Texas Tech University

TCR Graduate Courses

Spring 2007

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

Course Title Instructor Section Date
ENGL 5362 Rhetorical Analysis of Text Zdenek 270/370 Thursdays
ENGL 5377 Quantitative Methods of Research Eaton 270/370 Tuesdays
ENGL 5372 Technical Reports Baake 270/370 Wednesdays
ENGL 5373 Technical Manuals Barker 270/370 Mondays
ENGL 5387 Publication Management Baehr 270/370 Thursdays
ENGL 5389 Field Methods of Research Rickly 270/370 Wednesdays
ENGL 5390 Writing for Publication Lang 270/370 Tuesdays

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

On-site Courses [Descriptions below]

Course Instructor section Time
ENGL 5364 20th Century Rhetoric Kemp 001 Th 5:30-8:30
ENGL 5366 Teaching Technical Communication Kimball 001 TTh 2:00
ENGL 5377 Intercultural Communication St. Amant 001 TTh 9:30
ENGL 5385 Ethics in Technical Communication Dragga 001 TTh 3:30
ENGL 5387 Publication Management Baehr 001 TTh 11:00
ENGL 5388 Usability Testing and Research Still 001 TTh 12:30
ENGL 5389 Field Methods of Research Koerber 001 MW 2:00

All offerings from 1998 to the present are archived here.

Descriptions

ENGL 5362: Rhetorical Analysis of Text -- This course is designed as a general introduction to methods of rhetorical criticism. We'll start the course by considering the nature of rhetorical criticism, the scope of rhetoric, and some classical sources. The majority of the course will be organized by method. We'll start our tour with a discussion of traditional (classical) criticism and the revival of interest in rhetoric at the start of the 20th century. Other modern methods and tools of rhetorical criticism will follow—situational, dramatic form criticism, genre, content analysis, framing analysis, narrative criticism, fantasy-theme criticism, mythic perspective, 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 rhetorical situation; authorship and the second persona; intertextuality; how text and talk interact, visual rhetoric; and constitutive rhetoric.

By the end of the course, you 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.

Required books:

  • Bazerman, Charles & Paul Prior, EDS. (2004) What Writing Does and How it Does it: An Introduction to Analyzing Texts and Textual Practices. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN: 0805838066.
  • Black, Edwin. (1978) Rhetorical Criticism: A Study in Method. 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN: 0299075508 (hard cover) or 0299075540 (paper). Suggestion: Order a used copy of Black's book because new copies will take too long to arrive if you use Amazon. (Barnes & Noble only offers used copies anyway, and they are cheaper than Amazon's.) If you decide to order a new copy, make sure you can get it before school starts, because we will read Black's book very early in the semester. Please let me know immediately if you run into problems ordering this book.
  • Kuypers, Jim A., ed. (2005) The Art of Rhetorical Criticism. Boston: Pearson. ISBN: 0205371418.
  • Lakoff, George & Mark Johnson (2003) Metaphors We Live By. 2nd Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN: 0226468011.

ENGL 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:

  • Bizzell and Herzberg. The Rhetorical Tradition from Classical Times to the Present.
  • Berlin, James. Rhetoric and Reality: Writing Instruction in American Colleges, 1900-1985 (Studies in Writing and Rhetoric).
  • Richards and Berthoff. Richards on Rhetoric: Selected Essays (1929-1974).
  • Hobbs, Catherine. Rhetoric on the Margins of Modernity: Vico, Condillac, Mondobbo

Besides these texts, there will be a series of online readings and my own notes dealing with the subject.

The Bizzell, Berlin, and Berthoff books are somewhat standard for a study of 20th century rhetoric, but the Hobbs book may surprise some students of Rhetoric. She deals principally with 18th century thinkers, people who died fully 200 years before the period that we are studying. But Professor Hobbs' thesis about the origins of the rhetoric we will be studying is provocative and adds a new twist to the traditional assumption that modern rhetoric is an outgrowth of the work of the clerical neoclassicists, Blair, Campbell, and Whately.

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

ENGL 5366 (Teaching Technical Communication) 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.

English 5372 (Technical Reports) focuses on the work place documents that create knowledge and support decision-making—proposals and reports. Proposals seek approval or funding for a plan or activity. Reports provide information on the feasibility or progress of such activities, or on the status of scientific research. Proposals and reports emerge from real rhetorical situations or exigencies. They are examples of rhetorical genres, or strategies available for social action.

All writing in some way tells a story, and so it is with reports and proposals. A proposal from a social service agency seeking money to expand a program for the poor must tell the story of the people it hopes to serve. A report on a study of sub-atomic particles conducted by physicists using a particle accelerator tells the story of those particles, even though they exist only for nano seconds. Narrative is intrinsic to reports and proposals.

As is typical in any graduate technical writing class, we will approach this topic from a theoretical and applied perspective. We will analyze existing documents using rhetorical theory and we will produce reports and proposals based on primary and secondary research. At the end of the course each of you should be able to 1) display skills in writing and reading reports and proposals; 2) display understanding of the theoretical choices we make as practitioners of this kind of writing; 3) display an understanding of how reports and proposals contribute to the discourse of an organization, company, and geographic region; 4) contribute to the body of knowledge about reports and proposals

ENGL 5373 (Technical Manuals) covers the management and production of forms of print and online manuals, including software and hardware manuals, instructions, and performance support. Students will learn how to manage projects, and how to address issues of user analysis, text design, graphics design, task orientation, and translation. Class activities will include exercises and presentations focused on student project work and examples. The main assignment in the course is a single-sourced solution to a documentation project focused on a software application.

Textbook: Barker, Writing Software Documentation, Second Edition, 2003, Course Pack of selected articles available through the TTU Library E-Reserve.

ENGL 5377 (Intercultural Communication)--Through lectures, discussions, in-class exercises, and graded assignments, students will gain an understanding of how culture can affect presentation styles and expectations.  This multi-part approach will help students understand foundational concepts in intercultural communication, acquire the skills needed to communicate with members of other cultures, and learn how to apply their knowledge and skills in the design of materials for audiences form different cultures.  In particular, students will

  • Gain a foundational understanding of intercultural communication concepts and theories.
  • Familiarize themselves with major researchers and theorists in intercultural communication.
  • Learn key terms and practices related to translation, localization, and writing for translation.
  • Develop an understanding of how to conduct both cross-cultural research and research in intercultural technical communication.
  • Learn how to use knowledge of cultural communication expectations and theories to evaluate, edit, and design materials for various cultural audiences.
  • Understand how to use different genres to share information and ideas about intercultural communication with clients, employers, and colleagues in academia and industry.
  • Learn how to develop cross-cultural communication plans, practices, and strategies for academic and industry situations.

ENGL 5377.270(.370) is a special topics course taught as "Quantitative 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 forms, 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 studies of various purposes and lengths to practice these skills.

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

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/5385-001.html

Texts:

  • Dombrowski, Paul. Ethics in Technical Communication (Allyn & Bacon, 2000)
  • Herrington, TyAnna K. A Legal Primer for the Digital Age (Pearson Longman, 2003)

journal articles on e-reserve

ENGL 5387: Publications Management --This course will cover strategies of managing processes and knowledge that support the document publication process in a professional setting.  Specifically, work assignments will involve working with forms of print and online documentation, including static and dynamic Web sites.  Our work will involve many key issues in managing publication projects, including the process maturity model, content models and units, developing project plans, tracking systems, project standards, single-sourcing strategies, and methods of tracking and assessment.  Your work for the course will involve 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%)

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. Each student will create an annotated bibliography concerning an aspect of these methods. Using one of these methods, each student will conduct a small-scale study and report findings. Students will also lead a class discussion concerning an issue associated with field methods in TCR.

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.

ENGL 5390 (Writing for Publication) -- This course is designed to teach students how to write clear and effective scholarly articles for professional journals in their field. We will accomplish this through intensive study and practice of the rhetorical strategies of invention, arrangement, style, and delivery. We will examine publication resources in a variety of fields, submission requirements, review and publication processes of journals, and legal and ethical responsibilities of authors. We will also examine various elements of the writing process of single-authored and collaborative texts.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify, discuss, and analyze various rhetorical strategies and elements of the writing process
  • Critically read published work in their fields and compose thoughtful, constructive commentary on those works
  • Identify and analyze publication venues in their fields and articulate different requirements of those venues
  • Identify and implement appropriate writing strategies for composing works for different publication venues

The expected learning outcomes for the course will be assessed through:

In-Class Application Activities, Weekly Reading Responses, Comparative Analysis of Journals and Articles, Research Project, Class Discussions

Thyer, Bruce. Successful Publishing in Scholarly Journals. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 1994. ISBN: 0-8039-4837-9 (paperback)

Huff, Anne. Writing for Scholarly Publication. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 1999. ISBN: 0-7619-1804-3 (cloth); 0-7619-1805-1 (paperback)

Williams, Joseph. Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. ISBN: 032128831-9 (paperback)