Project 2

Explaining Processes and Rationale to Others


In this project, you will work in teams to develop a website with multiple resources to help freshmen composition students with the issues of finding credible sources and the rationale for being a critical reader of expository texts—perhaps particularly those published online. Your group will read about the issues surrounding “real/fake news,” and discuss strategies that your audience might find most relevant compelling for research processes. All the groups will be engaging in a little friendly competition: you will have the chance to test your sites with my REAL LIFE freshmen composition students, who will provide you with feedback, and eventually vote for the most successful site (our class will participate in the voting, too). The winning site will become a permanent resource for my current—and future—ENG 1020 students.

Throughout the process, groups will be workshopping elements of their sites with me and with each other. We will work together to develop resource sites that will be most useful and persuasive to our audience.

Guiding Questions:

  • What is the difference between “real” and “fake” news?
  • Why is this important? (specific to expository writing?)
  • What are the rhetorical moves of “fake” news? How are they different from “real” news? Are they similar?
  • What should people know about fake news?
  • How should we communicate to our audience given many people might be resistant to changing their minds about something validates/contradicts their beliefs?
  • What rhetorical strategies, genres, etc. would likely be most effectively persuasive to the target audience for this project? Why?

Assignment Specifics:

Below you’ll find descriptions for all of the assignments for the next few weeks that will work together to help you build the project.

Find and Replace (1-2 pages)

  • find a news story you believe/is alleged to be fake
  • determine the path one bit of information took to get to you. If it was a powerful photo of a drowned refugee child, did it come via Facebook? Twitter? If so, was it forwarded by a friend from some other friend or feed? Who created the content? Try to trace how information MOVES.
  • determine the origins of the story (if possible), or follow it back as far as you can
  • revise the story so that it is accurate—this might mean chasing down appropriate sources, providing fuller context, fact checking, or all of the above. Re-state the story to be clear about the origins and path of how the information moved.

Collaborative Project Log (2 entries/week)

Each group should complete the following sentences in writing at the end of each class meeting. Groups will then review and discuss the work accordingly:

  • Here’s what we accomplished for today:
  • Our team should make sure to look at/listen to:
  • Here’s what each member suggests working on next:
  • Here’s our list of what we still need to do:
  • Other thoughts and questions:

Group Website Elements

Your group should:

  • develop a sense of your audience via analysis
  • sketch out a content building strategy—what would be effective? Important?
  • Draft content for the site [i.e. PSAs, how-to’s, images, tutorials, exercises/activities]
  • Decide group stance on curating and re-blogging (and citing) outside content

Your group will develop a draft of your site with all content for usability testing by 10:00am, Feb. 22th. FYC students will provide written feedback for your group, which you will be able to use for site revisions, due by March 1st.

Reflection (1-2 pages)

Each member of the group should compose a reflection about the project, including aspects of the design process, group dynamics, feedback and revision processes, and of course, the rhetorical decisions made along the way to create the finished site.

Minimum Requirements:

  1. Collaborative Resource Site
  2. Individual Reflection Papers (1-2 pages, Bb)

Due Date:

Sites Finalized and Reflections uploaded to Blackboard before the start of class = Wednesday, March 1st. 


 20% of course total