Eng 624: Topics in Public and Disciplinary Writing

Public and Disciplinary Writing requires rhetorical awareness and a reader-centered approach. Such writing, whether a letter, resumé, report, email, website material, or blog entry, needs to be persuasive and needs to take into account purpose, audience, stakeholders, and context. Public and disciplinary writing focuses on the goals and situations that require the need to write, and it focuses on the expectations, goals, situations, and needs of the reader. As a result, student writers pay close attention to research, design of the document, medium in which the document is presented, and media used to distribute information.


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 reading and analysis of disciplinary texts
  • Discussion boards: deepening understanding of readings by exchanging ideas with peers
  • 5 short theory and/or workplace-based papers and/or blog entries on topics discussed in class (3-5 pages)
  • Final Paper (15-20 pages) with cover letter and resume
  • Final Digital presentation of findings/work that you did in class

Time to Learn

All courses in the 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 and rhetorical foundations of written communication in organizations by participating in and advancing current knowledge in the field.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the contributions of rhetoric to workplace studies.
  • Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles for academic, professional and public discourse.
You will demonstrate an understanding of 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.
  • Understand research as a recursive process.
  • 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.
  • Research, evaluate, and apply historical knowledge of rhetorical terms and concepts to show how contemporary language use is influenced by cultural knowledge.
  • Tailor your academic and professional work to a specific audience and focus your writing on a specific purpose.
You will synthesize and evaluate research, scholarship, and methodologies in rhetoric and create advanced-level 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.
  • Understand how cultural, racial, ethnic, gender, and economic factors influence communication practices in text and digital environments.
  • Design and present text and media that addresses experiential learning.
  • 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 written communication in organizations by carrying out course-related and 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 project (including a literature review to assess the theoretical and methodological contributions previously made to this area).
  • Analyze, interpret and explain your findings and your project in an extensive project write-up.
  • Present your original research to professional and non-professional audiences, articulating sustained, coherent explanations of your work.
  • 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 that are rhetorically sound.
  • Refine your career and learning goals and develop a personal career development plan based on your strengths and goals.
  • 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.
  • Increase your experience and marketability, as well as your level of knowledge about career opportunities, through internships or projects.
  • Apply appropriate communication and presentation standards to succeed in academic, civic, and personal life.
  • Establish an online professional presence by designing, adding on a regular basis, and updating a digital portfolio.


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