Crafting Digital Writing: Composing Texts Across Media and Genres by Troy Hicks


Crafting Digital Writing by Troy HicksThe book aligns with the Digital Writing Workshop (2009) approach, also authored by Troy Hicks, which “invites writers to explore author’s craft, confer with us and their peers, and publish their work for a variety of audiences.” (p 1)

I really appreciate how easy this is to read and how practical it is to use the ideas presented.  Many current tools are described, but the examples are focused on what is involved in writing, rather than the specifics of the tool.

A lens that is used throughout the text from the Digital Writing Workshop is MAPS:
“Mode: the genre of the text
Media: the form(s) in which text is read
Audience: the reader, listener, or viewer of the text, both intended and incidental
Purpose: the action the author takes, in both an academic and personal sense
Situation: the context for the writer herself, or himself, as well as the demands of the writing task” (p21)

The book first looks at the craft of writing and teaching the craft, then follows up with chapters for crafting: web texts, presentations, audio, video and social media.  Finally, modeling and mentoring the Digital Writing Process is discussed.

With each genre features considered include mentor texts, student examples, intentional design features, writing process, editing, publishing curriculum connections and assessment.The chapters go into detail with background connections, craft, and examples

Web Text Blogs, Wikis, Collaborative Docs
Presentation Pre-recorded, Interactive posters, slide shows, timelines, infographics, screencasts
Audio Narration, music, sound effects
Video Still and moving images, remix
Social Media Microblogging, back channel, communities, bookmarking, and content curation

The final chapter explores deeper modeling and mentoring the digital writing process.  It is very clear that the writing process is critical to be literate; however, the output of the process does not have to be printed letters.

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