ATCM 3301_Fall 19


This writing intensive course focuses on the genres of writing associated with arts, technology, and emerging communication. ATCM 3301 trains students in the process of writing about media (animation, design, games, and so forth) for a variety of audiences. Writing assignments and presentations prepare students for the types of writing that are common in the media and cultural industries. Assignments include formal analysis, interpretation, the personal or artist’s statement, and project proposals. 

This semester is a rare opportunity to consider your body of work so far, and think about what you’ve done in the past and where you might want to head in the future. You’ll be asked to reflect on your work and plan out new projects. At its core, this is a writing class, so expect to write. Expect to rewrite. Expect to work closely with your classmates to refine and rethink your work. 

Learning Outcomes

  •  Improved writing skills
  • Demonstrated ability to write in various modes (reflective, descriptive, argumentative, generative)
  • Evaluating your creative work and that of others
  • Communicating to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  •  Engage in constructive feedback and iteration

Here’s the full syllabus with policies, procedures and such.

Helpful Writing Tools

These are the writing and organization tools that I will mention during the semester. They all have a free option. I’ll add to this list as we go through the semester.

Class Links

Graded Assignments Overview

  1. Attendance/Participation (20%): Participation is not just about being present, but coming to class on time and prepared and, having completed the assigned reading and writing in advance, ready to contribute to class discussions and in class activities. Participation includes attendance, reading quizzes, freewriting activities, participation in discussion, and think pieces.
  2. Think pieces are short written responses [150-200 words) posted to your course participant page on the course workspace prior class. The responses will address a question or problem posed for that day’s assigned readings/topic. 
  3. Paper 1 – Diagnostic (5%):A short artist/work statement providing a general introduction to your creative work focusing on enhancing the way a viewer understands your work by providing some context. This statement will be revised for the student’s final portfolio submission. [300 words]
  4. Paper 2 – Media Analysis (20%):A formal/technical analysis and interpretation of a media object from a list of suggested work. This assignment will be written in multiple drafts. [1,500 words]
  5. Paper 3 – Analytical Reflection (15%): A formal/technical analysis and interpretation of one piece of the student’s own artwork. [800 – 1,00 words]
  6. Paper 4 – Proposal (20%):A conceptual essay that proposes a future project for a specific audience (grant, competition, etc.). The proposal will discuss the background and overview of the piece, provide a description of the process and work itself, and argue for its significance. This assignment will be written in multiple drafts. [800 – 1,000 words]
  7. Presentation (10%):A short presentation (5 minute) of your proposed project (Paper 4) for a non-specialist audience followed by a 2-minute Q&A session. Grading Criteria:
    1. Presentation Topic was clear
    2. Topic had a grant / contest
    3. Slides were complete
    4. Slides were effective
  8. Final Portfolio Submission (10%):Revise and submit the Diagnostic statement and one other paper assignment to the eLearning portfolio system.


8/20 (T): Introductions

8/22 (Th): No Class

8/27 (T): The Artist Statement 

8/29 (Th): Workshop

9/3 (T): Intro to Peer Editing

  • BEFORE CLASS: Bring First Version Paper 1: Diagnostic
  • IN CLASS: How to Peer Review & Peer Review 
  • Peer Review Form

9/5 (Th): No Class

DUE FRIDAY 9/6: Paper 1: Diagnostic (to eLearning by 11:59 pm)


9/10 (T): Form/Content

9/12 (Th): Form/Content

9/17 (T): Interpretation

9/19 (Th): Interpretation

  • BEFORE CLASS:  Read (Choose One)
    • Design and Production: Hjelm, “Part One: Terminology” and “Part Two: Meaning” from Semiotics in Product Design
    • Games: Galloway, “Gamic Action: Four Moments” from Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture
    • Animation: McCloud, “Chapter 2: The Vocabulary of Comics” in Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
  • BEFORE CLASS: Write Think Piece #3  
  • IN CLASS: Workshop

9/24 (T): Peer Review

  • BEFORE CLASS: Bring First VersionPaper 2: Media Analysis, Part 2: Interpretation
  • IN CLASS: Peer Review

9/26 (Th) Thesis Statements

DUE FRIDAY 9/27: Polished First VersionPaper 2: Media Analysis (to eLearning by 11:59 pm)


10/1 (T): Reflection & Creativity

  • BEFORE CLASS: Read Catmull, “Part I: Getting Started” from Creativity, Inc.

10/3 (Th): Workshop

10/8 (T): Lab

  • IN CLASS: Open Lab + Paper 3: Analytical Reflection Overview

10/10 (TH): Reflection

  • BEFORE CLASS: Bring Paper 3: Analytical Reflection Outline or Notes
  • IN CLASS: Open Lab

10/15 (T): Basic Writing Rules

10/17 (Th): Peer Review

DUE FRIDAY 10/ 18: Final VersionPaper 2: Media Analysis (to eLearning by 11:59 pm)


10/22 (T): Audience

10/24 (Th): Audience

  • IN CLASS: Workshop for Paper #3

DUE Friday 10/25: Paper 3: Analytical Reflection (to eLearning by 11:59 pm)

10/29 (T): Presentation Prep

  • Introduction to Paper #4
  • BEFORE CLASS: Read Reynolds, “Introduction” and “Preparation” from Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery
  • IN CLASS: “So What?” And Elevator Pitch Activity [Presentation Zen, page 66]
  • IN CLASS: Write Think Piece #6

10/31 (Th): Class Cancelled

DUE FRIDAY 11/1: Polished First Version of Paper 4: Proposal (to eLearning by 11:59 pm)

11/5 (T): Presentation Prep

  • BEFORE CLASS: Read Reynolds, “Design” and “Delivery” from Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery
  • IN CLASS: “Preparing Analog” Activity [p. 45, Presentation Zen]

11/7 (Th): Presentation Signup & Lab

11/12 (T): Presntations

11/14 (Th): Presentations

DUE FRIDAY 11/15: Final VersionPaper 4: Proposal (to eLearning by 11:59 pm)

11/19 (T): Presentations

11/21 (Th): Presentations



12/3 (T): Presentations

12/5 (Th): Presentations

DUE FRIDAY 12/6: Final Portfolio