Writing and Rhetoric Course List

LIST OF WRITING AND RHETORIC CLASSES. 

WR 101X. Introduction to Rhetoric

This course will apply classical and modern rhetorical concepts to analyze various texts and speeches in order to identify the means of persuasion to a particular end. Students will write short analytical papers that critically assess various rhetorical and communicative approaches. The goal of this course is to enable students to see rhetoric in action in order to both engage with the material critically as well as produce effective discourse to meet various situations.

 

WR 330X. Cross-cultural Communication

 Recommended background: WR 1010 Elements of Writing

This course will examine how people from differing cultural backgrounds communicate, in similar and different ways among themselves, and how they endeavor to communicate across cultures. Students will develop a personal and theoretical understanding of the cultural origin of people?s values, ideologies, habits, idiosyncrasies and how they affect communication across cultural, racial, ethnic and gender lines. Through observing, studying and experiencing incidents of cross-cultural communication, they will begin to examine and develop skills that are necessary for effective understanding and for successful intercultural communication among majority and minority groups.

 

WR 430X. Academic Science Writing

Recommended background: WR 1011 Writing About Science & Technology, WR 2211 Rhetoric of Visual Design, WR 3210 Technical Writing, WR 3214 Writing About Disease and Public Health, or equivalent

This course focuses on effective communication within a scientific or technical community. Students will analyze a number of genres, such as academic articles, research reports, grants, lab reports, and conference proceedings in order to codify the conventions. Students will then switch from analysis to production, writing and revising disciplinary writing for academic and specialized audiences.

 

WR 1010. Elements of Writing

Note: Students who have taken EN/WR 2211 cannot receive credit for this course.

This course is designed for students who wish to work intensively on their writing. The course will emphasize the processes of composing and revising, the rhetorical strategies of written exposition and argumentation, and the reading and citation practices central to academic inquiry. In a workshop setting, students will write a sequence of short papers and complete one longer writing project based on multiple source texts; learn to read critically and respond helpfully to each other’s writing; and make oral presentations from written texts. Where applicable, the topical theme of the class will be provided via the Registrar’s office.

 

WR 1011. Writing about Science and Technology

Note: Students who have taken EN/WR 2211 cannot receive credit for this

This course will examine the appropriate dissemination of scientific information in common science writing genres such as science journalism, consulting reports and white papers, and policy and procedure documents. In a workshop setting, students will write and revise documents that promote broad understanding of scientific research and analysis of specialized knowledge. Course lectures and discussions investigate ethics of scientific reporting and teach students how to recognize deceptive texts and arguments (both quantitative and qualitative). The course is reading and writing intensive and is intended for students with backgrounds in a scientific discipline who are interested in applying their disciplinary knowledge.

 

WR 1020. Introduction to Rhetoric

This course will apply classical and modern rhetorical concepts to analyze various texts and speeches in order to identify the means of persuasion to a particular end. Students will write short analytical papers that critically assess various rhetorical and communicative approaches. The goal of this course is to enable students to see rhetoric in action in order to both engage with the material critically as well as produce effective discourse to meet various situations.

 

WR 2010. Elements of Style

Recommended background: WR 1010 (Elements of Writing), WR 1011 (Writing About Science & Technology), or WR 1020 (Introduction to Rhetoric).

This course will cover basic principles of prose style for expository and argumentative writing. Students will learn to evaluate writing for stylistic problems and will learn revision strategies for addressing those problems. The ultimate goal of the course is to help students write sentences and paragraphs that are clear, concise, and graceful. In the first part of the course, students will review parts of speech, basic sentence types, and sentence and paragraph structure in order to understand how sentences are put together and the impact their construction has on readers. Then, through hands-on writing exercises and extensive revision of their own and others writing, students will learn strategies for tightening their prose (concision), achieving flow (cohesion and coherence) and improving usage (language specificity and precision).

 

WR 2210. Business Writing and Communication

Recommended background: WR 1010 (Elements of Writing) or WR 1011( Writing about Science and Technology).

Note: Students who have taken EN/WR 2210 cannot receive credit for this course.

This course emphasizes the standard written genres of professional, workplace communication. Students will analyze the history, purposes, conventions, and social consequences of a variety of business communications, focusing on digital and print correspondence, reports, and proposals directed to internal and external audiences. Students will learn about the culture of a professional environment and the role of writing in structuring identity and relationships within that context. Classes will be conducted as interactive writing workshops in which students assess and respond to rhetorical scenarios and sample texts from a variety of professional worksites. Students will create portfolios, producing professional writing samples they may use on the job market.

 

WR 2213. Introduction to Journalism

The course is for students who may wish to make careers in journalism or communications and for those who wish to understand the history, function, production and contemporary challenges of print journalism. Students will analyze articles from newspapers, magazines and Web sites. They will learn and practice the skills of the journalist: finding the story, researching, interviewing, writing on deadline, copy-editing and proof-reading. Classes will also cover matters such as objectivity, fairness, ethics and libel, as well as wider issues of mass communication such as agenda setting, citizen journalism and the implications of converging media. To give students a more keen sense of audience, work will be read and discussed in class. Students will be urged to write for the college newspaper. Publication beyond the campus will be strongly encouraged

 

WR 2310. Visual Rhetoric

Recommended background: WR 1010 (Elements of Writing)

Note: Students who have taken EN/WR 3211 cannot receive credit for this course.

This course explores how visual design is used for purposes of identification, information, and persuasion. It looks at many modes of visual communication, such as icons, logos, trademarks, signs, product packaging, infographics, posters, billboards, ads, exhibits, graffiti, page layout, films, television, videogames, and web sites. The course provides an overview of the history of graphic design movements, as well as analytical tools to understand how visual design encodes messages and the role visual communication plays in contemporary culture. Students will write about and create a number of visual media in this projectcentered class.

 

WR 2400. Writing Characters for Interactive Media & Games

Recommended background: Previous experience in the fundamentals of writing for interactive media and games, such as that provided by IMGD 1002: Storytelling for Interactive Media and Games.

Note: Students may not receive credit for both IMGD/WR 2400 and IMGD 240X.

This course will present concepts and skills necessary to create compelling characters in interactive media and games. Topics covered may include the 3 dimensions of character, growth and development of the player-character and non-player characters, dialogue, character relationships and evoking emotions through rhetorical tropes.

 

WR 3011. Teaching Writing

Recommended background: WR 1010 ( Elements of Writing)

Note: Students who have taken WR/EN 3011 Peer Tutoring in Writing cannot receive credit for this course. This course will be offered in 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.

Teaching Writing introduces students to the theory and practice of written composition. Students research and read about the writing process and how best to support it through the practice of explicit teaching and tutoring. They learn specific strategies that can support writers as they plan, draft, and revise written work in a number of genres, and they study effective ways to provide helpful feedback on drafts. They also learn about and practice navigating the social, political and interpersonal dynamics of the teacher/tutor-student relationship through a tutoring internship at the Writing Center and through assignments prompting them to develop lesson plans and instructional handouts. This course will help students improve their own writing and read their own and others? writing more critically. It will be especially useful for those who plan to teach or tutor writing in the future.

 

WR 3112. Rhetorical Theory

 Recommended background: Introduction to Rhetoric.

Note: Students who have taken RH 3112 cannot receive credit for this course.

Rhetoric concerns both the art of mastering the available means of persuasion and the study of how oral, written, and visual communication projects the intentions of individuals and groups, makes meanings, and affects audiences. The purpose of this course therefore is two-fold. It is intended to help students become more effective communicators by learning about the rhetorical situation and various rhetorical techniques, and it is designed to help them understand how various forms of communication work by learning some of the philosophies and strategies of rhetorical analysis.

 

WR 3210. Technical Writing

Recommended background: WR 1010 (Elements of Writing), or equivalent writing course.

Technical writing combines technical knowledge with writing skills to communicate technology to the world. This course introduces the fundamental principles of technical communication, and the tools commonly used in the technical writing profession. Topics include user and task analysis, information design, instructional writing, and usability testing. Students learn to use the technical writing process to create user-centered documents that combine text, graphics, and visual formatting to meet specific information needs. Students create a portfolio of both hardcopy and online documentation, using professional tools such as FrameMaker, Acrobat, and RoboHelp.

 

WR 3214. Writing about Disease and Public Health

Recommended background: WR 1010 ( Elements of Writing) or equivalent writing course.

This writing workshop focuses on the purposed and genres of writing about disease and public health. We will consider how biomedical writers communicate technical information about disease and public health to general audiences; how writers capture the human experience of disease and health care; how writers treat the public policy implications of disease; and how writers design publicity to promote public health. We will examine such genres as the experimental article, news reports, medical advice, profiles, commentary, and public health messages.

 

WR 3300. Cross-cultural Communication

Note: Students who have taken WR330X (Cross-cultural Communication) may not receive credit for this course.

This course will examine how people from differing cultural backgrounds communicate, in similar and different ways among themselves, and how they endeavor to communicate across cultures. Students will develop a personal and theoretical understanding of the cultural origin of people?s values, ideologies, habits, idiosyncrasies, and how they affect communication across cultural, racial, ethnic and gender lines. Through observing, studying and experiencing incidents of cross-cultural communication, they will begin to examine and develop skills that are necessary for effective understanding and for successful communication among majority and minority groups.

 

WR 3310. Digital Rhetoric

Recommended background: WR 2211 Rhetoric of Visual Design. This course will be offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.

This course will explore the changing nature of rhetoric and communication in a digital environment by articulating a theory of rhetoric that accounts for digital communication. In a seminar format, students will read and respond to a number of readings that consider the roles of databases, algorithms, social networks, and the like on contemporary communication practices. Students will put into practice their theories on digital rhetoric through a series of class projects: website design, podcasting, interactive storytelling, database design, virtual representations, and the like. Throughout the course, students will recursively understand their practices through theoretical works and gain new insight into theory through the practice of writing in digital spaces.

 

WR 3400. Writing Narrative for Interactive Media & Games

Recommended background: Previous experience in writing for interactive media and games, such as that provided by IMGD/WR 2400: Writing Characters for Interactive Media & Games.

Note: Students may not receive credit for both IMGD/WR 3400 and IMGD 340X.

This writing-intensive course covers concepts and skills necessary to write and implement narrative in interactive media and games. Topics include themes and style, different types of games and platforms, systemic storytelling, linear vs. non-linear narratives, editing, writing with purpose and audience in mind, and collaboration with other members of a development team.

 

WR 4111. Research Methods in Writing

Recommended background: WR 1010 (Elements of Writing), WR 2310 (Rhetoric of Visual Design), WR 3112 (Rhetorical Theory).

Note: Students who have taken RH 3111 cannot receive credit for this course.

This methodology course introduces students to issues in the study of writing such as the history and uses of literacy, the relationship of thought to language, the role of writing in producing knowledge, and research on composing. The focus of the course will be on professional and academic writing. In this project-based class, students will develop research questions, construct a relevant method study, and carry out that study. The purpose of this course is to add to students analytical approaches to writing and communicative situations.