CMS 3710: Writing for Digital Media

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CMS 3710 Writing for Digital Media (W4DM) is a core class in the Communication and Media Studies program at Clayton State University. ENGL 3750 Digital and Multimedia Writing is required for the writing concentration of the university’s BA in English. The two courses are cross-listed this semester.

Links to other sections of this syllabus can be found in the header menu as well as the “General Class Policies” menu, which both appear on each page of the syllabus.

Additional course materials, including a detailed schedule of the semester’s topics and due dates, are available to enrolled students through Desire2Learn.

This syllabus reflects our course during the Spring 2024 semester. Check this syllabus regularly to make sure that you have the most current information.

Section Information

First Steps

Log into D2L and complete the first week’s assignments, which are detailed in the D2L Content section.

Required Software & Media

In addition to D2L, class projects will require that you create and use a free web site through The site must meet specific requirements, so do not create your site until instructed to do so. You will be assigned a pseudonym for your WordPress account; posting your work there is a course requirement.

Lab Time

Please note that the course requirements include substantial work using WordPress and other online tools. If you do not have or cannot run these programs on your personal computer, your schedule must allow you to spend time using the computers in Carnes Hall 215 during available hours.

The schedule posted outside the door lists times that the classroom is available for your homework.

In addition, you will need the following.

Web Browser, e.g. up-to-date versions of Firefox, Chrome, Edge, of Safari
In this media-rich class, using an modern browser is mandatory.
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader)
Students must be able to read PDF files.
Media Player: VLC or equivalent
Students must be able to play mp3 and mp4 files. Many software tools will enable this, including VLC, which is available for free download.
Microsoft Word word processing
Students must be able to compose and read documents saved in the Microsoft Word “docx” format.
Microsoft Teams
Students must be able to use our class’s MS Team.
Clayton State email
Students must access their CSU email accounts on a regular basis. They must be able to use these accounts to attach and retrieve attached files. They must use only their CSU accounts (not, e.g. a gmail account) to communicate academic information to instructors.

Recommended Text

  • Web Style Guide, 4th edition, by Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton ISBN 0300211651 (Amazon)

We will be reading multiple sections of this book, the text of which is available at If you buy a print copy of the text, you will also get the excellent illustrations.

Contact Information

My contact information including office hours is collected on separate page.

Diversity and disability services

It is my intent that students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by this course, that students’ learning needs be addressed, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity along multiple dimensions, including ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, and culture. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups.

Students with disabilities who need to request accommodations should contact the Disability Resource Center, Edgewater Hall, Suite 255; 678-466-5445;