Project 3: Interrogate a Story Source

Worth 15% of your course grade

Calendar IconImportant Dates

  • Oct 21: Project 3 Peer Review
  • Oct 26: Project 3: Interrogate a Story Source due by 11:59 PM
  • Nov 2: End of grace period for Project 3. No work is accepted after 11:59 PM.


Icon showing code bracketswrite and design web content, use digital images (and if appropriate, video and audio), and recognize basic HTML and CSS syntax. Tablet icon showing text and image on the screenexplore how linguistic text (words), images, and layout combine to communicate with an audience. Recycling iconbegin researching the topic that you will explore in your story remix (project 4).


The Project AssignmentBook icon with magnifying glass, signifying the Interrogate a Story Source project

You will choose a story that you want to remix for Project 4 and, then, choose one source of that story that you will analyze in a multi-page web essay. Your analysis should go beyond merely describing what happens in the story to investigating how the author controls or influences the reader’s interaction with the story through the ways that the story is created, published, and distributed. Your web essay should include a rhetorical analysis and discussion of design choices as well as of the affordances and constraints of the methods of creation, publication, and distribution.

Step-by-Step Details

#1 in a maroon circleStep 1: Choose a focus story for Projects 3 and 4.
Choose a story (fiction or nonfiction) that you like or are interested in exploring. Do choose a story that is classroom-friendly. Nothing X-rated or otherwise inappropriate please.

Be sure you focus your story specifically. Let’s say you were going to try working on a historical event. The U.S. Civil War is too broad for this project. You would need to focus that topic to a particular skirmish, a specific decision that a soldier or military leader made, or a particular document (like a speech, a proclamation, or even a photo). Lincoln would be too broad. Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” could work. Focusing on the story behind one or more of these Gettysburg Photos or a draft of the Address would be great.

#2 in an orange circleStep 2: Set your goals for the project.
You have the opportunity to aim for the grade you want to earn for the projects in this class. The options below outline what you need to do for the grade you want to receive. No one aims for a D or an F, so I have not included any details for below-average work. If you really want a D, just put in minimal effort and do sloppy work.

The letter A, in white with black outlineComplete the B-level project and then use unique strategies and details that increase the effectiveness and impact of the analysis, such as including well-integrated graphics and examples that support your analysis, and exemplary design choices that strengthen the web essay. Your site should have no errors in image editing, grammar, spelling, style, punctuation, mechanics, linking, or formatting.

The letter B, in white with black outlineComplete the C-level project and then use design elements to make your web essay visually appealing, easy to read, and easy to navigate. Your site should have no more than two or three minor errors in image editing, grammar, spelling, style, punctuation, mechanics, linking, and/or formatting.

The letter C, in white with black outlineCreate a multi-page web essay on your portfolio site that investigates how the story source works and why it works the way it does. Include reflection comments when you submit your project. Your essay should be complete, well-written, and include no more than five errors in image editing, grammar, spelling, style, punctuation, mechanics, linking, and/or formatting.

#3 in a maroon circleStep 3: Conduct your analysis
Once you have chosen your story and source, you will analyze how that source works by examining the modes of communication it uses, analyzing its rhetorical situation, and identifying the design choices it exhibits. Additionally, discuss the affordances and constraints of how the source works to explain why it works the way it does.

Your analysis should not merely describe how the story source works; it should investigate why it works the way it does. Think about how the particular version of the story that you are exploring controls or influences your interaction with it. You can use the Writer/Designer Analysis Questions form to gather the information for your story source.

#4 in an orange circleStep 4: Write your web essay
Your web essay should consider all the following areas of analysis:

  • Rhetorical situation: Audience, Purpose, Context, Author, and Genre.
  • Design choices: Emphasis, Contrast, Organization, Alignment, and Proximity.
  • Modes of communication: Linguistic, Visual, Spatial, Aural, and Gestural.
  • Affordances and constraints

Keep these guidelines in mind as you compose:

  • Analyze and evaluate the story source. Go beyond simply describing or summarizing it. You’re the analyst, not the play-by-play announcer.
  • Use first-person (“I”) if it’s appropriate for your tone and approach, but make sure you support your ideas. This is not a personal opinion piece.
  • Publish your multi-page web essay on your WordPress site. You can decide where it fits best on the site.
  • Integrate graphics that enhance or reinforce your analysis. You may also include video recordings.
  • Make clear connections between embedded images (and any videos or other media) and the linguistic text of the web essay.

#5 in a maroon circleStep 5: Submit your project.
When you are finished with the project, you will submit the URL to the first page of your web essay in the Assignment tool on Canvas. Details on how to submit your work will be included in the post for the due date (October 26).

You will use the Comment section for reflection on your project. In this section you will tell me the following:

  • your intended audience and purpose.
  • the grade that you have aimed for.
  • how well you reached your goals.
  • any other information I need to know to understand the work you did on your project.

Be sure that you follow the instructions, include the relevant information, and proofread your web essay. If you skip adding the Comment, you lower your grade on the project. Remember that there are no rewrites or revisions after work is graded.