In this introductory survey theory course, students assess ancient and present-day theories of rhetoric and writing and their significance for contemporary composition instruction and professional writing practices. Throughout the course, students explore the connections between rhetorical theories, writing processes, and pedagogical practices.
- 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)
- Final paper that shows your understanding of rhetorical theory and composition theory. (Your final paper includes a proposal for the paper, a peer review of the proposal and the paper draft, and a cover letter that addresses the final paper)
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.
- Evaluate similarities and differences in the uses of language, the connections between organization and structure used in specific time periods, the connections between style and delivery, and the connections between persuasion and argumentation used in specific time periods.
- 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.
- Demonstrate an advanced understanding of research methodologies and writing skills applicable to English studies, including academic writing, workplace writing, and information development.
- Understand research as a recursive process.
- Summarize and evaluate a body of research, including primary and secondary sources.
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.
- 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 arguments 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.
- Understand how cultural, racial, ethnic, gender, and economic factors influence communication practices in text and digital environments.
- Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles to question current norms and dominant cultural assumptions expressed in text and digital media.
- You will demonstrate an understanding of rhetorical, pedagogical, narrative, new media, and workplace theories and practices by carrying out course-related and/or client-related projects directed at conceptualizing, understanding, and reformulating current theories in the larger field of rhetoric and writing studies.
- Articulate a theoretical framework for the paper (including a literature review to assess the theoretical and methodological contributions previously made to this area).
- Identify and define appropriate methods of data collection and apply appropriate research methods.
- Use a research design appropriate to the audience and purpose of your paper, showing understanding of rhetorical approaches to multimedia design.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the paper and its implications to the field of rhetoric, writing, and digital media.
- Actively 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.
- Effectively represent your experience, skills and competencies through written (resume, cover letter, social media, application materials) and verbal (interview skills, presentation skills, etc.) communication.
- Develop your project management skills.