Texas Tech Graduate Courses in Technical Communication, Fall 2006

Distance Courses (section 270 or 370, ~6:00 � ~7:30 p.m.)  [Descriptions below]

Course Title Instructor sections Date
ENGL 5363 Research Methods in TCR Rickly 270/370 Tuesdays  
ENGL 5364 20th Century Rhetoric Kemp 270/370 Mondays
ENGL 5369 Discourse and Technology (theories of technology) Carter 270/370 Thursdays
ENGL 5371 Foundations of Technical Communication Zdenek 270/370 Mondays
ENGL 5376 Online Publishing Baehr 270/370 Wednesdays
ENGL 5377 Style Baake 270/370 Tuesdays
ENGL 5386 Discourse and Social Issues Koerber 270/370 Wednesdays

Note: All online students register for section 270 except non-Texas-resident online doctoral students, who register for section 370.

On-campus Courses [Descriptions below]

Course Instructor section


ENGL 5060 History and Theory of College Composition Rice 001 MW 3:30
ENGL 5060 History and Theory of College Composition Rickly 002 TTh 11
ENGL 5363 Research Methods in TCR Eaton 001 TTh 3:30
ENGL 5367 Methods of Teaching College Composition Rice 001 MW 6:30
ENGL 5369 Discourse and Technology (theories of technology) Carter 001 MW 3:30
ENGL 5371 Foundations of Technical Communication St. Amant 001 TTh 2
ENGL 5372 Technical Reports Barker 001 TTh 9:30
ENGL 5375 Document Design Kimball 001 TTh 12:30
ENGL 5386 Discourse and Social Issues Koerber 001 MW 2

All offerings from 1998 to the present are archived here.


English 5060 (Dr. Rice): History and Theory of College Composition


English 5060 (Dr. Rickly): History and Theory of College Composition

description coming by July 7th

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 5364: 20th Century Rhetoric

5364: 20th Century Rhetoric will deal with two aspects of the rise of what has been termed "The New Rhetoric." The first is the modern application of rhetorical theory to contemporary understanding of what writing and human interaction are and do. The second is a practical survey of the effect of the rise of rhetoric studies as an academic discipline upon writing pedagogy at all levels of education. Besides a review of the principal theorists in modern rhetoric -- including Bakhtin, Richards, Burke, Weaver, Perelman, Toulmin, Freire, Kuhn, and Fish-- we shall look at instructional applications arising from these theorists presented by academicians such as Elbow, Kinneavy, Shaughnessy, Corbett, Berlin, and LeFevre (etc.).

Students will take a midterm exam and a final exam, and will write a substantial (20 pages) paper.  Participation in the weekly synchronous discussion forum and in an asynchronous discussion board is assumed.

Texts for the course include the following:

URL: http://ttopic.english.ttu.edu/manual/manualframe.asp?typeof=5364

English 5367: Methods of Teaching College Composition


ENGL 5369 Discourse and Technology (theories of technology)

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.


English 5371: Foundations of Technical Communication

The purpose of this course is to provide you with the foundational knowledge needed to become a member of the academic field of technical communication. This foundation includes an understanding of major trends and concepts in the field as well as a familiarity with key scholars and central works in the field. This foundation also includes a familiarity with the various genres and venues/publications scholars use to share information and ideas with colleagues and counterparts in both academia and industry. To achieve these objectives, you will complete a series of required readings, formal assignments, synchronous class discussions, and asynchronous class exercises. These various activities will, in turn, provide you with a foundational understanding of what the field of technical communication is, how it has changed and will continue to change over time, and how you can better participate in or contribute to this field.

English 5372: Technical Reports


English 5375: Document Design

This course will apply theories of visual perception, visual culture, and visual rhetoric to practical design projects and tasks. Students should expect to do the following in the class:

The course won't specifically target any particular software application, but students will gain at least a working familiarity with InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.

English 5376: Online Publishing

This course will provide an overview of the practical and theoretical aspects of developing online documentation and Web sites.  Specifically, the work will focus on information architecture, navigation systems, interface design, visual rhetoric, content development, accessibility, usability and scripting languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript).  Throughout the course, we�ll examine several core issues in hypertext theory, such as digital literacy, authorship, notions of textuality, credibility, ethics, and the history of online publishing.

English 5377: Theoretical Approaches to Technical Communication (Style in Technical Writing)

Style in writing involves choosing words and sentence structures that best deliver the writer's ideas on behalf of readers. This course will fine-tune students' writing skills, consider different styles in technical communication, and assess the ways that different styles of writing convey social attitudes, ideologies, and power structures. The class also will introduce theories of style as found in Classical Greek and Roman writing handbooks.

We will approach the topic of style from a theoretical and applied perspective. Drawing from rhetorical theory, each of you will analyze existing documents and workplace writing genres for style; you will write regular style exercises and short analysis postings to the class electronic bulletin board (Web Board); you will research issues of style in the workplace, write a research paper or report and present the information to the class; and you will write an exam that covers course content. Attendance and participation will count toward your grade.

At the end of the course each of you should be able to 1) display skills in analyzing writing styles and reproducing them in your own writing; 2) display understanding of the stylistic choices we make as academic and workplace writers; 3) display an understanding of the rhetorical considerations that affect writing style; 4) demonstrate improvement in your own writing and the ability to move among different styles; and 5) contribute to the body of knowledge about technical writing style.

Texts for the course will most likely be the following. Total cost for new books could be as much as $100, although I will try to get the bookstore to look for used copies:

Dan Jones. Technical Writing Style. ISBN: 0205-19722-1.

Edward Smith and Stephen A. Bernhardt. Writing at Work: Professional Writing Skills for People on the Job. ISBN: 0-8442-5983-7 

A Coursepack�Free electronic and for purchase hard-copies will be available.

Instructor's lecture notes, discussion prompts, and class agenda will be posted to the Web Board in advance of each class.

English 5386 Discourse and Social Issues

This topic of this course, broadly defined, is the role of written discourse in shaping public perceptions of social issues related to science and technology. We will begin with an introduction to theories that explain how scientific and technical texts interact with their contexts and audiences. After this theoretical introduction, we will move on to address the rhetorical dimensions of specific social issues related to science and technology. General subject areas addressed in this part of the course might include any of the following: risk communication, health communication, environmental rhetoric, issues of difference (gender, race, culture, ability) in science and technology, and globalization of science and technology. Assignments will include a MOO summary (for online students), class-discussion leading (for onsite students), written responses to assigned readings, and a final research project.

Most of the assigned readings will be available in a course packet (and on e-reserve). In addition to the course packet, the following two texts will be required for the course:

Britt, Elizabeth C. Conceiving Normalcy: Rhetoric, Law, and the Double Binds of Infertility. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001.

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Trans. Alan Sheridan. New York: Vintage Books, 1977.

If you�d like more information, you can e-mail me at amy.koerber@ttu.edu, or you can link to my current versions of the syllabus for both the online and the onsite sections of the course.

Sep 5, 2017