our class: Thursdays 5:00-5:50
my email: sorapure@writing.ucsb.edu
my office hours via Zoom: Thursdays 4:00-5:00

In this course, you’ll work through the process of creating a website on a topic that interests you and about which you have some expertise or want to develop expertise. You’ll be building the website using WordPress installed at a domain and with web hosting provided by ReclaimHosting.com. You’ll learn some strategies for writing and designing for the web. It will be fun most of the time.

There are two requirements for the website you create in this class: first, it must have text, images, and interactive elements; and second, it must contribute something new to the Internet. This latter requirement isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Although it may seem that everything in the world is already on the Internet, what’s missing is your particular take on a subject: written in your voice, targeting a specific audience of readers, highlighting those details that matter most to you. You should see this as an opportunity to develop your style and tone as a writer as well as to contribute something worthwhile to a small zone of the Internet.

Here are two suggestions that will help make this project much more engaging: choose a topic about which you’re genuinely passionate or curious; and choose something small–even micro. For example, there are probably tens of thousands of websites out there about yoga, but maybe only a hundred about how to do cobra pose, and currently zero about how a middle-aged female who’s a complete yoga beginner gradually learned to do the pose moderately well with only mild injuries to show for it. Or if you want to write about your hometown, there might be hundreds of websites about parks and recreation opportunities there, but no website yet that ranks playgrounds in your town for parent/babysitter comfort (are there benches? is there a bathroom? is it clean?). You get the idea, right? We’ll talk more in class about defining your topic, your audience, and your style and tone for the website.

We’ll be doing the course remotely this quarter, and all of our classes will be held synchronously via Zoom. The Schedule page describes what’s due and when; all exercises are due on Wednesdays at 11:59 pm (PST). The Video page will have all of the video tutorials for the course; for the most part, the video tutorials will repeat what we do in class on Thursdays.

So every week will be the same:

  • Wednesdays at 11:59 pm (PST): weekly exercise due (earlier is fine, too!)
  • Thursdays at 4:00-5:00 pm (PST): my office hours via Zoom
  • Thursdays at 5:00-4:50 pm (PST): synchronous class via Zoom
  • anytime: email me at sorapure@writing.ucsb.edu if you have questions

The Exercises page is where you’ll type your responses for some of the exercises. The Resources page has resources that I hope will be helpful to you; if you have web writing or web design resources to share, please do!

Campus resources this quarter

Although campus is mostly empty, most offices remain open and are providing services via phone and Internet. A few are listed below. If you have any questions about other services, get in touch with me (sorapure@writing.ucsb.edu or during Zoom office hours) and I can help you. 

  • Keep Learning UCSB (https://keeplearning.id.ucsb.edu): information about strategies for remote learning, UCSB COVID-19 updates, and links to many of the units listed below.
  • CLAS (http://clas.sa.ucsb.edu | 805.893.3269): CLAS is offering online tutoring services and workshops.
  • CAPS (http://caps.sa.ucsb.edu | 805.893.4411): Counseling Services offers counseling for personal concerns and crisis intervention, stress management, self- help information, and connections to off-campus mental health resources.
  • Basic Needs Resources (https://food.ucsb.edu): this website is updated with information about financial assistance, food and housing assistance, and technology/access assistance. A chat function at the site puts you in touch with help immediately. 
  • Also, I am always available to help via email, during Zoom office hours, or by appointment.