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Due Date: Friday 2/21, 11:59pm


Thus far, our class has developed strategies for analyzing source types, including multimodal texts, using rhetorical analysis. Jodie Nicotra writes that “circulation refers to the physical means by which a message gets distributed…In an era where most information is digital, it’s important to think of how a message has been or can be copied, forwarded, reposted, or appear in a way other than what one initially intended” (44).


Texts for your circulation analysis:


  1. Warzel, Charlie. "How an Online Mob Created a Playbook for a Culture War." The New York Times.

  2. Cornish, Audie. "How Gamergate Became a Template for Malicious Action Online." All Things Considered, NPR. 



Compose an analysis of the texts that surround these given texts by finding and following "research breadcrumbs." Discuss how the content and the medium of the new texts influence your understanding of the original texts. Reflect on the responsibility of readers and composers of an online circulation context. 

Your circulation analysis should address the following questions and issues, though it should not simply be a list of your answers.


  • Identify texts related to or connected to the article and podcast and choose 3-5 examples. Click on and read embedded media and search for key terms, events, people, or locations described in the text. Note what drew you to these "breadcrumbs" and what your expectations of them were.


  • Analyze the content of the 3-5 related texts. What connected/related texts seem to be most important to understanding the primary texts and why? Where might these connected/related texts fall on an information cycle? What additional context do the related texts offer to a reader? And how might that additional context shape what a reader cares about or engages with the topic?


  • Analyze the medium of the 3-5 related texts. Why are certain texts directly linked out from the website (rather than recounted within it)? Why might the rhetor(s) of the original texts choose to link directly to certain mediums given the content contained there? What role, if any, did social media platforms have in how people approached this topic?

  • Reflect on the responsibility of readers/actors/composers of texts in an online circulation context. What were the most significant discoveries you made about reading texts that circulate online? What perspective have you gained about how information circulates in the twenty-first century? What do you hope to remember as you continue your reading and research in ENG102? Did you run into any questions about validity or credibility? What kinds of mediums seemed to bring up those concerns and why do you think that is?

This paper should be written in the formal academic register directed to your instructor and peers. Your writing should demonstrate academic ethos through effective organization and formal prose that is relatively free of grammatical and mechanical errors.

Length: 1,000-1,500 words; double-spaced. 

Time Commitment: ~7 Hours

Read, listen, and choose texts - ~1.5 hours

Investigating breadcrumbs - ~30 mins per crumb / ~1.5 hours total

Outlining & Prewriting - ~1 hour

Drafting - ~30 mins per page / ~1.5 - 2 hours total

Revision - ~1 hour

(Optional) Extra Labor towards A contract:

You can choose to write an expanded version of this paper to meet one requirement towards the A contract. If you choose to, you will need to choose one additional article from the NYT link:

"I Wish I Could Tell You It's Gotten Better. It Hasn't." - Brianna Wu

"First They Came for the Black Feminists" -- Joan Donovan

"When the Internet Chases You From Your Home" -- Sarah Jeong

From one of these three additional texts, choose an additional 3-4 breadcrumbs to analyze. Fold these additional texts into your analysis and discussion.

Added Time Commitment: ~3.5 hours

Deliverables: Circulation Analysis, Project Reflection, & Labor Log

Project 1: Circulation Analysis: Tests & Assignments
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