Writing: Digitizing

I’d like you to rework one of the pieces you’ve written so far in this course in ways that make thoughtful use of the affordances of writing in a digital space. An affordance is something that a particular medium or technology allows you to do easily or well. The affordances of digital writing include

  • incorporating images into your text;
  • linking directly to other online texts;
  • quoting audio or video clips in your essay; and
  • adding audio or video clips that you have produced to your essay.

Your task is to use some of these affordances to revise and re-present one of your pieces on Medium.com. I will be especially interested to see if the changes or additions you make lead to some new writing. That is, if you insert an image into your essay, don’t let it just sit there—comment on it, analyze it. If you link to other texts, tell us what it is you want us to notice about them. If you use audio or video, be thoughtful in editing the clip; go right to the moment in the song or film that you want to focus our attention on. Be creative. Take some risks.

To post your work to Medium, you will need to set up a free account on the site. I will walk you through the mechanics of posting in class—it’s straightforward and easy—and we’ll also look at some examples of what other writers have done on the site. I’ve also posted a brief set of hints on Formatting on Medium. I hope that like me you find Medium an elegant and appealing platform for writing.

Please post your piece to Medium by 10:00 am on Tuesday, 5/02.  Please also post a link to your piece on this site, along with a brief reflection on the process of digitizing your essay. What did you feel you were able to add to your writing? What constraints or difficulties did you encounter?

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About Joe Harris

I teach composition, creative nonfiction, and digital writing at the University of Delaware.
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