Eng 561: Intro to Rhetoric, Writing, & Digital Media

The introductory course to rhetoric, writing, and digital media studies provides a survey of key texts, current trends, and critical questions in rhetorical and composition theory, research methodologies in rhetoric and composition, workplace writing, historical and contemporary rhetoric, narrative studies and creative rhetorics, and social and digital media studies. Students are introduced to pedagogical and workplace techniques derived from the main theories of the discipline.


RWDMS courses provide you with many opportunities to show your skills as a reader, thinker, and writer. In this course, your work will include the following components:
  • Critical and analytical reading
  • Discussion boards: deepening understanding of readings by exchanging ideas with peers
  • 5 Short theory-based papers defining rhetoric (3-5 pages double-spaced)
  • Final Project: pedagogical project, or workplace project, or digital project based on one of the survey areas addressed in the course. (The project includes a proposal, a peer review of the proposal and the project draft, and a cover letter that addresses the final project.)

Time to Learn - Clock

All courses in the RWDMS program encourage you to learn specific skills in the areas of theory and knowledge, analysis and critical thinking, and research and application. When you complete your coursework, consider especially how you were able to achieve the following learning outcomes:
Theory and Knowledge
You will be introduced to the theoretical foundations of rhetoric and writing studies by participating in and advancing current knowledge in the field.
  • Evaluate and reflect critically on rhetorical terms and concepts used by rhetoricians from classical to modern times.
  • Understand how language practices during specific time periods were and are used to communicate about the diversity of human experience.
  • Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles from classical to modern times for academic, professional and public discourse
You will be introduced to research methodologies and writing skills applicable to English studies, including academic writing, workplace writing, and information development.
  • Use research data to formulate or evaluate new research questions, using reason and persuasion in a logical argument.
  • Summarize and evaluate a body of research, including primary and secondary sources.
  • Demonstrate competent, ethical, and responsible use of information in academic and workplace writing.
Analysis and Critical Thinking
You will critically analyze how cultural artifacts (written, digital, visual, and spoken texts) are used to shape identity in diverse local, national, historical, and global communities.
  • Research, evaluate, and apply knowledge of significant issues related to global learning, diversity, and sustainable educational and environmental practices.
  • Write critical analyses exploring key texts and key concepts about historical and current rhetorical terms and concepts.
  • Research, evaluate, and apply historical knowledge of rhetorical terms and concepts to show how contemporary language use is influenced by cultural knowledge.
  • Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles from classical to modern times to ethnically and linguistically diverse populations.
You will synthesize and evaluate research, scholarship, and methodologies in rhetoric and writing studies and create projects that question current norms and dominant cultural assumptions.
  • Design text and digital projects that show the ethical use of language in diverse academic, public, and professional communities.
  • Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles to question current norms and dominant cultural assumptions expressed in text and digital media.
  • Design and present projects that show a clear understanding of purpose, audience, and cultural, social, historical, and political contexts.
You will demonstrate an understanding of rhetorical and pedagogical theories and practices by carrying out course-related and/or client-related projects directed at conceptualizing, understanding,andreformulating current theories in the larger field of rhetoric and writing studies.
  • Articulate a theoretical framework for the project (including a literature review to assess the theoretical and methodological contributions previously made to this area).
  • Use a research design appropriate to the audience and purpose of your project, showing understanding of rhetorical approaches to multimedia design.
  • Apply appropriate writing and design standards and literacy skills to succeed in academic, civic, and personal life.
You will participate in local, national, and global communities of academic and workplace writers by participating in professional development activities, and by creating and updating online profiles.
  • Identify your career and learning goals and develop a personal career development plan based on your strengths and goals.
    Develop your project management skills.
  • Establish an online professional presence by designing, adding on a regular basis, and updating a digital portfolio.


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