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ATEC2321 -Writing and Research for Emerging Media

Spring 2016
ATC 2.918
TTH 11:30-12:45pm
Contact Information
Dr. Angela Lee
Phone: 972-883-7539
Office hours: After class & by appointment
Office: ATC 1.907
Course Description
The rise of digital media is revolutionizing how we produce, transmit, consume, and
evaluate information. This course seeks to help students understand these differences and
master the art of writing for and doing research on emerging media.
Learning Objectives
In this course, students will:

Acquire basic understanding of technical skills needed to work in a variety of new
media formats;
Become comfortable producing digital content on different platforms and for
different audiences;
Examine the effects of new media on society and communication processes
through a series of in-class exercises;
Learn how to write research papers through a number of take-home assignments;
Develop critical thinking and presentation skills by participating in team debates
and group presentations.

Required Readings
There are no assigned textbooks for students to purchase. Instead, all of the readings are
made available online and their links can be found on the course calendar below. Be sure
to check the course calendar regularly and complete all assigned readings before class. In
the event that you are unable to download a reading, please contact Dr. Lee immediately
or Google the article with the full title given on the course calendar.
Additional Course Requirements

Access to a computer (some in-class exercises will require that you bring a laptop
to class)
Check your UTD email regularly
Be in class on time

Course Syllabus

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Course Policies

Students should familiarize themselves with official UTD course policies, which
can be found here:
No plagiarism. You should familiarize yourself with the concept of plagiarism –
see the “Avoiding Plagiarism” section from the link above. Plagiarism is NOT
tolerated in this course. If you have any questions about this, ask me before you
turn in an assignment.
No late assignment. Many assignments are due in class. Unless otherwise
arranged with me prior to the deadline, late assignments are not accepted and will
automatically result in a zero.
Attendance. Our class meetings are an integral part of the learning experience for
the students. As such, you are expected to attend class, complete in-class
exercises or quizzes, and participate actively in class discussions. Arriving more
than 30 minutes late or leaving more than 30 minutes early will be marked as
Religious holidays. You must notify me of your pending absence at least fourteen
days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a
class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a
religious holy day, I will give you an opportunity to complete the missed work
within a reasonable time after the absence.
Disruptive behavior. Disruptive behavior is defined as “behavior that interrupts
or interferes with daily functions of the University of the education processes” by
the Dean of Students at UTD. To create a safe and welcoming environment for
learning, no disruptive behavior is allowed in this class. Students who make
inappropriate (e.g., hostile or threatening) remarks in class will be reported to the
Dean of Students.
No digital devices. Mutual respect is essential in this class. Therefore, use of
electronic devices (e.g., laptops, tablets and smartphones, etc.) is considered
disruptive and not permitted in the classroom unless requested by the instructor.
Communication. In this class, e-mail will be used as a means of communication
with students. You are responsible for checking your school e-mail every day for
class work and announcements.

Grading Policy

Class Participation (20%) – This course is designed to be interactive and
participatory. Students are expected to attend class, arrive on time, participate in
class discussions and debates, and respond to class readings regularly. All
students are permitted three class absences over the course of the semester, no
questions asked, but there will be no make-ups for in-class exercises or quizzes.
Students who miss more than five class meetings will receive a zero for
participation. You are asked to use all electronic devices for class purposes only.
Students who are caught surfing the Internet in class, for example, will lose
participation points and be reported to the Dean of Students.
Reading Responses (20%) – You are expected to write at least 5 reading
responses throughout the semester. There is only one rule for the reading

Course Syllabus

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responses—do NOT summarize the readings. Instead, please use this opportunity
to share your view on, criticize, or raise questions about the readings. You are
also encouraged to discuss issues related to or inspired by the readings. There are
no length requirements, hence the posts can be as few or as many paragraphs as
you like, but the posts should demonstrate college-level (a) analytical rigor and
(b) conceptual synthesis (e.g., connecting the dots between at least two assigned
readings or one assigned reading with outside materials). Because your reading
responses will be incorporated into the lecture, they are due at noon the day
before class (i.e., if you want to respond to 1/19’s readings, your response will be
due at noon on 1/18). Please keep in mind that there are only 12 opportunities to
do the reading responses this semester and plan accordingly. You can do the
responses ahead of time, but late responses are NOT accepted. Also, you will
need to add a “label” to your responses on Blogger in order to receive credit.
Writing Assignments (20%) – To put what you learned in class and from
readings to practice, you will complete a number of take-home assignments that
include writing blog posts. As course policies indicate above, no late assignments
are accepted.
In-class Exam (20%) – March 29 (Tue) To assess your understanding of class
materials, this closed-book exam will cover major concepts covered in lecture and
readings. No make-up exam is allowed unless it is for medical reasons, which
requires a doctor’s note. The exam comprises of multiple choice and T/F
questions. Make-up exams, on the other hand, may entail fill-in-the-blanks and
short answer questions in addition to a different set of multiple choice and T/F
questions to ensure that the exam is fair to all students.
Final Presentation (20%) – To be discussed in class.

Grading Scheme
A = 93 or above
A- = 90-92
B+ = 87-89
B = 83-86
B- = 80-82
C+ = 77-79

C = 73-76
C- = 70-72
D+ = 67-69
D = 63-66
D- = 60-62
F = 59 or below

Please form a study group and write down the contact information of other members here
(Name, email and/or phone number).

Course Syllabus

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Our course blog URL:

Course Calendar
Week 1

Jan 12 (Tue)
• Introduction
• Setting up course blog
Jan 14 (Thur)
• Understanding the WebBasics
o Basic coding
o Blogging aesthetics
o Twitter – You will
need a Twitter
account for this class
o Tagging
o Labels
• Introduction to UTD
Writing Center

Read before class
• Chapter 3 of “Net Smart: How to Thrive
• “Message to my freshmen students”:
• “What 1 million tweets taught us about how
people tweet successfully”:
• “Study: Good design causes the brain to pay
more attention to news stories”:
Due in class
• Set up Twitter and Blogger accounts

Jan W
19 (Tue)
•e Understanding
e contemporary media
k landscape – Part I
o Rise of audience
o Attention economy
o Measuring attention
o Sticky content
• Discuss Assignment 1
Course Syllabus

Read before class
• Chapter 1 of “Net Smart: How to Thrive
• “Digital-age dilemma-how to cope with
information overload”:
Page 4

Jan 21 (Thur)
• Understanding
contemporary media
landscape – Part II
o Effects of selective
exposure, perception
and retention
o Information overload
o Digital democracy

Week 3

Jan 26 (Tue)
• New media literacy – Part
o Online tracking
o Digital data
o Algorithms
• Discuss findings from
Assignment 1

Course Syllabus

Attention economy -- “A new perspective on
business” chapter:
“The page view just won’t die”:

Read before class
• “The real media divide – Marcus Prior”:
• “Selective perception is what makes people
fight about TV”:
• “People selectively remember the details of
atrocities that absolve in-group members”:
• “Who controls your Facebook feed”:
• “If you use Facebook to get your news,
please—for the love of democracy—read
this first”:

Read before class
• “Google’s Stealthier search ads are a hit”:
• “Don’t freak out about the Facebook
Messenger app”:
Page 5

“Facebook has collected your web browsing
habits to target you with ads”: - sdEZK2DSyOq0
• “The hypocrisy of the Internet journalist”: .yunn3axp7
Due in class
• Assignment 1

Week 4

Jan 28 (Thur)
• New media literacy – Part
o Crap detection
o Online trolling
• Assignment 1 minipresentation
• Discuss Assignment 2_1

Read before class
• “Debunking Donald Trump won’t work if
you repeat what he got wrong”:
• “Most of the information we spread online is
quantifiably ‘bullshit’:
• “Why does hate thrive online?”:
• “I wanted to shame an accused con man. I
didn’t realize how much power I had over
• Chapter 2 of “Net Smart: How to Thrive

Feb 2 (Tue)
• Social media behaviors &

Read before class
• “Why computers won’t be replacing you just

Course Syllabus

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Week 4

Feb 2 (Tue)
• Social media behaviors &

Read before class
• “Why computers won’t be replacing you just
• EQ matters more than IQ on social:
• Chapter 5 of “Net Smart: How to Thrive
• (Fake) friends with (real) benefits:
• “A reminder that your Instagram photos
aren’t really yours: someone else can sell
them for $90,000”:

Feb 4 (Thur)
• Online advertising and

Read before class
• “5 not-so-secrets to writing great headlines”:
• “How to optimize headlines using the 65
character rule”:
• “Most of your headline writing tricks don’t
work, apart from these two”:
• “5 ways news sites are using ‘Most Popular’
features to help readers surface more
Page 7
• How ad avoidance will lead to the death of
the mobile banner & the evolution of search:

Course Syllabus

Week 5

Feb 9 (Tue)
o Mobile marketing,
mobile publishing,
native advertising

Read before class
• “Mobile is the future of everything”:
• “Location data’s dirty secret: How accuracy
is getting lost in today’s data shuffle”:
• How the Atlantic gets people to spend more
than 4 minutes on its native ads:
• “Lessons from five years in mobile news

Feb 11 (Thur)
• Writing for different
social media platforms
• Discuss Assignment 3

Read before class
• “Study: How marketers optimize their social
• “How to optimize your content for the top 5
social networks”:
• “A guide to optimize your social media
marketing campaign”:
• “What’s the best length for online news
videos? Recent research”:
Due in class
• Assignment 2_1

Week 6

Feb 16 (Tue)
• Collaborative in-class
exercise: Assignment 2_2

Please bring your laptop or tablet to class
Due in class
• Assignment 2_2

Feb 18 (Thur)
Please be on time and dress business casual
Course Syllabus

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Week 7

Week 8

Guest lecture by Layne
Rogers, Assistant Account
Executive at Moroch, an
ad agency in Uptown

Feb 23 (Tue)
• Introduction to journalism
studies: gatekeeping,
social control, and news

Read before class
• “Newspapers reach record numbers online –
but revenues don’t follow”:
• “We’re missing the story: The media’s
retreat from foreign reporting”:
• “Twitter and Facebook are turning publishers
into ghost writers”:
• “Around half of newspaper readers rely only
on print edition”:

Feb 25 (Thur)
• Emerging media giants:
news aggregators

Read before class
• “Murdoch wants a Google rebellion:
• Brazilian newspapers leave Google News en
• Why Google may be industry’s best friend:

March 1 (Tue)
• Collaborative in-class
exercise: Assignment 3_2

Due in class
• Assignment 3_1
Due in class
• Assignment 3_2
Please bring your laptop or tablet to class for
today’s exercise

March 3 (Thur)
Course Syllabus

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Week 9



March 3 (Thur)
• Assignment 3_2 group
March 8 (Tue)
• Discuss Assignment 4
(Research paper)
• Brainstorming session for
final project
• Final presentation group
March 10 (Thur)
• Library visit

You should start thinking about how you
may want to do assignment 4 (e.g., narrative
and necessary multimedia elements) so you
can make best use of the class library visit on

*Class meets at lobby of McDermott Library
at 11:25am*

March 15 (Tue)
March 17 (Thur)
March 22 (Tue)

New media & new
o Big data
o Ethical questions

March 24 (Thur)
• Exam Q&A

Read before class
• Chapter 6 of “Net Smart: How to Thrive
• “Sharing data, but not happily”:
• “How The Guardian uses ‘attention
analytics’ to track rising stories”:
“What you think you know about the web is
• If you have any questions or concerns about
the exam, this would be a good time to bring
them up

March 29 (Tue)
• In-Class exam
March 31 (Thur)
• Mandatory consultation
for final presentation

Course Syllabus

• Group consultations will take place in Dr.
Lee’s office (ATC1.907). The rest of the
class should meet and work on the final
presentation in the classroom
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April 5 (Tue)
• Mandatory consultation
for final presentation

• Group consultations will take place in Dr.
Lee’s office (ATC1.907). The rest of the
class should meet and work on the final
presentation in the classroom

April 7 (Thur)
• Group meeting for final
• Optional consultation
available upon request

April 12 (Tue)
• Assignment 4 in-class
presentation (part 1)

April 14 (Thur)
• Assignment 4 in-class
presentation (part 2)


April 19 (Tue)
• Group meeting for final
• Optional consultation
available upon request

Reminder: The written report for the final
presentation is due on April 26. See course
blog for instructions.

Due in class
• Assignment 4
• Feedback on in-class presentations
Please bring your laptop or tablet to class for inclass exercise
Due in class
• Feedback on in-class presentations

Reminder: The written report for the final
presentation is due on April 21. See course
blog for instructions.

April 21 (Thur)
Final presentations

Due in class
• Optional team evaluation

April 26 (Tue)
• Final presentations

Due in class
• Optional team evaluation

April 28 (Thur)
• Final presentations
• Wrap-up

Due in class
• Optional team evaluation

The descriptions and timelines contained in this syllabus are subject to change
at the discretion of the Professor.

Course Syllabus

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