multimodality, composition, first-year writing, lesson plans, multimodal composing, freshman composition


Creative Writing


Laurence José


With the influence of digital tools, writing studies have made room for texts that use more than just words. To best prepare students for the realities of writing outside of the classroom, the field has pushed for integrating different modes such as visuals or sounds into writing pedagogy (Kress, Selfe, Ball). Though this shift begun in the late 1990s, the challenges related to a multimodal approach to writing are still part of today’s conversations in the field. This project examines the history, and the pedagogical benefits and challenges that come with integrating multimodality into the first-year writing classroom. It also provides two lesson plans aimed at persuading teachers of first-year writing to embrace multimodality. The first teaches multimodal narratives to show how a traditional freshman composition assignment can be adapted into an equally effective multimodal one. The second demonstrates how multimodal pedagogy can be implemented without technology during the brainstorming and invention phase.