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Writing in the Digital Age (WITDA)

Guide students doing research for the WITDA course

Getting Started with Your Research

Browse in the Library for Inspiration

Walk through our stacks and thumb through magazines. Search OwlCat, the library catalog, to find items about different creators, professions, and topics.It includes thousands of ebooks, such as:

We Are Here cover


Get an encyclopedic view on historic events, persons, and topics.

Also covers many international newspapers.


Use Wikipedia to get biographical information on influential people as well as general overviews of millions of topics.

Identify relevant search words and phrases for use in other databases.

Wikipedia Guide

Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints


Get information on various sides of trending topics and social issues.

Featured Viewpoints collect 4-20 articles that represent different sides or points of view on a topic.

New York Times

The American newspaper of record for over 150 years, It contains many different types of articles, including opinion pieces, reviews, news reporting, announcements, and letters to the editors.

Many, many different people have been interviewed and profiled within its pages. You can see how coverage of a person or cultural topic has changed over time.

We have a site license; visit this guide for more information on signing up for an account.

Search Additional Research Databases

Once you have a name or issue that interest you, look them up in our research databases. Find specific articles on your research topic.

These online resources cover a variety of sources and media. For instance, the ProQuest Research Library is multidisciplinary and covers many different newspapers.

ProQuest Research Library

Popular Culture

Find specialized academic sources for comics, fan culture, memes, transformative works, and more

Citation Guide (MLA 8th Edition)

Learn how to cite all of the sources in your paper, including books, articles, images, videos, tweets, blogs, and more.

Video: Develop a Research Question

Required Text

Getting Help With Rhetoric

Rhetorical Analysis Essay


Analyze the use of rhetoric in a piece of digital writing composed by a prominent public figure of your choice (ex. an artist, journalist, politician, activist, singer, actor, chef, or scientist). First, briefly discuss the piece’s rhetorical situation (author, audience, context/setting, and purpose). Then, analyze in detail how the author uses rhetorical strategies (such as ethos, logos, and pathos). Are their rhetorical choices ultimately successful? Explain.


  • The piece of digital writing you are analyzing should be at least 150 words long. If it's shorter, you must get instructor permission to use it, to be sure there is enough content.
  • Your essay should discuss the piece of digital writing as a whole, not just an excerpt from a larger piece.
  • Include an MLA format works cited page that cites the digital article you are analyzing and any other sources and media used.
  • An essay of fewer than 900 words will not be eligible for grading.
  • The final draft of your essay should be formatted to enhance online readability.
  • 1000 - 1250 words

Cultural Argument Essay


Choose a cultural issue that is currently relevant that you have a strong opinion about. Then, locate a visual object (such as a film, an advertisement, or an artwork) that presents an argument about the issue. Finally, compose an essay in which you make a case for why you believe the visual object is or is not successful in addressing the cultural issue.


  • You must integrate at least 4 quality sources, annotating at least 2.
  • You must also include an MLA format works cited page that cites all sources and media used.
  • An essay of fewer than 900 words will not be eligible for grading.
  • 1000 - 1250 words


Complete Foundation Rubric

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