Texas Tech University

TCR Grad Fall 2013

Online Courses (~6:00 – ~7:30 p.m.)

Course Title Instructor sections CRN Day
ENGL 5363 Research Methods in TCR Rickly




ENGL 5377: Special Topics: Rhetorics and Economics (theory) Baake/Carter




ENGL 5371 Foundations of Technical Communication Still




ENGL 5383 Grants and Proposals (applied theory) Rice




ENGL 5369 Discourse and Technology: Theories of Technology (theory) Carter




ENGL 5387 Publication Management (applied theory) Baehr




On-campus Courses

Course Instructor section CRN time Room
ENGL 5060 History and Theory of College Composition Rickly 001


9.30 TTh 353
ENGL 5363 Research Methods in TCR Cargile Cook 001


2 MW 353
ENGL 5375 Document Design (applied theory) Kimball



3:30 MW 358
ENGL 5371 Foundations of Technical Communication Moore 001


11 TTh 358
ENGL 5382 Discourses of Healthcare and Medicine (theory, methods) Koerber 001


12:30 TTh 352
ENGL 5377: Special Topics: Rhetorics and Economics (theory) Baake & Carter



6-9 M 357
ENGL 5390 Writing for Publication (applied theory) Lang



2:00 TTh 357


English 5060: History and Theory of College Composition

English 5060 is a 3 credit workshop-style course which provides an introduction to the history and contemporary theories of composition and rhetoric studies. We begin from the premise that good teachers are reflective teachers, and good teachers of writing are reflective teachers of writing. We will examine and reflect on the development of the field of composition over the last 50 years, focusing on seminal articles that represent the discipline. That is, we'll study readings about teaching basic writing, service-learning, online writing, revision, research writing, proofreading and editing, portfolios, and assessment rubrics within the context of composition. And just as the field of composition integrates new media tools in its construction, presentation, and assessment, so too will we.

English 5363: Research Methods in Technical Communication and Rhetoric

This course will introduce you to a variety of research methods and methodologies used in Composition and Technical Communication and Rhetoric research. While this course does serve as an overview, we will concentrate primarily on work that has influenced our broad field for the past ten years. The work you do in this course will give you an orientation which will prove to be valuable as you select further research courses from which you will ground your dissertation research. In subsequent, more focused research courses, you'll build upon the overview knowledge base you'll get in 5363.

The course builds on the assumption that research is intimately related to context, theory, and practice, and that all research—quantitative, qualitative, or mixed—is an act of selecting and interpreting information. Throughout the course, we will explore the implications of these assumptions, test their applicability to specific research methodologies, and look for common ways in which they shape the work of researchers using different research methods and approaches. Our central questions for this course will be "what constitutes a good, workable research question?" and "how do I select the best method to answer that question?". As a participant in this class, you will read critically texts on conducting research as well as evaluate existing research, and this experience will enable you to address the central questions from an informed perspective.

English 5369: Theories of Technology

Everyone wants to work with technology, and this program has a particular emphasis on using technology in conjunction with technical communication. But what is technology? What are the various ways that we interact with it? What does technology have to do with discourse? Questions that we will be asking, and that I encourage you to discover answers to, include the following:

  • How does technology affect literacy? rhetoric? technical communication?
  • How is literacy (rhetoric, technical communication, etc.) technological?
  • What do we mean by "technology"?
  • Can the "technical" in technical communication be considered "technology"?

In order to pursue these and other questions, we will be reading several theoretical books. You will also do research in the periodical literature in order to answer your own questions. Although I will explain backgrounds for the readings and certain concepts and ideas, the dominant mode of class sessions will be discussion. I will expect you to ask questions, connect ideas from various readings, and connect ideas from the readings to arguments as you see them practiced around you.

This course examines the various roles of technology in technical communications, with an ongoing goal of rethinking the evolving nature of the technical communicator. We will consider theories of technology (rhetorical and social), the way technology has changed the way we produce materials (the web, multimedia, online documentation), technology's role in the workplace (e-mail, virtual offices), and the changing nature of literacy in a technological world (on-line materials, hypertext, distance education, new forms of rhetoric). We will aim to connect the theoretical with the practical in daily reading, writing, and discussion.

  • Feenberg, Andrew. Transforming Technology: A Critical Theory Revisited. Oxford University Press, 2002. [amazon link]
  • Garrison, Kevin. Technology Studies and Technical Communication: Substantive Rhetoric Revisited. Dissertation, Texas Tech University, 2009. [link]
  • Johnson, Robert. User-Centered Technology: A Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts. SUNY, 1998. [amazon link]
  • Scharff, Robert, and Val Dusek, Eds. Philosophy of Technology: The Technological Condition: An Anthology. Blackwell Publishers, 2003. [amazon link]
  • Selections from Bolter: (BolterIntro) and (BolterWritingAsTechnology). Taken from
    Bolter, Jay David.Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print. Erlbaum, 2001.
  • Selection from Ong: Ong Chapter 4, taken from Ong, Walter.Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. Routeledge, 1982.

ENGL 5375 Document Design

This course will focus on the visual and physical aspects of documents, grounding practical document design skills in theories of visual perception, visual culture, and visual rhetoric. The primary goals of the course are to broaden your awareness of the theoretical constructs we can use to develop successful document designs and to give you further practice in document design.

Because this is a graduate course, the work required will be both theoretical and practical. On the theoretical side, you will read and discuss a variety of theoretical discussions about document design and related areas of study, such as visual rhetoric, visual literacy, cognitive psychology, color theory, visual ethics, and information graphic design. You will also write an essay analyzing the design of one or more documents. On the practical side, you will complete a series of exercises and a document design project for a real client during the two-week May Workshop.


Students should be able to fulfill the following outcomes through taking this course:

  1. Analyze document designs and their contexts through a variety of theoretical and practical viewpoints. Methods of assessment: Analytical essays, project situational analysis report.
  2. Design effective and creative visual designs in response to communication situations. Methods of assessment: Collaborative design project.
  3. Articulate reasons behind design decisions. Methods of assessment: Reflective report on design project.
  4. Manage design projects. Methods of assessment: Progress reports.

English 5382: Theory and Research in the Discourses of Health and Medicine

This graduate course will introduce current theory and research in medical rhetoric and health communication. Although the primary focus will be scholarship in technical communication and rhetoric, the course will also include some texts from other disciplines that take an interest in medicine such as communication studies, sociology, and anthropology.

Course website: http://medicalrhetoricttu.wordpress.com/about/

In addition to these two books, several required readings will be available as digital files through the course Web site. Please contact Dr. Koerber at amy.koerber@ttu.edu if you have any questions.

English 5387: Publication Management

This graduate-level course covers strategies and processes of knowledge management that support the document publication cycle in a professional setting. Specific work assignments involve content development for both print and online documents, including static and dynamic Web site content. It addresses key issues in publication project managment, including process maturity, content models and units, project plan development, single-sourcing strategies, and methods of tracking and assessment. Specific tools and technologies covered in this course include XHTML, XML, CSS, and working with content management systems.