Progress Report/Reflective Writing: Creating an Interest Inventory


Assignment in a Nutshell: Post twenty topics and explain how each can be viewed through the lens of new media/digital media. Then, do the reflective writing in response to the prompt below.

Explanation/Rationale: As the syllabus explains, you will create an inquiry project this semester, due on the last day of class. You must begin considering your choice of topic and research question (RQ) right away–and the interest inventory was your first step.

Your second step is to take the interest inventory and begin examining the items in your list through the lens of new media/digital media. This lens is HUGE and affords you literally an infinite  number of topics.

Ultimately, all students will write about something that is somehow related to new media / digital media. 

Before beginning this reflective writing, you should do two things:

    1. Look back over your own interest inventory for topics that interest you
    2. Review the interest inventories for at least 5 others in your class and find items that interest you there.

You can find the blogs for students in your section by going to and clicking on All Blogs–>UNIV 200 Sections–>Section 006 Jessica Gordon. Scroll down and little and you will see a list of links to all blogs for students in this section.

Directions: Choose 10 topics from your own list and 10 topics from any other student’s list. Be sure you choose the topics that most interest YOU. Copy and paste those topics into your blog. Next to each topic, explain at least one way that you might view this through the lens of new media/digital media.

For example, suppose the topic I am interested in is Fast Food.  How could I look at fast food through the lens of new media/digital media?!?! There are TONS of ways! How does McDonalds portray themselves online? What does their digital identity look like? How is McDonald’s digital identity different (and similar) from Chipolte’s or Paneara’s? How do online news sites write about fast food in urban areas? How do the news sites write about the type of fast food that school’s serve in the lunchroom?

Suppose I’m really a science person and the topic I am interested in is Space! How could I look at a science topic like space through the lens of new media/digital media? First, I might think about how space is portrayed online? How does NASA illustrate their missions into outerspace to the public? OR, I might wonder about what kinds of apps have app-makers created for people who are into exploring space?

I can think of tons of ways to look at fast food and space through the lens of new media and digital media, and so can you! Do so with your own topics of interest.

My Challenge To You: I want you to see that writing about something related to new media/digital media is not confining at all. I l believe that ALL topics can be studied through this lens. Thus, I challenge each of you to FIND ONE TOPIC that CANNOT be explored in the context of new media/digital media–and post that on your blog.

Reflective Writing Prompt:  In a robust, thorough and insightful post, explore the TWO topics that most interest you for your inquiry project.  Remember that they must be in some way related to new media/digital media. Explain why these topics fascinate you? What do you want to find out about them? What questions would you ask? Convince your readers that these are both topics that would be ideal for your inquiry project this semester.


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UNIV 200: Inquiry and the Craft of Argument, 006

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