course description


The purpose of English/DTC 355 is to encourage you to question how rhetoric functions in and through multimodal texts. Specifically, our goal throughout this course is to answer the question: what makes for an effective mulitmodal text? We will examine how meaning is construed through the use of images, sounds, arrangements, colors, shapes, sizes, movement, and fonts. We will analyze the ways rhetors construct mulitmodal texts, and we will also create our own multimodal texts. This is a computer-intensive course, yet the goal of this course IS NOT to become a whiz at software or web coding. Instead, together we will learn to use Photoshop, iMovie, Dreamweaver, CSS, and HTML in order to create rhetorically saavy multimodal texts. Throughout the course I encourage you to keep asking, "is this effective? for who? and in what situations?"



  • Engage with rhetorical dimensions of multimedia texts.
  • Explore the role of rhetor and audience in digital environments.
  • Demonstrate the ability to rhetorically analyze multimedia texts.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of composing effective texts in digital environments.
  • Demonstrate collaborative skills through collaborative projects and presentations.
  • Demonstrate the ability to design and compose a variety of multimedia products for a variety of audiences.

required texts

  • Ball, Cheryl E. and Kristin L. Arola. ix: Visualizing Composition. [price= $12.95]
    • Note: this is an online text and must be purchased here. Important information: WSU Zip Code = 99164. Instructor's email: If you have any questions or problems, please contact me asap.
  • If you are a DTC major, it is recommended you invest in web hosting. However if you can't afford it right now, you can use the AML web server. Just keep in mind that the AML server will erase your work after the semester is over. [recommended: Blue Host or A Small Orange]
  • Numerous .pdf readings available on the schedule.


  • Attendance: Because we will be working collaboratively on many assignments, and because learning is a communal effort, your regular attendance is important. You can miss three classes with no questions asked. After three absences, in order not to lose points you must contact me and explain your reasoning for the absence. More than five absences will result in a failing grade for the course.
  • Late work: Late work will only be accepted if agreed upon beforehand by Professor Arola.
  • Students with Disabilities: I am committed to providing assistance to help you be successful in this course. Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. Please visit the Disability Resource Center (DRC) during the first two weeks of every semester to seek information or to qualify for accommodations. All accommodations MUST be approved through the DRC (Admin Annex Bldg, Rooms 205). Call 509 335 3417 to make an appointment with a disability counselor.
  • Academic Honesty: All students are expected to act in accordance with the WSU policies on Academic Honesty found in the Student Handbook. These policies include falsification of information, fabrication of information, plagiarism, multiple submissions, and various others. Information about these policies can be found in the Handbook. These policies will be discussed in class and students will be asked to acknowledge that discussion and a basic understanding of the policies. For additional information on plagiarism, WSU has a great new site at If you are caught violating any academic honesty policy, you will fail the course and may be turned over to the proper WSU authorities.
  • Technology: If you bring a laptop to class please only use it for class-related purposes. IM-ing, checking email, web surfing (unless you're looking something up related to class), etc, are incredibly disrespectful of our time together. No texting. If I see you texting, I will not scold you, I will simply dock points from your participation grade. (note: it is very easy to tell when students are texting in class)
  • Grading: Final grades will be based on the major assignments as well as participation. See the assignments page for more details. Participation is based on your attendence, your level of attentiveness in and preparedness for class, your participation in class discussion, and your respect for others. A: 93-100 ||| A-: 90-92 ||| B+: 88-89 ||| B: 83-87 ||| B-: 80-82 ||| C+: 78-79 ||| C: 73-77 ||| C-: 70-72 ||| D+: 68-69 ||| D: 60-67 ||| F: 59 and below.