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  • Courses in the Spotlight

The department is pleased to offer the following courses:

Fall 2015 Offerings:


WTNG 300:  Rhetoric in a Global Context

Professor: Kate Mele

MTH 2:00-3:20

Our global perspective develops through various media. This course focuses on one in particular:  travel writing.

Travel writers produce novels, non-fiction stories (short and book-length), essays, memoirs, ethnographies, feature articles, blogs, documentaries, and television shows.  And then there are the critics who get us thinking about how these texts are constructed and why we should accept, or push back against, the authors’ messages.

This is a course in critical analysis.  We will read a variety of travel pieces and join the on-going conversations of those who critique travel writing. The goal will be to enhance your practice of thinking and writing rhetorically as you expand your global perspective.

Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills the second of two University Core Curriculum requirements in the University Writing Program
Fulfills a course in the Professional and Public Writing Minor & Core Concentration


WTNG 311:  Technical Writing

Professor: Mel Topf

TTH 11:00-12:20 & 12:30-1:50

Students will apply fundamental concepts of effective technical writing that will prepare them for writing in industry, government and other professional contexts in which technical documents help achieve major goals.  Focus will be on a major social or political issue.  The technical writer, far from merely transferring technical information, must make judgments about his or her discourse community, purpose, and rhetorical situation.  Students will study key principles of rhetorical theory, the idea of genre, and the concept of a professional audience.  Technical documents studies may include feasibility studies, proposals, progress reports, and policy statement. 

Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills the second of two University Core Curriculum requirements in the University Writing Program
Fulfills a course in the Professional and Public Writing Minor & Core Concentration


WTNG 320:  Writing for Business Organizations

Professor: Mel Topf

TTH 9:30-10:50 

This course explores the causes of the success or failure of writing for business organizations.  The course takes a case-based approach, with a focus on a major issue confronting American business organizations.  Students will study the theory and practice of business writing as a pragmatic effort to accomplish specific goals.  Included are the study of genres of business documents, ethical and social problems, the causes and consequences of writing failures, and the problems addressing the interests of business readers as a discourse community. 

Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills the second of two University Core Curriculum requirements in the University Writing Program
Fulfills a course in the Professional and Public Writing Minor & Core Concentration


WTNG 320:  Writing for Business Organizations

Professor: Paul Bender

MWF 11-11:50

This course explores the causes of the success or failure of writing for business organizations.  The course takes a case-based approach, with a focus on college and university divestment from fossil fuels.  Students will study the theory and practice of business writing as a pragmatic effort to accomplish specific goals.  Included are the study of genres of business documents, ethical and social problems, the causes and consequences of writing failures, and the problems addressing the interests of business readers as a discourse community. 

Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills the second of two University Core Curriculum requirements in the University Writing Program
Fulfills a course in the Professional and Public Writing Minor & Core Concentration


WTNG 322: Advancing Public Argument

Professor: Dahliani Reynolds

TTH 9:30-10:50 and 11:00-12:20

Equality. Happiness. Freedom. The public sphere is where the meanings and implications of such fundamental concepts are constantly defined, contested and renegotiated. Rhetoric provides a theoretical lens for analyzing how these concepts are shaped in the public sphere; rhetoric is also an activity that allows us to participate in the contest of meanings. In this class we will read a wide range of historical and contemporary public discourses that have tried to advance persuasive arguments to the American citizenry. We will pay particular attention to the development of visual, cultural, and quantitative rhetorics. Analyzing a variety of public genres (such as letters, photographs, speeches, films, statistics, art installations, websites, etc.), we will examine the ways authors ethically (and sometimes unethically) deploy rhetoric to beguile, bedazzle, and persuade Americans to think and act in certain ways. Building on our analysis, students will gain fluency as critically engaged citizens, able to participate in the reading, writing, and resisting of the on-going public arguments that shape our lives. 

Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills the second of two University Core Curriculum requirements in the University Writing Program
Fulfills a course in the Professional and Public Writing Minor & Core Concentration
 

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