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  • Rhetoric and Writing Emphasis

     

    "Rhetoric is the art, practice, and study of human communication."
    ~ Andrea Lunsford"

    An undergraduate English major with an emphasis in Rhetoric & Writing deepens your understanding of a range of writing situations, improves your writing abilities, and provides a solid background for a number of career paths, including professional writing, teaching, creative writing, journalism, linguistics, and graduate studies, as well as other communication-related fields.

    As you explore connections among language, culture, and power, you will learn to use the art of writing to inquire, to collaborate with others, and to act in context. You will learn to use effective composing processes for various audiences, purposes, and genres. Ultimately, a concentration in Rhetoric and Writing empowers you to examine and shape your world through language.

    Student Learning Outcomes

    A student graduating from this program will be able to

    RHETORICAL COMPETENCE (Understanding Audience & Genre)

    1. Select and modify writing strategies for different discourse communities 

    2. Analyze and adapt genre conventions related to focus, organization, development, style,     editing, design and publishing 

    COMPOSING PROCESSES (Practicing Invention, Feedback & Revision)

    3. Work through effective composing processes, using writing as a means of learning 

    4. Write collaboratively, give feedback to others, and use feedback in revision 

    TEXTUAL STUDIES (Practicing Critical Thinking & Reading)

    5. Analyze and critique a variety of texts and media, including print, digital and visual 

    6. Analyze and explain how language shapes and is shaped by culture, history and politics 

    KNOWLEDGE BUILDING (Engaging in Research & Scholarship)

    7. Conduct research and integrate appropriate primary and secondary sources 

    8. Engage in disciplinary conversations, drawing on traditional and contemporary studies of  rhetoric and writing

    The Rhetoric & Writing Emphasis provides a solid background for a number of career paths. As you complete your degree requirements, you may sample courses from different areas for maximum versatility, or you may choose to specialize in one of these ways:

    Professional Writing

    • Sample Courses : Technical Writing, Writing for Management, Public Relations and the Professions, English Internship, etc.

    Journalism

    • Sample Courses : Reporting & Copy-Editing, Feature and Specialized Writing, Creative Non-fiction, Publication Production, etc.

    Creative Writing

    • Sample Courses : Creative Writing, Seminar in Advanced Poetry Writing, Seminar in Advanced Fiction Writing, Forms of Poetry, etc.

    Teaching (Non-certification)

    • Sample Courses:  Introduction to Rhetoric and Writing Studies, Writing for Teachers, Language Studies for Secondary Teachers, etc.

    Linguistics

    • Sample Courses : The English Language, Modern English Grammars, Introduction to Linguistics, etc.

    Graduate Studies

    • Sample Courses : Writing in the Arts & Humanities, Critical Theory, Classical Chinese Discourse, etc.

    Communication-Related Fields

    • Other fields in addition to those listed above include: business, grant writing, web design, public relations, graphic design, sales, research, marketing, publishing, promotions, and much more. A degree that demonstrates your written communication skills will be an asset for practically any job position.

    The Writing Portfolio is the culmination of your work in the major. As you take courses, you will complete many different writing projects, which you will collect as a working portfolio. Near the end of your studies, when you take the capstone course for the major (Eng 413: Writing Portfolio), you will select, revise and reflect on the best of your work to demonstrate your rhetorical competence and writing abilities.

    Types of Writing

    Students enrolled in the Rhetoric & Writing Emphasis may specialize in one or more of these types of writing as they work through the program: 

    Disciplinary Research & Scholarship

    Students engage in and make contributions to disciplinary conversations, learning the conventions of particular academic discourse communities as they investigate and develop expertise on key theories and concepts in the discipline. The following genres are included under this heading: 

    • Critique 
    • Research Project 
    • Academic Essay 
    • Proposal 
    • Literature Review 
    • Ethnography 

    Creative Writing

    Students compose a range of original creative works for specific audiences as they work through an exhaustive composing process, one involving the generation of original content, the practice of revision, and the development of publication-quality manuscripts. Student writers also engage with a community of writers and readers on and off campus. Below are some examples of genres in this category: 

    • Poetry 
    • Fiction 
    • Personal Essay
    • Creative Nonfiction (Memoir, etc.) 

    Professional Writing

    Students critique and produce texts that circulate or are intended to circulate in a variety of professional, organizational, and workplace settings. Students analyze and negotiate multiple purposes and audiences as they critique the ethical and political dimensions of professional and organizational communications. Examples include the following: 

    • Business Reports 
    • Letters 
    • Memos 
    • Multimodal Projects 
    • Grants
    • Brochures 
    • Websites 

    Journalism

    Journalistic writing involves communicating with public and civic audiences, not only through newspapers and magazines but also through new media and social networking. By investigating print and digital publication venues, students develop an understanding of audience demographics and contexts which are particular to the journalistic styles and formats. Examples are diverse but include 

    • Feature Articles 
    • Columns 
    • Editorials 
    • Reviews 
    • Blogs

    This page provides a sampling of links for Rhetoric & Writing English Majors. 

    Campus Resources

    Rhetoric & Composition Resources

    Writer Resources