Texas Tech University

TCR Graduate Courses Spring 2011

On-site Courses

Course Instructor section CRN Time
ENGL 5362 Rhetorical Analysis Zdenek 001 32447 TTh 8
ENGL 5375 Document Design Kimball 001 32551 TTh 12:30
ENGL 5383 Grants and Proposals Eaton 001 39905 Th 5:30
ENGL 5385 Ethics Dragga 001 32572 TTh 3:30
ENGL 5388 Usability Testing and Research Still 001 32578 MW 9:30
ENGL 5389 Field Methods of Research Rickly 001 32579 TTh 11

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

Course Title Instructor Section CRN Discussion
ENGL 5362 Rhetorical Analysis Zdenek D21
ENGL 5364 History of Rhetoric
(Classical Rhetoric)
Baake D21
ENGL 5366 Teaching Technical Communication Kimball D21
ENGL 5369 Discourse and Technology
Rhetoric of Personal Agency)
Kemp D21
ENGL 5374 Technical Editing Eaton D21
ENGL 5377 Theoretical Issues
(Health Risk Communication)
Barker D21
ENGL 5382 Theory and Research in the Written Discourses of Health and Medicine Koerber D21
ENGL 5389 Field Methods of Research Cargile Cook D21
ENGL 5390 Writing for Publication Baehr D21

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, 027 (local) 32292

8000, D21, 32743 x21 32744, 027 (local) 32719

6000, sec 027 32614

7000, sec 027 32667


ENGL 5362 (Rhetorical Analysis)

This course provides a general introduction to methods of rhetorical criticism. The first third of the course offers a context for understanding the rise of “critical pluralism” in rhetorical studies. We'll start by considering the dominance of neo-Aristotelian criticism in the first half of the 20th century. Then we'll focus on the critique and fall of neo-Aristotelianism in the 1960s, which gave rise to a number of alternative methods. The remaining weeks of the course will cover a number of these methods/approaches—situational, dramatism, genre, content analysis, framing analysis, narrative criticism, fantasy-theme criticism, feminist criticism, ideographic, critical rhetoric, and metaphor criticism. Issues and questions of interest to rhetorical theorists and practitioners will also be covered—e.g. the relationship between language and reality; the role of the critic's personality; the connection between method, theory, and object; the rhetorical situation; intertextuality; how text and
talk interact; visual rhetoric; and constitutive rhetoric.

By the end of the course, students should be able to select, apply, combine, and evaluate a variety of methods of rhetorical criticism in the context of their own research projects. As such, the course aims to foster critical thinking about the relationships among rhetoric, texts, and society.

Required texts:

  1. Booth, Wayne (2004) The rhetoric of rhetoric: The quest for effective communication. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 1405112379. http://www.amazon.com/Rhetoric-RHETORIC-Effective-Communication-Manifestos/dp/1405112379/
  2. Burgchardt, Carl, ed. (2010) Readings in Rhetorical Criticism. 4th edition. Strata Publishing. ISBN: 1891136232. http://www.amazon.com/Readings-Rhetorical-Criticism-Carl-Burgchardt/dp/1891136232/
  3. Gee, James Paul (2010) An introduction to discourse analysis: Theory and method. 3rd edition. Routledge. ISBN: 0415585708. http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Discourse-Analysis-Theory-Method/dp/0415585708/
  4. Gula, Robert J. (2007) Nonsense: Red Herrings, Straw Men and Sacred Cows: How We Abuse Logic in Our Everyday Language. Axios Press. ISBN: 0975366262. http://www.amazon.com/Nonsense-Herrings-Sacred-Everyday-Language/dp/0975366262/

ENGL 5364 History of Rhetoric

Rhetoric is the art of finding the best available means of persuasion. It forms the foundation of much of what we teach in technical communication and composition, where writers attempt to persuade through documents such as proposals, reports, and academic style essays. The theories and debates over what rhetoric is, how it relates to other ways of crafting language, and even whether it is a good craft or a means of deception—all of these issues can be traced to classical times of Ancient Greece and Rome. This course will explore the history of classical rhetoric by looking at how it emerged from those ancient cultures in response to civic needs (exigencies). We will also see how the systems of classifying and teaching rhetoric among the ancients continue to hold relevance today, providing guidelines for how to communicate, what to include in our communication, how to arrange our points to be made, and what style to deliver them in. The course will also touch on how modern rhetorical theories developed out of classical rhetoric and built on that foundation. The course will involve reading from the classical canon, writing short reading responses, developing a longer research paper, and finally, through class activities, practicing our use of rhetorical figures and stylistic devices as students of Ancient Rome would have done.

Likely books for the course will be

  • The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present - Hardcover (2000) by Patricia Bizzell and Bruce Herzberg
  • A New History of Classical Rhetoric by George A. Kennedy
  • Writing with Clarity and Style: A Guide to Rhetorical Devices for Contemporary Writers by Robert A. Harris

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.

ENGL 5369 Discourse and Technology: The Rhetoric of Personal Agency.

For several thousand years, the ancient dynamic for creating community and focusing group purpose and identity centered entirely upon the orator and the orator's rhetorical skills. The powerfully delivered words of an accomplished speaker decided legal issues and motivated political will. While that dynamic still exists (witness the highly facilitating rhetorical skills of Barack Obama) the extraordinary person-to-person connectivity enabled by the Internet has given rise to a new organizing principle based upon a personal agency now projected independently into the ether. For the first time in history, everyday people have the ability to present their ideas to a few or to many, with almost zero cost, with almost no technological overhead or burden, and with practically no human mediation.

This digital capability appears to have stimulated a new organizing principle, or at least suggested one. As broadcast television declines, as print journalism declines, as the ancient principle of one-to-many undergoes a startling revision, the current citizen increasingly discovers a new mode of attaching himself or herself to ideas and social theories and community values, a mode that -- amazingly! -- he or she glomes onto as something of a central participant, a central participant among a wide-ranging field of central participants.

Suddenly, and in the general scheme of things this happened very suddenly, all members of a community have attained a new rhetorical standing, in some ways a new rhetorical equality. The Internet complexly delivers person-to-person contact with such competency that older technologies of inclusion and exclusion seem passe. Previously, whoever held the microphone (in Lord of the Flies, the conch shell) had the "floor." Now, the "floor" has become the computer in front of you, if it is connected, and few computers these days aren't connected. Nobody can disconnect the amp.

Those conditioned to one-to-many rhetorical and managerial systems are disconcerted, if not frightened. How can anything reasonable come from this cacophony of voices?

But it isn't a cacophony of voices. It is a system of interaction that distills structure from a new kind of rhetoric, a rhetoric of personal agency. In simplest terms, capable voices rise to the top, and weak voices sink to the bottom. Instead of the overwhelming authority of a Pericles or a Cicero, we find a gathering authority of capable participants, many, many capable participants. One person isn't moving the crowd this way and that, the way that Brutus and Antony move the mob of Rome, but an accumulation of voices gather like attractors to assert an attitude, a value, even a political position.

That the technology is irresistible is something nobody can deny. As rhetoricians, we must look at irresistibility very carefully. A Caesar, an Augustine, an Elizabeth I, a Hitler, all managed irresistibility extraordinarily well in their use of language. Now we have a new irresistibility, the digital irresistibility, and we must learn what this portends for the decisions we will be inclined to make.

Course website: http://ttopic.english.ttu.edu/manual/manualframe.asp?typeof=5369_su09

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.

ENGL 5375 Document Design

This course will focus on the visual and physical aspects of documents, both paper and electronic, grounding practical document design skills in theories of visual perception, visual culture, and visual rhetoric. The primary goals of the course are to give you further practice in document design and to broaden your awareness of the theoretical constructs that help guide good design.

Because this is a graduate course, the work required will be both theoretical and practical. Theoretically, you will read and respond to a variety of 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. Practically, you will work in a document design team to complete a design project for a real client, typically from the Lubbock community. This document redesign will give you an opportunity to implement some of the skills we develop and theories we discuss in the class.

ENGL 5377 Theoretical Issues (Health Risk Communication)

This course will focus on the theories, methods, processes, and approaches to risk communication for both natural and man-made threats to health and the environment. Students will develop both a practical and a theoretical background to the topics associated with risk communication. Those topics include: message design, legal issues, the history of risk communication, research methods for campaign development, media choices, public participation and citizen engagement, and assessment of risk communication efforts. The class will begin with a hypothetical case of an infectious disease outbreak, for which students will devise a risk communication plan. We will then explore and develop a critical view of the issues raised in the development of the risk communication plan through readings in selected articles and book chapters. Class time will consist of discussion of issues, team coordination, and student presentations on key issues. Assessment will be both team-based (a collaborative document/plan), individual presentations on issues in the readings, and a term paper a topic in risk communication.


Lundgren, R. E. & A. H. McMakin (2009).Risk Communication: A Handbook for Communicating Environmental, Safety, and Health Risks, 4th edition, New York, John Wiley & Sons.

Selected articles from Technical Communication Quarterly, Annual Review of Public Health, Health, Risk & Society and other journals.

ENGL 5382 Theory and Research in the Written Discourses of Health and Medicine

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. Each student who enrolls in the course will receive a student license for NVivo 9 qualitative research software, provided through a teaching grant from QSR International. QSR will also provide online training and instructional materials to assist in learning to use NVivo.


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.

Mol, A. (2002). The body multiple: Ontology in medical practice. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

In addition to these two books, several required readings will be available as digital files through the course Web site. A working draft of the course syllabus is available at http://ttu.academia.edu/documents/0176/7347/5382_spring_11_syl.pdf. Please contact Dr. Koerber at amy.koerber@ttu.edu if you have any questions.

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 grant-writing 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.

There are five main assignments in the class, designed to give experience in writing the most common proposals for academics and to provide the necessary background to write proposals full-time or on a contract basis. You'll write a scholarship application, a conference proposal application, and two of these three, at your choice: academic, non-profit, and business proposals. Finally, you'll edit a classmate's proposal.

Previous classes have been marked by great discussions and good work being done for local non-profit groups, including winning funds. Multiple graduates of the course have since taken on grantwriting on a part-time basis to great success. I hope you'll join.

ENGL 5385: Ethics in Technical Communication

In this course, we will

  • identify various definitions and philosophies of ethics pertinent to the field of technical communication.
  • recognize the nature and scope of ethical dilemmas in the field of technical communication.
  • differentiate ethical dilemmas from legal dilemmas and the implications of each.
  • determine possible solutions to ethical dilemmas encountered by technical communicators.
  • compose persuasive judgments on ethical dilemmas.
  • explain the applicability of theories of ethics to the field of technical communication.


Dombrowski, Paul. Ethics in Technical Communication (Allyn & Bacon, 2000).

May, Steven (ed.). Case Studies in Organizational Communication: Ethical Perspectives and Practices (Sage, 2006).


Gaumnitz, BruceR., and JohnC.Lere. “Contents of Codes of Ethics of Professional Business Organizations in the United States.” Journal of Business Ethics 35 (2002), 35-49.

Dragga, Sam, and Dan Voss. “Cruel Pies: The Inhumanity of Technical Illustrations.” Technical Communication, 48 (2001): 265-274.

Dragga, Sam, and Dan Voss. “Hiding Humanity: Verbal and Visual Ethics in Accident Reports.” Technical Communication 50 (2003): 61-82.

Lancaster, Amber. “Rethinking Our Use of Humanistic Aspects: Effects of Technical Communication Beyond the Intended Audience.” Technical Communication 53 (2006): 212-224.

Manning, Alan, and Nicole Amare. “Visual-rhetoric Ethics: Beyond Accuracy and Injury.” Technical Communication 53 (2006): 195-211.

Moore, Patrick. “Cruel Theory? The Struggle for Prestige and Its Consequences in Academic Technical Communication.” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 38 (2008): 207-240.






http://www.marketingpower.com/AboutAMA/Pages/Statement of Ethics.aspx





English 5388: Usability Testing and 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%)

ENGL 5389 Field Methods of Research

Technical communicators have established their own research methods for use in software design, in the production of training materials, in the creation, use, and testing of educational activities, and so forth. This course will serve as a critical overview to these methods. In this course, we will examine these methods in terms of: theoretical bases; data collection and analysis; and design work. For each method, students will design and critique research questions/problem statements and research instruments. Using one of these methods, each student will conduct a small-scale study. Prior to, during, and after the conduct of research, students will maintain a reflective blog. Students will "write up" their research, situating it in the field, or students will have the option of writing a paper on some aspect of the research methods we've studied. Finally, each student will lead a class discussion, serving as the "information manager" for that class.

At the end of this course, students should have a theoretical understanding of the assumptions behind each method and, therefore, a grounding in how to choose the proper method for a given set of concerns and environment. Students should be able to articulate reasons for selecting a field method and should be able to conduct and direct studies using any of the methods covered.

Required Textbooks

Henry, J. (2000). Writing workplace cultures: an archaeology of professional writing. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP.

Johnson, R. R. (1998). User-centered technology: a rhetorical theory for computers and other mundane artifacts. SUNY Series, Studies in scientific and technical communication. Albany: SUNY.

Kuniavsky, M. (2003). Observing user experience: a practitioner's guide to user research. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann.

Spinuzzi, C. (2003). Tracing genres through organizations: a sociocultural approach to information design (acting with technology). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

ENGL 5390 Writing for Publication

This course will introduce you to methods and process of scholarly publication for professional journals and edited collections. We'll discuss methods of targeting specific publications through analysis of professional organizations, publication venues, calls for papers, journals, submission requirements and review processes. We'll discuss the writing processes and rhetorical considerations in scholarly writing and in developing a scholarly research trajectory. Our work will also address related issues to the field of professional publication, such as the book publishing market, citation issues, ethical and legal issues.