Texas Tech University

TCR Graduate Courses Spring 2010

On-site Courses

Course Instructor section CRN Time
ENGL 5374 Technical Editing Cargile Cook 001 32548 MW 11
ENGL 5377 Discourses of the Great War Baake 001 32554 Th 9:30
ENGL 5379 Empirical Research Methods Eaton 001 39904 TTh 12:30
ENGL 5382 Discourse of Health Communication Koerber 001 39906 MW 2:00
ENGL 5383 Grants and Proposals Eaton 001 39905 TTh 2:00
ENGL 5388 Usability Testing and Research Still 001 32578 TTh 9:30

Related elective: PSY5379 (CRN 397000), Human Computer Interaction, TTh 2-3:30, Dr. Jones

Distance Courses (section D21 or X21 ~6:00 - ~7:30 p.m.)

Course Title Instructor Section CRN Date
ENGL 5365 Style







ENGL 5366 Teaching Technical Communication







ENGL 5377 Visual Rhetoric







ENGL 5383 Grants and Proposals







ENGL 5384 Rhetoric of Science







ENGL 5385 Ethics in Technical Communication







ENGL 5387 Publication Management







Note:  All online students register for section D21 except non-Texas-resident online doctoral students, who register for section x21

Note: If you need online 5000 or 8000 hours, you'll register for the following sections:

5000, D21, 41391, X21 41392

8000, D21, 32743, x21 32744


ENGL 5366 (Teaching Technical Communication)

This course is designed to give you a theoretical and practical background in teaching introductory technical communication service courses. We'll discuss how pedagogical theory applies to teaching, as well as how to manage practical aspects of teaching basic technical communication service courses. ENGL 5366 is required of any GPTI who intends to teach ENGL 2311, Introduction to Technical Writing.

Outcomes: Successfully completing this course should enable students to fulfill the following outcomes:

  • Develop a teaching philosophy that shows your development as a reflective practitioner.
  • Develop syllabi, course materials, and lesson plans.
  • Observe other instructors and express how those observations might inform your own teaching.
  • Develop a knowledge of scholarship on the pedagogy of technical communication, and discuss your own teaching within that context.

5374 Technical Editing

This course provides students with practice in substantive editing and design of technical documents.  By the end of the course, students will meet the following objectives:

  • Differentiate between the different levels of editing
  • Proofread, copyedit and comprehensively edit documents for organization and content, illustrations and graphics, and appropriate document design
  • Research and analyze a specific editing issue of interest to professional editors

Some of the work in this course will be hands-on editing to give students the necessary knowledge/practice to succeed as a technical writer or editor, but students will also have the opportunity to read and discuss a variety of editing theories and explore advanced editing methodologies. We will also consider principles for managing editing teams and coordinating the efforts of multiple editors. In addition, we will study the impact of the global marketplace on editors' roles and address the legal and ethical issues that editors sometimes face. Major assignments in ENGL 5374 include a series of technical editing assignments (ranging from copyediting to comprehensive editing). The course's final project is an article-length report on an editing issue.

Required Texts. Students in ENGL 5374 will need the following texts: Technical Editing (Carolyn Rude, 4rd ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2006. ISBN: 032133082) and a good dictionary. Students may also wish to purchase the optional but strongly recommended Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Ed. (2003). Chicago: University of Chicago Press; ISBN: 0226104036.

5377 Discourses of the Great War

Human society has been unable to escape war even in the nearly 100 years since the Great War erupted across Europe, ostensibly as a “war to end all war.” Much has been written in all genres about the war during and since its outbreak. Our team-taught course will conduct a survey of the written word as it encircles this event—looking at everything from the mundane technical manuals that soldiers read or reports that commanders wrote to novels, poems, and histories that those soldiers and later authors produced in order to try to come to terms with the war's horrors and the modern era it helped to usher in. Our primary goal is to study how different types of writing are used to know a particular reality. Rather than follow the approach that looks in detail at one genre as it addresses general issues, we want to look at many genres as they converge on one issue—The Great War.

Our underlying assumption is that humans use writing in all forms to make sense of their world and its challenges. In preparation for class, students will read and analyze various texts dealing with World War I. They will write short responses critiquing those texts, considering how texts from different genres covering the same topic both overlap and diverge. Students will conduct research and write a term paper on some aspect of World War I writing. The term paper assignment could be tailored to address specific student areas of interest in either technical

communication or literature. Finally, the course will reveal the power and limitations of different types of writing for dealing with profound realities of the human condition, especially with the persistent tendency of cultures to interact through war.

In addition to an electronic course pack, we most likely will read the following texts over  the semester:

  • Michael Howard, The First World War
  • Robert Crowley, ed., The Great War: Perspectives on the First World War
  • Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Jon Silkin, ed., The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry
  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
  • Pat Barker, Regeneration
  • World War I Field Manuals (CD ROM available www.paperlessarchives.com).

*This course is cross-listed and team-taught with Dr. Shelton as ENGL 5313

ENGL 5379 Empirical Research Methods

The primary goals of this course are to make students intelligent consumers of quantitative research and to provide the necessary understanding so they can design their own study, should they have a research question that can be investigated with quantitative methods.

In this course, we will cover underlying concepts such as sampling, reliability, validity, descriptive and inferential statistics*; use of statistical programs such as SPSS®; and genres, including surveys, quasi-experiments, and experiments. We will study situations in which quantitative research methods are valuable and when they are not, and study and critique examples of quantitative research in psychology, composition, and technical communication. We will study the nature and value of quantitative methods, and review the debate in English over their use. And finally, students will design a small study of their own to practice these skills.

*No experience with research methods or statistics is necessary—all concepts will be introduced or reviewed.

Tentative Textbooks and Materials (to be finalized by Nov. 15th):

Frey, Baton, and Kreps. Investigating Communication: An Introduction to Research Methods. Allyn and Bacon, 2nd Edition.

Green, Samuel B. and Neil J. Salkind. Using SPSS for Windows and Macintosh: Analyzing and Understanding Data. 4th edition.

Research articles and excerpts from research methods texts, posted to the course schedule page.

Assignment Percentage of Final Grade



Journal review


Methodological Study


SPSS Assignments


Pilot Study


ENGL 5382 Discourse of Health Communication

This graduate course will introduce current theory and research in 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.

Specifically, the course syllabus will be built around questions such as the following:

  • What is health communication, and how does it relate to other areas of technical communication research?
  • What are the distinct contributions that researchers in technical communication and rhetoric can make to inter-disciplinary conversations about medicine and other aspects of healthcare (i.e. health policy, pharmaceutical research & development, the medical device industry)?
  • What research methods are appropriate for studying health communication?
  • What obstacles do we face in trying to communicate technical communication research findings to healthcare practitioners and other inter-disciplinary audiences?
  • What kinds of accessibility and usability issues surround the design and delivery of health information?
  • What are the pedagogical issues involved in teaching communication skills to healthcare professionals and to technical communication students interested in health communication?


You will have to purchase the following text for the course:

Judy Z. Segal. Health and the Rhetoric of Medicine. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2005

In addition to this book, several required readings will be on e-reserve.

ENGL 5383 Grants and Proposals

Students in grant and proposal writing will learn about the genre and process of writing grants and proposals. Topics will include understanding the process in the university, locating funding opportunities, determining persuasive appeals, and writing and editing proposals. Students will be introduced to scholarship and research funding databases. Coursework will involve readings, request for proposal summaries, and writing and editing proposals. Opportunities for writing grants and proposals in conjunction with TTU researchers or community members will be available.

Textbook: Writing Winning Business Proposals: Your Guide to Landing the Client, Making the Sale, and Persuading the Boss by Richard C. Freed, Shervin Freed, and Joe Romano. 2003. (Not the 1995 edition). ISBN 0-07-139687-X.

Assignment Percentage of Final Grade

Scholarship Application


Conference Proposal


Major proposal: Nonprofit


Major proposal: Academic or Industry


Editing of Major Proposal




5384. Rhetoric of Scientific Literature

We will study the language that scientists and writers of science use to develop and spread scientific knowledge. Since Aristotle, a picture has emerged of science as a method of inquiry leading to objective truth about reality. On the other hand, rhetoric is seen as the art of arguing to secure judgment or a course of activity in an uncertain world. This split has continued through the 20th century, with science and the humanities said to be occupying separate realms of understanding—a world referred to by C.P. Snow as “two cultures.”

After World War II, scholars in the humanities attempted to reverse their marginal status, blurring the line between rhetoric and science. Taking its cue from contemporary work in philosophy, a new field of inquiry has arisen in English departments that goes by the name “the rhetoric of science.” In this course we will ask how science is rhetorical. Our focus will be on the issues that arise in scientific discourse – verbal, written, and visual. We will consider discursive aspects of science that clearly extend beyond the factual and into the realm of the interpretive.

Our readings and discussion will fall into five sections as follows.

  1. Foundations, where we develop background knowledge in the field, asking “What is scientific knowledge?” and “How is it rhetorical?”
  2. Revolutions in Scientific Thought, where we consider the argument that science progresses through paradigm shifts in theory that require new terminology and discourse conventions.
  3. Writing Science, where we will continue to study the ways in which scientific knowledge is represented and made legitimate by text.
  4. Darwin and His Scientific Offspring, where we take a close look at Charles Darwin and the revolution he led through The Origin of Species. We will also look at recent scientific debates that have their roots in the Darwinian revolution.
  5. Science, the Environment, and Human Frontiers,Course Project Wrap-up, where we look briefly at contemporary issues in science, such as global warming, genetically modified food, and post humanism.
  6. We will also have class presentations and the final project submission.

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to…

  • Explain how the scientific method differs from other methods of knowledge making. You will demonstrate this primarily through class discussion and Web Board postings.
  • Distinguish the purviews and methods of the theoretical and applied sciences. You will demonstrate this primarily through class discussion and Web Board postings.
  • Find, analyze, and write about scientific and technical topics that you may have little expertise in. You will demonstrate this primarily through Web Board postings and the research project.
  • Analyze the discursive moves that have accompanied changes (paradigm shifts) and development of scientific theory throughout history. You will demonstrate this primarily through class discussion and Web Board postings.
  • Engage in a scholarly conversation with your peers on theoretical topics related to language and science. You will demonstrate this primarily through class discussion and Web Board postings.
  • Gain insights into the ways that writing about science is a kind of technical writing that helps make legitimate certain kinds of knowledge. You will demonstrate this through class discussions and activities, Web Board postings, and the research project.
  • Frame a research proposal in a way that draws on insights in rhetorical theory and an educated layperson's understanding of the fundamentals of science. You will demonstrate this in various stages of the research project.
  • Develop rhetorical skills in critiquing basic arguments dealing with science in society. You will demonstrate this primarily through Web Board postings and the research project.
  • Present your research findings to an audience of your peers. You will demonstrate this through the research project presentation at the end of the semester.

Texts may include

  • Angier, Natalie. The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science.  New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2007. ISBN:  0618242953
  • Baake, Kenneth. Metaphor and Knowledge: The Challenges of Writing Science. Albany: SUNY Press, 2003. ISBN: 0791457443
  • Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 3rd ed. Chicago and London: U of Chicago P, 1996. ISBN: 0226458083
  • Latour, Bruno and Steve Woolgar. Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts. Princeton: Princeton UP,  1986. 069102832X
  • Grinnell, Richard W. Science and Society. New York: Pearson/Longman. 2007. ISBN: 0321318110

ENGL 5385: Ethics in Technical Communication

will teach you to

  • investigate various definitions and philosophies of ethics pertinent to the field of technical communication.
  • examine the nature and scope of ethical dilemmas in technical communication.
  • determine possible solutions to the ethical problems encountered by technical communicators.
  • explain the applicability of theories of ethics to the field of technical communication.
  • recognize the similarities and differences in ethical and legal perspectives.

Website: http://www.faculty.english.ttu.edu/dragga/5385-Spring2010.html


  • Dombrowski, Paul. Ethics in Technical Communication (Allyn & Bacon, 2000).
  • May, Steven (ed.). Case Studies in Organizational Communication: Ethical Perspectives and Practices (Sage, 2006).
  • readings online and on e-reserve

ENGL 5387: Publication Management

This course covers strategies of process and 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 management, 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.  Your work for the course will involve the development of a single-sourcing project and deliverables related to the management, scheduling, progress, and presentation of this project.

English 5388: Usability Testing & Research

This course attempts to balance the theory of usability testing with the practice of actually conducting usability tests. It aims for two distinct modes.  The first involves the concepts of usability testing, and will require that you do the assigned readings and participate fully in class discussion.  I will expect you to ask questions, to connect ideas from various readings, and to connect these theories to our activities in the actual usability lab. The second mode of this course involves spending time in the usability lab, plugging in wires, rolling tape, positioning microphones and cameras, digitizing and editing video, and generally becoming very familiar with the workings of gathering data.

Required Readings:

  • Carol Barnum's Usability Testing & Research (Allyn & Bacon, 2002)
  • Other readings will be assigned and made available on the course web site (http://www.brianstill.com/moodle)

Expected Assignments:

  • Discussion Forum (10%)
  • Site Visit (20%)
  • Usability Team Project (60%)
  • Usability test plan (1/3)
  • Report of findings (1/3)
  • Client briefing and highlights tape/DVD (1/3)
  • Final (10%)