ENG101X-English Academic Writing

The Assignment in ENG101X-English Academic Writing

For this assignment, you will craft a website that presents three major stakeholder positions within your issue. You will also compose an “About” page for your webpage and a “Required Reading” list that focuses exclusively on peer-reviewed, scholarly sources.


The Digital Forum assignment asks you to continue to explore, research, and write about the issue you’ve engaged throughout the semester. The goal is to deepen and extend your understanding of the issue and the specific positions people take within it. Your previous assignments (the Annotated Bibliography and Inquiry) should have provided the foundation for this project. The purpose of the Digital Forum is for you to learn more about the issue and to refine and deepen your understanding of the issue you’ve researched and written about. 

Modeled after the New York Times’ “Room for Debate,”[ http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate] your website for the Digital Forum assignment will showcase three specific positions that stakeholders take regarding this issue. 

Your Digital Forum will include five pages: 

1.An “About” page that introduces the topic and conversation to the reader. 

2.Three separate “Stakeholder Position” pages that present the different positions of the stakeholders. 

3.Note: these “Stakeholder Position” pages will offer three discrete lines of argument within your debate, and here you will show how stakeholders engage, refute, or elaborate on each other’s claims.

4.“Required Reading” page that points your audience to five scholarly sources about the conversation. 

The “About” page and the “Stakeholder Position” pages should include at least two credible external sources each. 


This project is completely online, and thus your audience is beyond the academic community. Your audience is both general and specific: while of course the digital environment would allow anyone to visit your site, your goal is to shape your forum so that you speak to a specific audience and thus use language, research, examples, and visuals that would be of interest to them. 

Writing the Digital Forum 

1.This is a forum. Thus, the stakeholder position pages should be in conversation with one another. They should be debating similar topics, engaging the same stasis points, elaborating on one another’s ideas, taking up the same lines of argument, or raising concerns about the other interlocutors’ positions. In sum, you should think of the stakeholders within your forum as talking with one another.

2.Your “About” page should introduce your audience to the issue (approx. 300 words). This page should identify the exigence of the issue, explaining to readers the reason why they should care about this topic and what the stakes of the issue are. It should also provide enough background information to prepare your audience for the forum conversation. 

3.Your three “Stakeholder Position” pages (approx. 300 words each) should engage your issue from different perspectives. When composing each of these pages, you should present a specific approach to or position on this issue, showing your audience how certain stakeholders or stakeholder groups engage this debate. It is important to note, here, that you do not need to pretend to be one of these people or part of these stakeholder groups. Rather, you will identify the position this individual/group might take and explain the position by drawing on research that demonstrates their perspective. Toward this aim, you should find and hyperlink to and/or footnote at least two sources to support each of the three perspectives you present. These sources can be popular sources but should be credible.

4.A “Required Reading” page that offers five annotations (approx. 100 words each) of new scholarly sources pertaining to your issue that would be of interest to your audience. These sources should not be the ones you used for your Annotated Bibliography and/or Inquiry.

5.You will use Weebly, Wix, or WordPress as your web platform. I have chosen Weebly because it is user-friendly and does not require a lot of technological expertise. That said, I do hope that you are attentive to and make use of the affordances of the website. Affordances are options available to you in different mediums that enable you to craft, shape, and present your message. A written essay has different affordances than a website or video. You will want to be sure you are aware and take advantage of the specific affordances that digital platforms and technology allow. Consider the following questions in thinking about how you will create your website and forum:

a.How do my choices of font, color, images, and graphics reflect the message and overarching project of the website? 

b.How can I purposefully and thoughtfully make use of these features so that they add depth to my message and reach my audience?

6.Since we will be doing a lot of online work in class, please bring a laptop to our meetings. If you do not have immediate access to one, the UMD offers a “Laptop Lending Program.” See this website for details: http://thestamp.umd.edu/about_us/information_desk/laptop_lending_program.

7.In the case that you decide to revise the Digital Forum later this semester, please make a copy of your Digital Forum website once you have completed and submitted it to me. Once you begin revising this project, I will use this copy to see how you’ve revised your website, comparing the original to the new one you submit. Also, if you decide to revise the Digital Forum, please set the original site to “private.” You should then publish, if you so choose, the revised version. This way, you will not have two versions of your website on the web.
ENG101X-English Academic Writing