Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Tiered Content Model for Academic Writing and Publishing

I offer a tiered content model for academic writing and publishing (based on a concept I've piloted with my online writing and literature courses). It consists of three levels:
  1. Teaser Content (micro-content for a sounding phase)
  2. Trailer Content (mini-presentation for a development phase)
  3. Formal Content (macro-content for a publication phase) 
These should not be understood as three different ways of disseminating the same completed content (as though the teaser and the trailer were merely advertisements for the "real," more formal content). The tiers are a sequential process -- like the drafting process in writing, but absent the isolation of traditional writing.

The essence of this is that content is circulated through social media at each phase; one relies upon feedback from prospective audiences and obtains social proof before moving to more advanced research or formal publishing. In other words, one does not commit to researching or developing ideas for which there is not manifest interest by others, and one cultivates an audience as one cultivates one's ideas.

Here is the model in greater detail:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Notes for Webinar: Literature and Digital Culture

Our webinar on the topic of "Literature and Digital Culture" was a great success. We had 65 people attending, with another 40 requesting the webinar recording (Here is the recording link. Also, see this post about the webinar for more info).

The student presenters did wonderfully, and I invite you to see how they did in the recording. In addition to the webinar itself, there are multiple versions of our content that you can experience:
  • See a one-sentence version of each student's project next to his or her picture on this Prezi presentation.
  • Each student recorded a 90-second "trailer" video of their research in a YouTube playlist (embedded below, a total of 25 minutes). Some real creativity here, so enjoy!
  • Visit the list of student blogs and feel to browse these. Notice the link to each student's research paper (about which they presented briefly in the webinar). 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Webinar Invitation: Literature and Digital Culture

Literature and Digital Culture
A free webinar by students of Brigham Young University
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
7:30-8:30pm MST

Register here to receive instructions, a reminder notification, and a link to the recording.

Studying literature in the 21st century can’t be separated from our digital world. Join us for insights on how classic works of literature help us to better understand our networked world, and how the digital age changes and enhances how we read, write about, and research literature.

A dozen presenters will each give one-minute “tweethis” statements -- their claims about literature and the online world. Come hear about how the following novels are helping us to make sense of digital culture, and how tech and media are changing literary study:

Pride & Prejudice, Gone with the Wind, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Poisonwood Bible, Frankenstein, Anne of Green Gables, The Giver, The Scarlet Letter, The Fountainhead, Hamlet, 1984, Dracula

View our presenters:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blog about those research sources!

Those doing literary research should make public their working sources during their research and drafting processes.
Student Rachel Rueckert posted reviews of
books she was researching both on Goodreads
and on her research blog.

Blog about the books and sites that you are reading, researching, and skimming! Tweet about some of those articles you are going through! Post reviews about the books you research, make blog posts evaluating that archival website or digital resource! Keep your researching and thinking as public as possible! 

Read on to learn why.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How to Write a Literary Research Paper in the Digital Age

This post is intended to give a sketch of my current thinking on how to go about doing research and writing on literary topics while working from within both print and digital contexts.

I am an advocate of experimenting with new forms of academic communication, and I believe teachers and students should be actively exploring how to reach traditional aims of academic writing, but not merely through the production of text-only, paper documents.

However, for now, I am setting aside such experimenting and instead will look at how one can use online writing and social media to improve the processes and products of traditional college-level writing about literature. In short, here is a recipe for using digital methods for traditional, print-based academic writing.

Here, then, is my proposal for the literary research paper of the 21st century in three phases: Exploration; Development and Drafting; and Publication:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Essentials for Today's Literary Research

creative commons licensed
m kasahara - Flickr
For those involved in reading and writing about literature today, I have identified four broad categories which I believe represent areas in which students need familiarity and literacy. By this I mean one should know what these things are, how to find them, and how to make use of them for researching literature. How literate are you in each of these areas?:
  1. Traditional Scholarly Sources
  2. Electronic and Online Sources
  3. Social Networks
  4. Digital Research Tools

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Competing Literacies and the 21st Century Research Paper

As I teach writing during this transitional period from print-based knowledge and teaching processes to digitally mediated varieties, I have become keenly aware of competing literacies that are now in play: print-paradigm literacy, and digital literacy. 

I think that college students should be getting trained to succeed within their current context, and that context is not primarily print-based -- not anymore. A the same time, I recognize that traditional print-based ways of thinking and producing knowledge remain valuable. And the pragmatic reality is that most teachers of writing are going to continue to expect traditional academic writing for some time to come. 

How do I reconcile these competing literacies? How can we connect traditional academic writing to the ways knowledge is meaningfully produced and shared in the digital age? What should the research paper become in the 21st century?