Texas Tech University

TCR grad courses, fall 2008

Distance Courses (section 270/1 or 370/1, ~6:00 – ~7:30 p.m.) [Descriptions below]

Course Title Instructor sections Dates
ENGL 5362 Rhetorical Analysis of Text Zdenek 270/370 Thursdays
ENGL 5363 Research Methods in TCR Rickly 270/370 Wednesdays
ENGL 5368 Theories of Argumentation Carter 270/370 Mondays
ENGL 5371 Foundations of Technical Communication Kimball 270/370 Tuesdays
ENGL 5377 Theoretical Approaches to Technical Communication: Writing Grants and Proposals Eaton 271/371 Wednesdays
ENGL 5386 Discourse and Social Issues: Online Communication: Identity, Technology, and Culture Still 271/371 Tuesdays

Note: All online students register for section 270 or 71 except non-Texas-resident online doctoral students, who register for section 370 or 71.

On-campus Courses [Descriptions below]

Course Instructor section Date-Time
ENGL 5060 History and Theory of College Composition Baake 001 TTh 12:30
ENGL 5060 History and Theory of College Composition Rickly 002 TTh 12:30
ENGL 5361 Theories of Invention Koerber 001 MW 2:00
ENGL 5363 Research Methods in TCR Eaton 001 TTh 11:00
ENGL 5371 Foundations of Technical Communication Baake 001 TTh 9:30
ENGL 5386 Discourse and Social Issues: Accessibility and Disability Issues Zdenek 001 TTh 2:00

All offerings from 1998 to the present are archived here.


English 5060: History and Theory of College Composition

English 5060 is a 1-3 variable credit course which provides an introduction to the history and contemporary theories of composition and rhetoric studies. The course begins from the premise that good teachers are reflective teachers, and good teachers of writing are reflective teachers of writing. Students examine and reflect on the development of the field of composition over the last 40 years, focusing on seminal articles that represent the discipline. Students study readings about integrating basic writing, service-learning, online writing, revision, research writing, proofreading and editing, portfolios, and assessment rubrics within the context of composition in general and TTU's composition program specifically. And just as the field of composition integrates new media tools in its construction, presentation, and assessment, so too will students in this course. http://richrice.com/5060

English 5361: Theories of Invention

English 5361 is a survey of rhetorical theories from the 5th Century B.C.E. to the present. As a survey course that aims for broad historical coverage, we will study how rhetoric has been theorized and practiced in each of the following periods: Classical, Medieval, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Nineteenth-Century, and Modern/Postmodern. For more information, you can visit the course website and log in as a guest (no password needed) at http://www.amykoerber.com/moodle. I'm still building the site, so check back frequently for updates.

English 5363: Research Methods in Composition and Technical Communication


English 5368: Studies in Written Argumentation

In this course we will examine theoretical and practical aspects of argumentation. Our emphasis will be on understanding the varied threads that have come together in the past 25 years to form somewhat of a recognizable field: Logic, Rhetoric, Dialectic. Since this course is being offered within a Technical Communication and Rhetoric program, we will focus the bulk of our attention to the rhetorical aspects of this field. In addition, we will examine the role of argumentation theory in our technological world. In broad terms, our reading and writing about argumentation theory will focus on the following four questions:

  • How is argumentation defined as a field of study?
  • What theoretical, historical, and philosophical perspectives influence the field?
  • What methods does the field value and use to produce knowledge?
  • What happens to the scope, effectiveness, and structure of argumentation as our society turns increasingly towards technology? Consider the web, cyberspace more generally, instant messenger technology, and so on.

Required Books

Bizell, Patricia, and Bruce Hertzberg. The Rhetorical Tradition : Readings from Classical Times to the Present, 2nd ed. St. Martin's, 2001.

van Eemeren, Frans H., Rob Grootendorst, and Tjark Kruiger. Fundamentals of Argumentation Theory : A Handbook of Historical Backgrounds and Contemporary Development. Erlbaum, 1996.

Course website: http://www.faculty.english.ttu.edu/carter/5368/

English 5371: Foundations of Technical Communication (Online)

ENGL 5371 will focus on theoretical and practical issues in technical communication, giving students a strong basis from which to continue their graduate studies and work in the profession. Students will read and write about theories, trends, and issues in the profession; explore the historical growth of technical communication; learn about research issues they might encounter in more depth later in their studies; and develop a stronger sense of professional identities and values.

Course rationale: Because the course is intended to give you an understanding of the profession, we'll focus on questions surrounding what the profession is. Is technical writing a product or a practice? A discipline or a profession? Where and how has it been and will it be formed? Where did it come from, and where is it going? To give some shape to this discussion, the course will be organized around six foci: definitions, histories, knowledge, power, sites, and values.

The course textbook is Johnson-Sheehan, Johndan, and Stuart Selber. Central Works in Technical Communication. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN: 0195157052.

We will meet for the first time in Kimball's Classroom in the MOO on 8/26/2008 from 6-7 pm CDT. If you have questions about the course, please contact the instructor by email at miles.kimball@ttu.edu

ENGL 5386 Accessibility and Disability

Accessibility is a central concern of technical communication instructors, practitioners, and scholars. Indeed, one way of defining technical communication is in terms of accessibility—i.e. the design of technologies and communication artifacts that are accessible to users. When we filter our understanding of accessibility through the diverse and growing body of literature in disability studies, our attention is drawn to the ways in which technologies both enable and disable, exclude and include, users and practices. When we design for the Web, for example, we may unconsciously activate a set of normative beliefs about how well or poorly people move, see, hear, think, learn, know, act, and use specific technologies.

Technical communication scholars have only recently begun to explore TC from a disability studies perspective. Moreover, graduate-level TC courses on disability studies are rare. As such, course readings will draw heavily on disability studies in order to provide course participants with a solid grounding in disability theory.


5386 Online Communication: Identity, Technology, and Culture

Open access to content and technology. Content and Learning Management Systems. RSS and Web 2.0. Online gaming as community, and a business and teaching tool. Virtual activism, electronic humanitarianism, hacktivism, and cyberterrorism. Online communities—structures and relationships. E-Democracy. E-Journals. Virtual identities.

The politics, the influences, the impact, the trends, the cultures, the discourses that surround, imbue, and that are product and producer of online communication are the focus of this special offering of 5386. We will examine in-depth online communication and the online identities and communities that manufacture such communication, live in the virtual worlds made by it, and shape (and continue to reshape) our offline world's understandings of identity, community, and the volatile, productive relationship between technology and culture.

Our readings will be wide-ranging but will lean heavily on online sources, such as First Monday and the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Students will maintain their own blog, contribute to discussion, prepare more than likely a presentation or some other “push” communication, as well as a more developed paper on a relevant topic informed by readings, discussions, proper analysis methods, and your own scholarly reflections.

TCR has fallen short of contributing adequately to discussion on this subject. For example, there are to date just 7 articles in ten years that discuss, even mention, open source software. We can lend informed voices to talks in the academy, and practices in the classroom and in industry, regarding online communication: identity, technology, and culture.

ENGL 5377 Grants and Proposal

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.

There is an on-site and an online section of the course, so I'm designing them to be interchangeable; students in the face-to-face section who need to travel occasionally can move into the online session and won't have to miss. I'm also planning that there will be a lot of interaction between the classes to get everyone's input and foster a lot of electronic working, which is common while writing grant applications.

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.

The syllabus and entire semester schedule for Grants and Proposals online can be found at angelaeaton.net.

The textbook is actually a popular press book which can be purchased from nearly any book store and on Amazon. Naturally, it will be in the Tech bookstore soon, but it will likely be more expensive there than other options (on Amazon right now it's 12.89).

ENGL 5362: Rhetorical Analysis of Text

ENGL 5362 provides a general introduction to methods of rhetorical criticism. The first half 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 way to a number of alternative methods. The second half of the course will cover a number of these methods/approaches -- situational, dramatic form criticism, 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 among 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 your own research projects. As such, the course aims to foster critical thinking about the relationships among rhetoric, texts, and society.

For a list of required books, please see the course website: http://cms.english.ttu.edu/zdenek/courses/spring-2008/engl-5362-spr08-rhetorical-analysis/

The book list and a few other important announcements have been posted to the course website: