS)
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • Social media (Twitter, Storify, ScrollKit,Pinterest and Instagram)
  • Video production

Students will complete a blog or vlog documenting their work in this course; they will also write a final paper that integrates writing theory and practice, with the intent of getting their scholarly DH work published through KORA as a graduation activity. The @ENGL4300 hashtag for live-tweeting throughout the semester will be #dighumKPUArts.

**There will be an optional, co-curricular field study for leaders from the four pods to accompany their instructor to the Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria (June 6-10, 2016) to do a poster presentation on experiential learning and their ENGL 4300 practicum experience.


required textS

Borchers, Timothy.  Rhetorical Theory: An Introduction.  Long Grove, IL: Waveland, 2011.

Williams, Joseph M. and Ira B. Nadel.  Style: 10 Lessons in Clarity and Grace.  Canadian edition.  Toronto: Longman, 2005.




"The medium is the message."
--Marshall McLuhan (Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 1964)