Publish Your Final Project in a Peer-Reviewed Journal

Logo for TheJUMP journal

There’s a peer-reviewed, online journal out there that’s made for your final projects. No, seriously.

TheJUMP (Journal for Undergraduate Multimedia Projects) is specifically designed to publish pieces just like the ones you’re working on.

Submitting is really easy. Right after you turn in your final project to me, head to TheJUMP‘s submission information page, create a log-in, and share the link to your project there. (In fact, they previously have published a project that was created by a student using Wix, as you are; to check it out, click here for the project’s info page and then look for the “click here to go to Project” link.)

Here’s what will happen after you submit your piece to them (which I’ve pasted in from their submission information page):

Upon receiving a submission, TheJUMP Editors view the project and send it out to two members of our editorial collective for blind-review.  Those reviewers make a decision in regards to the quality of the project and its fit for TheJUMP.  In so doing, they rank the project on a four point scale: 4 – accept and publish as is (or with very minor revisions); 3 – publish with revisions; 2 – revise and resubmit; 1 – reject.  For all submissions, our reviewers evaluate the work based on its overall quality, how well it fits with the assignment that gave rise to it, its timeliness and/or potential impact for our audience, and so on.  Beyond that, they view each submission as a “teachable moment” and attempt to provide feedback in such a manner as to help the student author(s) improve the overall quality of the work.

So even if you’re not sure your piece is up to publication standards yet, don’t worry: the editors will walk you through a process to help you get it there.

Think of how useful this could be to you: on your resume, you could put, “Peer-reviewed journal publication.” Makes you look pretty good.

(Notice the variety of rhetorical appeals I’m using to convince you to submit….)

Image from

Short, Persuasive Presentation


Lego character giving a speechYou’ve been reading about your topic and planning your persuasive project on the topic. But you haven’t yet had to present that argument in a carefully planned, formal way. We’ve also discussed rhetoric from a variety of angles, always remembering that the roots of rhetoric are in oral communication, even though we haven’t formally practiced the verbal aspects of rhetoric.

This small project, then, fills both of those gaps. That is, it gives you a chance to try out the persuasiveness of your final project, and it gives us all a chance to consider how verbal rhetoric compares and contrasts with the other modalities in which rhetorical communication can be practiced.

As with your proposal, your challenge is to make a focused, clear, rehearsed argument even when there isn’t much time to do so. What will persuade your classmates in such a short amount of time? What blend of ethos, pathos, and logos will you use to persuade them? How will you organize your presentation?


Give a three-to-five-minute presentation to the class that attempts to persuade your classmates to change their attitudes or actions on the topic of your final project.

You may not use any visual aids. This is to encourage you to focus on your delivery (how you look and sound), your quality of ideas (how well you develop and support your argument for an audience of your classmates), and your organization (how you structure the order of your argument, including how you begin and end).

You may use written notes, but you may not read multiple sentences in a row directly from your notes. In other words, even though your presentation will be carefully planned, it must be unscripted.


This presentation counts as 5% of your final grade in the class.

I’ll assess your presentation’s delivery, quality of ideas, and organization. Your final presentation grade will be the average of these three grades. Any presentations that last fewer than three minutes or more than five minutes will lose additional points.

Due Date

Presentations will given during the last week of class: on December 2, 4, and 6.

To determine who will present on which day, I’ll get information from you in class on Friday, November 22, allowing you to say if you prefer going in the beginning, middle, or end. I’ll use that information to make an ordered list.

Image: southtyrolean, “orator

Citing Images from Flickr

The assignment page for the Practice Wix Assignment has a lot of info on citing images–just scroll down to the bottom.

But sometimes it’s hard to find the title and author of the photo on Flickr, which you’ll need for your citations (whether you’re using MLA or APA style). That’s what this video is designed to do: to show you where to get that info on Flickr.


Multimodal Persuasive Project


The changing face of communication technology means that scholarship is changing as well. In this final Image of man peeking out of the screenproject, you’ll make a scholarly argument online by composing a lengthy, researched, persuasive piece of scholarship that can be shared publicly online (at a free web-development site called Wix). This piece will be composed in multiple modes of communication, meaning that it will be partly composed of text and partly composed of video, audio, or images.

For this project, you’ll prepare materials much as you would for a traditional research paper: you’ll read and annotate sources, enter into a conversation with those sources, and plan an argument about how others should change their attitudes or actions on your topic. The difference is that you’ll present your ideas using more than just words, opening up your rhetorical possibilities.

And fittingly, your topic will also concern digital communication. In other words, you’ll use a digital medium to make an argument about some aspect of digital rhetoric.


Choose a focused topic that is related in some way to digital technology and rhetorical communication. Follow the plans you already laid out in your proposal and my responses to it.

Then, compose a multi-page website that persuades an audience (of your choosing) to change its attitudes or actions on your topic. That website must strategically use some blend of text, audio, images, and/or video to convince your audience.

I suggest you use the easy tools at to compose your website, but if you prefer, you may use Wix’s main competitor Weebly or another web design platform if you get permission from me first. We’ll play with Wix in class and do a practice assignment using it to give you the hang of things.

Assignment Details

  • Length: Your project’s “length” is up to you. (Make it long enough to deserve 25% of your entire grade for this course.) I encourage you to think of this project as having the “intellectual heft” of a ten- to fifteen-page research essay. Of course, you won’t write as many words as would be in fifteen pages of writing (~5,000), given that you’ll also be composing or arranging multimodal elements.
  • Modalities: At least two modalities (text, audio, image, video) must be used strategically and purposefully on your site. That is, it’s not good enough to write a traditional essay and toss a couple of images on the site without saying anything about them. (I call that “visual frosting.” Both of the images on this page are merely visual frosting, for example.) If the only modalities you use are text and images, make sure that the analysis or use of the images is central to your argument.
    • A good rule of thumb: if you compose any images, video, or audio yourself, you automatically fulfill this part of the assignment. If you embed images, video, or audio that you found somewhere else, you should discuss these elements at length, perhaps doing a rhetorical analysis of them (when appropriate to your topic and argument). (See “Tips for Each Modality” below for more specific advice about this.)
  • Sources: Your project must in some way “use” at least ten outside sources (though you may use many more, if appropriate), each of which must be cited formally in MLA or APA format on a Credits, Works Cited, or References page. The rules for those sources are as follows:
    • At least five must be articles in peer-reviewed academic journals.
    • At least one must be from a book. This can be an entire book or a single chapter from an edited collection. (You may use Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus or any chapters from The Social Media Reader as your book source.)
    • These sources do not have to be the same ones you annotated earlier.
    • When you include an image, audio clip, or video clip that you are discussing in a detailed, meaningful way, it counts as one of your ten required sources. But if you include images, audio, or video just as “frosting”–as something that is nice to include but isn’t substantially discussed–those won’t count toward your ten sources. (Audio or video that you compose does not count as one of your ten outside sources, even if it uses music or images from outside sources.)
    • When using copyrighted material, it’s crucial that you follow the guidelines in the Copyright Concerns section of the Practice Wix Assignment. See that section for advice about when to include something on your Works Cited/References page, and when to write a fair use statement.

Statement of Goals and Choices

Along with your final project, you’ll also submit a statement of goals and choices (SOGC). (You’ll use a Visualization of connections on Flickrsingle post on your WordPress blog to post both SOGC and a link to the project on Wix.) The SOGC is a way for you to tell me why you made the choices you did in your project. It must answer (at a minimum) the following questions in some way (but not necessarily in this order):

  1. What, specifically, is this piece trying to accomplish—above and beyond satisfying the basic requirements outlined above? In other words, what work does this piece do? For whom? In what contexts?

  2. What specific rhetorical choices did you make to accomplish the goals you describe in #1? Be specific—point me to specific places where I can see your goals made real by some choice you made.

  3. Why did you end up pursuing this plan as opposed to other possibilities? After all, you could have chosen many different topics, and you could have chosen many different ways to present your arguments about your topic. Feel free to narrate what your decision process was like early on.

  4. Who and what helped you accomplish this assignment? List human as well as nonhuman helpers, including software, web pages, and so on. Think of this as a way to give thanks.

You may write your SOGC (choosing a length that you feel is appropriate to a project of this intellectual heft), or if you choose, you may compose a video, audio file, comic, or use any other medium that will help me see what you had in mind as you composed the project. (Some students go to YouTube, click “upload video,” and record themselves talking into their webcam, which you can do right from the YouTube page.)

Some students find that the SOGC is easier to compose when they keep a project diary throughout the composing process, noting what frustrations and breakthroughs they’ve encountered recently.


This project counts as 25% of your final course grade. The SOGC will be assessed the same way as your reading response blog posts: as a 20-point grade in the Small Assignments category, earning a check, check-plus, or check-minus.

Your project as a whole will be assessed in the same way as your rhetorical analyses were assessed: according to your quality of ideas, organization, evidence, and style. However, there will also be one additional grade category: attention to detail. 

Note that I’m not grading “slickness of design” or “flashiness of technology.” I’m much more interested in seeing evidence that you proceeded with a rhetorical sense of purpose, making choices that were appropriate given your goals for the project. Your SOGC will help me tremendously in that regard, as it will guide my assessment of the five grading areas. (For example, I might think at first that an organizational choice you made was poor, but your SOGC might explain that you did so purposefully, changing my opinion and increasing your grade in that category.)

Submission Details and Deadlines

  • If you want individual advice from me about a draft, you must email a draft to me by 2:00 p.m. on Friday, December 6.
  • On the last day of class (Friday, December 6), if we have extra time after the presentations are all completed, we’ll spend some time doing optional peer review of project drafts together. If you have a draft posted, we’ll spend five minutes (max) clicking around your draft on the big screen, giving you a chance to get informal feedback from me and the rest of the class on what you have so far. I suggest (but don’t require) that you create all of your pages by then, even if the content on them needs fixing up.
  • Your SOGC and a link to your final project must be posted as a single post on your blog by 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 9. This is a hard deadline, as I’ll need to start grading immediately in order to complete them all. Missing this deadline means losing 10% per day late, following the guidelines on the syllabus.

Tips for Each Modality

  • Text:
    • Much of your project can be composed like a traditional essay, if that’s where you feel most comfortable. However, I suggest at a minimum that you challenge yourself to think of organization in new ways, given that you can put different parts of your conversation on different pages. And of course, you’ll have to include at least one other modality in some central way to part of your project.
  • Image:
    • You can find plenty of images licensed by Creative Commons on sites like Flickr. (Click the “advanced search” button.) Many of these photographers’ Creative Commons licenses specifically give you permission to remix their photos in programs like Photoshop, Gimp, or’s online editor. You must still legally give credit to any images you use, even when licensed by Creative Commons, but you can do that on your Credits page.
    • You might also want to create your own images, perhaps using photography, painting, or mash-ups of your own creation. Anything is fair game.
  • Audio:
    • If you use audio, I suggest you incorporate it the exact way we did earlier in the semester: first get it onto SoundCloud, and then embed it from there. You might want to manipulate your audio first using the free software Audacity, which will let you export it as an .ogg file that you can upload to SoundCloud.
    • Legally, the safest way to use audio is to create sounds yourself or use files that are licensed by Creative Commons. (Their search site at is great.) But if necessary, you can use copyrighted works within limits under fair use guidelines–as long as you write a fair use defense (which can go on your Credits page).
  • Video:
    • Creating and embedding video is much like creating and embedding audio. You first create a file using Windows Movie Maker or iMovie (or a free trial of the more-powerful software Camtasia, which I prefer). Then you export your project to a file that can be watched on other computers (like a .mov or .wmv), upload it to YouTube or Vimeo, and embed it on your site.
    • I gave you some more details on composing screencasts on the page Alternative Ways to Complete RA3.
    • And just as with audio, it’s safest to use video sources that you create yourself or which have been licensed by Creative Commons. If you use copyrighted works, I want you to be sure that your use is considered fair, and you’ll need to write a fair use defense.

General Tips

  • Communication with me: Stay in touch. Seriously. Send me drafts, come to my office hours, and keep me generally in the loop as you compose this piece.
  • Using prewritten words: Remember that you can use any words you’ve already written in this class for this project. So if you wrote a really good summary of a source for your annotated bibliography, you can copy that language directly into your project (as long as it makes sense in its new setting!).
  • Examples of multimodal scholarship: For ideas about how to work in multiple modes online, poke around in the the online book The New Work of Composing, available at You’ll also find multimodal texts in these journals: KairosComputers and Composition OnlineHarlotCurrents in Electronic LiteracyPresent Tense, and The JUMP (which publishes undergraduate work–like yours!).
  • How Evernote can help: Consider carefully how best to organize your research and draft your writing. I have personally found Evernote to be particularly useful for organizing and tagging my quotations and notes from various sources. But you could also use Evernote or some other software to actually draft your work, allowing you to finalize your text there before pasting it into Wix. It’s part of our 21st-century rhetorical situation to have lots of digital writing spaces at our fingertips.
  • Organization: Your piece does not need to be linear, but your audience should never feel confused. For example, if you have three pages that can be experienced in any order, consider creating an introduction page that explains to readers what options you’ve given them.
  • Opposing views: Often, persuasive projects are made stronger when the author cites and responds directly to those with differing opinions. Consider purposefully looking for opposing views and responding to them in some way.
  • Calls to action: Often, persuasive projects are made stronger when the author makes a very clear statement of what should happen in the future (often placed toward the end of the piece). Consider making such a call to action in your project.
  • Audience: Sometimes, having a specific audience in mind can help you focus your argument. For example, if you decide that you’re writing to current and future teachers (not administrators or parents or the public at large), you can assume they know some things and give them suggestions that will best help them.
  • Giving credit: If you have a lot of different kinds of sources to cite, it’s okay to break them up on a Credits page in the way that fits most logically with your project. For an example, consider the complicated Credits page on a multimodal publication of mine: it includes sections for my bio, credit to a web designer friend who helped me out, a formal MLA-style list of works cited that were textual, a formal MLA-style list of the songs I was discussing, a formal MLA-style list of sounds I used in audio clips I composed, credits to every image I used (including links to the images on Flickr), acknowledgments, and a fair use statement. That’s a lot, so I had to be careful to organize all that info in a way that would make sense to my readers.

Images: JD Hancock, “Why I Decided to Become a Cyborg” and eskimoblood, “everyone knows everyone from flickr” The SOGC concept and language is adapted from assignments created by Dr. Jody Shipka.

Practice Wix Assignment


This assignment is designed as a low-stakes way to practice three things:

  1. Using
  2. Citing images, audio, and video sources formally
  3. Finding and deploying images licensed by Creative Commons


Create a new site at that includes, at a minimum, the following things:

  1. 3 pages, which must have the following titles: “Introduction,” “Media,” and “Credits”
  2. On your introduction page, add a text box explaining that this is a practice site, and add one image licensed by Creative Commons.
  3. On your media page, include each of these items:
    1. Another image licensed by Creative Commons
    2. An embedded video from
    3. An embedded sound from
  4. On your credits page, include a text box with formal citations of your images, video, and sound using MLA or APA style, plus one more image licensed by Creative Commons.

The images, sounds, and videos you include may be related to your final project, but they don’t have to. Right now, I’m most interested in your technical abilities, not the objects you choose.

If you like, you may include other things on your pages. Feel free to be creative and play around.

If you like, you can think of this practice site as the first steps on your final project. For instance, your final project can look the same as this practice site, with the same design and fonts and images. (You can always make a copy of your practice site and use that copy as the basis of your final project: log into Wix, click “My Account” at the top of the page, click “Manage and Edit Site” next to your practice site, then click “Duplicate Site.”)

Due Date and Submission

Before class begins on Friday, November 22, add a post to your blog that links to your practice Wix site. Be sure to write at least one sentence on your blog post explaining to readers what they will find when they click the link.


This is a practice assignment. Therefore, any submission that follows the requirements listed above will receive a 20/20 in the Small Assignments category. If you include all the requirements but make 1 to 3 small mistakes (e.g. you only include 2 images or make a mistake on your citations), you can still receive a 17/20. If you make many small mistakes (evidence of quick or shoddy work), you’ll receive no more than a 13/20.

Copyright Concerns

People often ask me how we’ll handle copyright concerns when we publish websites on Wix. Here are the copyright guidelines you should follow, both for this assignment and for the final project:


  • If you make images yourself from scratch (a painting, a photo you took): no citation necessary, no copyright notice necessary
  • If you use a copyrighted image in any way (a screenshot, something from Google Images, something you blended with other images in Photoshop): cite it on your credits page, and write a fair use statement
  • If you use an image licensed by Creative Commons (probably from, using their advanced search): cite it on your credits page, but don’t write a fair use statement


  • If you find something on that someone else uploaded (i.e. it’s not linked to your account) and you want to embed it on your site: cite it, but no copyright notice necessary
  • If you make a sound and host it on your own Soundcloud account, follow these steps:
    • If you record yourself talking or playing an instrument and include no other sounds: no citation necessary, no copyright notice necessary
    • If you create a new sound that uses copyrighted sounds in any way (music, sound effects): cite it on your credits page, and write a fair use statement
    • If you create a new sound that uses sounds that were created by you or licensed by Creative Commons (perhaps from,, or Soundcloud): cite it on your credits page, but don’t write a fair use statement


  • If you find something on YouTube that someone else uploaded (i.e. it’s not linked to your account) and you want to embed it on your site: cite it, but no copyright notice necessary
  • If you make a video and host it on your own YouTube account, follow these steps:
    • If you record yourself talking or playing an instrument and include no other sounds or clips: no citation necessary, no copyright notice necessary
    • If you create a new video that uses copyrighted video clips or sounds in any way: cite it on your credits page, and write a fair use statement
    • If you create a new video that uses video clips or sounds that were all created by you or licensed by Creative Commons: cite it on your credits page, but don’t write a fair use statement


  • To find images licensed by Creative Commons, I suggest you start at, which will send you to various sites that allow you to search for only CC-licensed content. It’s also okay to start at and use their advanced search to search only for Creative Commons images.
  • Citation help: citing multimedia objects is hard! I’ll update this space later with Here are the best practices for citing images, audio, and video using MLA and APA format.
    • MLA
      • Use the standard format for citing a website, but include a note about what kind of file it is immediately after the title. Some examples:
      • Citing this YouTube video:
        • Code for America. “CfA Summit 2013 | Clay Shirky | Keynote.” Online video. YouTube. YouTube, 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
      • Citing this audio clip from SoundCloud:
        • Bristol Festival of Ideas. “Clay Shirky 30 June 2010.” Online audio. SoundCloud. SoundCloud, n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
      • Citing this image from Flickr:
        • Les Rencontres RSLN. “Clay Shirky @ Rencontres RSLN.” Photograph. Flickr. Yahoo!, 31 Jan. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
    • APA
  • If you’re having trouble using Wix, check out some of their support, which is really good. If you’d like to watch me create a draft of this assignment, which is up at this page, you can watch this video (embedded below). I know it’s long, but I wanted the video to answer possible problems and questions you might have. Warning: this video and site reflect an earlier version of this assignment, so not everything I say will apply to you; follow the assignment guidelines listed on this page, not those mentioned in the video. 

How to Predict Your Final Grade

If you’d like to do some educated guessing about what your final grade will be, this is the post for you.

I’ve made a simple spreadsheet to help you calculate your grade; it’s right here. (It’s .xlsx format, made in Excel.)

It’s easy: log into Moodle to find your grades in each category, then return to the spreadsheet and fill in what you found in Moodle, and then guess what you think you might get on the rest. (You can’t leave anything blank, or it won’t work.)