Digital Exercise 1: Meme

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Writing in a Digital Age: Digital Exercise 1
Digital Literacy Meme
Adapted from thenewmediawriter305 and Dr. Christina Boyles

Overview
In her book, Memes in Digital Culture, Limor Shifman defines memes as “(a) a group of digital items sharing common characteristics of content for, and/or stance; (b) that were created with awareness of each other; and (c) were circulated, imitated, and/or transformed via the internet by many users” (7-8).

Memes have become a popular form of argument, circulating from one social group to another until the origin is no longer known. For a meme to circulate successfully, it must display various kinds of digital literacy: appealing design, a sense of currency, and a sense of the discourse community/communities to whom it might appeal.

Assignment
For this assignment, you will create your own series of memes that somehow touch on the themes of living, learning, and communicating in a digital age that we have discussed so far this quarter. After creating your first meme, you should create two more memes that are related to of the original meme. All three of your memes should be clearly connected, whether that means they all use the same image or that they all present the same argument. While your image might not be original, the text you create and the idea itself should be. Your meme should include
-an image connected to popular culture or an iconic image for your particular      audience
-text that connects to that image in a meaningful way

Remember that memes are more appealing when they react to refer to a contemporary moment. For example, if you made a “Gangnam Style” meme now, it would not be as successful as it might have been a few years ago.

When you submit your memes, you will also submit a brief (250 word) rhetorical analysis in paragraph from that addresses the following questions:
-who is the primary audience for this meme?
-why did you choose the visual(s) and text that you chose?
-what would motivate that audience to share this meme?
-how does the meme capitalize on the contemporary moment?
-what is the overall argument you’re attempting to make with your memes?

Submission
You will submit your memes and analysis on your blog by creating a new page visible in the top navigation bar. Title this page “Memes.” You should create your own title for this assignment and include it at the top of the page.

Assessment
This assignment is worth 5% of your final grade and will be assessed pass/fail. In order to pass, you must satisfy ALL of the following criteria:

  • Create three memes that are somehow related to one another and use a recognizable image and relevant text
  • Make an argument in the memes that relates to the themes of the class
  • Write a rhetorical analysis that addresses with specific details the five questions on the assignment sheet
  • Demonstrate effort and thoughtfulness (including proofreading for errors) in both your memes and your rhetorical analysis
  • Submit your memes and analysis on your blog as a new page before the start of class on Thurs., Sept. 17

Resources
Having trouble getting started? Try quickmeme.com, memegenerator.net, or creatememe.com

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