Texas Tech University

TCR Graduate Courses, Spring 2018

Please note:

  • Only onsite students may take onsite courses. 
  • Online students may take either hybrid or online courses. 
  • Onsite students may take hybrid courses. Onsite students may also take online only courses, however, online students have priority in these courses. Onsite students will be placed on a waiting list and notified when seats become available.  

Hybrid Courses: all hybrid courses meet 6-8:50 p.m. CST

Course Title Instructor Day

ENGL 5372: Reports

Baake M
ENGL 5364: History of Rhetoric
Gerdes M
ENGL 5379: Empirical Research Methods (methods) Roach T
ENGL 5376: Online Publishing
Baehr W
ENGL 5366: Teaching Technical Communication
(theory & applied)
Cargile Cook W
ENGL 5384: Rhetoric of Science
(theory & applied theory)
Wilson W
ENGL 5389: Field Methods
Moore R

Online Courses: all online courses meet 6-8:50 p.m. CST

Course Title Instructor Days

ENGL 5366: Teaching Technical Communication
(theory & applied)

Cargile Cook Monday

ENGL 5377: Writing Program Administration
(theory & applied)

Rickly Tuesday
ENGL 5390: Writing for Publication (applied) Rickly Thursday



 ENGL 5384 Rhetoric of Science, Spring 2018

The course is designed to give you an overview of the disciplinary work in rhetoric of science (ROS) and to concentrate on some interesting contemporary issues and intellectual movements. There are some basic themes:

What is the "Rhetoric of Science": How is the field defined? What milestones/issues mark its development? What does the breadth of scholarship in the field look like? Where are the boundaries?

Scientific controversy and disciplinary change: How do scientific disputes get resolved? How does science change? How do scientific "facts" get established and defended? How does science communicate and cooperate across disciplinary and theoretical difference?

Science as a social/material semiotic: How can we understand science as a cultural practice? What role does rhetoric have in managing the cultural authority and power of scientific knowledge?

Science and Citizenship: What is the relationship between science and the average person? How do scientists engage with public policy? How do scientists and non-scientists work together to address public policy issues with technical features? How do we define and negotiate expertise?

We will read selections from early anthologies that establish the field. We will read Randy Allan Harris's edited collection Rhetoric and Incommensurability and Bruno Latour's Pandora's Hope. We will also read recent approaches to the rhetoric of science like Scot Graham's The Politics of Pain Medicine, Krista Teston's Bodies in Flux, and Amanda Booher and Julie Jung's edited collection Feminist Rhetorical Science Studies.

Assignments will likely include short synthesis/response papers on readings, an analysis of the rhetoric of a technical center or program at TTU, and a scholarly paper or equivalent work that meets your needs of your program of study.

ENGL 5390: Writing for Publication

This graduate course will address theoretical and practical issues related to scholarly writing and publishing in the 21st century. A broad array of genres will be addressed, including peer-reviewed articles, scholarly monographs (books), edited collections, and book reviews, although the main focus will be on peer-reviewed journal articles. Students can expect to learn practical advice on how to get published and to discuss recent trends and changes in scholarly publishing. Although the course is based in the English department, our focus is truly interdisciplinary.

ENGL 5377: Writing Program Administration

In the field of Writing Studies (Composition/Rhetoric, Technical and Professional Writing), scholars in this field often find themselves in multiple positions: classroom instructor, curricular designer, program director, assessment guru, literacy advocate, and/or community activist (to name only a few in a non-exhaustive list). As a new member of an English department faculty, your department chair or academic dean may ask you to revamp a course (or entire writing curriculum), spearhead an assessment project, oversee contingent faculty, bolster tutoring/support services, or develop a campus literacy initiative. These leadership roles demand specialized knowledge and specific know-how, yet graduate programs rarely offer a course that investigates the theoretical underpinnings of administrative work nor provides rehearsing scenarios for a better comprehension of the the praxis of such vital academically sustaining work. The course will examine issues of preparation for the position, curriculum development, assessment, communication with a wide range of stakeholders at different levels of academia's hierarchy, and public representation of the program. Through careful reading of WPA scholarship and programmatic discourse, experiential learning, reflective activities, group discussion, and a series of writing assignments, the course will move toward an in-depth understanding of what one needs to know and to do in order to function effectively as a writing program administrator.

ENGL 5379 – Empirical Research Methods in Technical Communication and Rhetoric.

Empirical research methods in technical communication and rhetoric. The course explores quantitative methods in communication research. The purpose of this course is to introduce social science research methods and concepts. It will address: 1) the philosophy of social science inquiry; 2) methodological concepts including instrumentation and design; and 3) the assumptions underlying and uses for various statistical analyses. The major paper in the course will be a research prospectus. The required text will be: Frey, L. R., Botan, C. H., & Kreps, G. L. (2000). Investigating communication: An introduction to research methods (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. (ISBN 978 0-205-19826-0)

At the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  • Understand and use basic principles of research, design, and measurement.
  • Discuss the unique nature of Communication research.
  • Construct research questions and hypotheses.
  • Use SPSS to analyze quantitative data.
  • Comprehend, calculate, and use descriptive statistics, difference testing, and relationship testing       effectively.
  • Explain and use basic principles of descriptive and inferential statistics.
  • Comprehend and explain quantitative research articles.

ENGL 5389: Field Methods

Field Methods is designed to introduce you to research method/ologies used in technical communication and rhetoric "fields." Such a proposal is initially straightforward. Technical communicators often research workplaces; they sometimes conduct research in the community; and they sometimes research online communities. These and others, it seems, are the "fields" in which we might conduct research. But in any research project, determining the field--and its context--implicates the researcher in a host of rhetorical, methodological, and epistemological decisions. It binds the researcher and her questions. Boundaries of any "field" and the field's participants are constructed by the researcher through categorizations, site choices, and the limitations the researcher puts on the study in terms of time, participants, and, of course, methods of data collection. Further constraints include disciplinary expectations about sampling, rigor, validity, reliability, and replicability.

Part methods (what you do) course, part methodology (how to decide what to do) course, this course aims 1) to contextualize "the field" through an examination of typical fields for the technical communicator; 2) to prepare you to design studies that help you appropriately and ethically study various fields; and 3) to give you opportunities to practice methods that correspond to typical fields in technical communication and rhetoric. Further, you will learn to read, understand, and write qualitative studies of the field for audiences in our disciplines of rhetoric and writing.

ENGL 5366: Teaching Technical and Professional Writing

ENGL 5366 focuses on pedagogical theories regarding technical and professional writing with special attention to developing course objectives, syllabi, and teaching techniques. The course will introduce you to the theoretical and pedagogical knowledge you will need to teach technical writing successfully to students across the disciplines. It is designed to prepare you to teach technical and professional writing; all prospective ENGL 2311 instructors are required to complete the course or its equivalent. Online and onsite students interested in teaching ENGL 2311 are encouraged to take this course, as we anticipate adding more online sections in the near future.

ENGL 5366 is both theoretical and practical. Central questions in the course will require you to consider critical issues related to technical communication pedagogy. From this foundation, it will progress to more practical concerns ranging from what to teach in an introductory technical writing class, how to teach this information, and why to teach it. Assessments in the course will require you to propose and teach a technical communication lesson; observe an introductory technical communication course; design and populate a professional teaching portfolio (résumé; teaching philosophy; and electronic components [syllabus, assignment descriptions, teaching case, and evaluation rubric]); and deliver a professional presentation.

We will read from the following texts. In addition, supplemental readings will be available electronically. Check the course schedule for specific reading assignments:

· James M. Dubinsky's Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004). ISBN: 0312412045.

· Craig Baehr & Kelli Cargile Cook's The Agile Communicator, 2e. (Kendall Hunt, 2015). (Electronic copy from publisher will be provided to you; you do not need to purchase unless you want a print copy.)

ENGL 5372: Reports

This course focuses on the report—the primary work place document that creates knowledge and supports decision-making. Our class will examine reports of various types: information reports, analytical reports, feasibility studies, recommendation reports, empirical research reports. We will consider proposals as part of the document cycle that leads to reports. In the workplace, proposals seek approval or funding for a plan or activity. Reports provide information on the progress of such activities, or on the status of research.

All writing in some way tells a story, and so it is with reports and proposals. A proposal from a social service agency seeking money to expand a program for the poor must tell the story of the people it hopes to serve. A report on a study of sub-atomic particles conducted by physicists using a particle accelerator tells the story of those particles, even though they exist only for nano seconds. Narrative is intrinsic to reports and proposals.

As is typical in any graduate technical writing class, we will approach this topic from a theoretical and applied perspective. We will analyze existing documents using rhetorical theory and we will produce reports and proposals based on primary and secondary search. The class will involve reading and response in Blackboard and a report project that each student will conduct in various phases throughout the semester.

Our main text will be Houp, Pearsall, Tebeaux, Dragga. Reporting Technical Information. Oxford University Press.


ENGL 5364: History of Rhetoric

Sophistic Rhetorics By some accounts, sophists were the first rhetoricians in the western world. Their influence on contemporary rhetorical theory comes not only from the extant speech and writing of sophists themselves, but also from the responses of their political opponents, whose impressions of the sophists survive in the negative connotations attached to "sophistry" and "empty rhetoric." This course will examine the writing of ancient sophists and their critics, as well as the specter of the sophists in more recent rhetorical theory. Participants will consider the relationships between rhetoric, sophism, politics, democracy, and demagoguery. Students will write 6 short reading responses and a presentation of a report on secondary readings.

ENGL 5376: Online Publishing

This graduate level course will provide an overview of the practical and theoretical aspects of designing effective online documents and Web sites. Specifically, our work will focus on process and planning, content development, site structure, navigation, visual design, interface design, usability, and accessibility. The course will cover practical skills with various software tools and scripting languages, including HTML, CSS, and an introduction to some interactive scripting with JavaScript and DHTML. Assignments will primarily focus on developing Web sites and online content using a variety of tools and development methods. And finally, the course will address theoretical issues in online publishing, digital literacy, content management, and technology

ENGL 5365: New Media

This course is designed to introduce students to theories and practices of working with new media. We will discuss different formulations of what "new media" might mean while reading, listening to, and viewing a variety of important works about media from a variety of approaches. This section will pay particular attention to how media are material and embodied, and together we will practice composing with words, images, video, audio, and even analog materials. Drawing on both practice and theory, we will explore implications of new media for pedagogy, rhetorical action, and technical communication. Students will work individually and collaboratively to produce three or four new media projects in this class using sound, geolocation, three-dimensional objects, and physical computing.