Writing for Scholarly Publication (Textual Rhetorics)
In Textual Rhetorics, students will explore and practice the primary textual genres within the disciplines of professional writing, rhetoric, and composition studies including abstracts, research articles, conference proposals and presentations, review articles, and more. As such, students will apply strategies of rhetorical, linguistic, and genre analyses, to interpret these genres and identify standard conventions and approaches, as well as practice deploying these strategies through drafts, peer review, workshopping, and revision.
Furthermore, as part of learning and practicing these academic genres, students will spend time reflecting upon their own scholarly interests, probing what niches and sub-fields within professional writing, rhetoric, and composition studies interest each class member. Part of this work will include analyzing and profiling scholarly journals and academic conferences, reviewing relevant academic publications, and writing for audiences within these scholarly interest area(s).
Finally, this course will introduce students to the logistics of academic writing including peer review, publishing, open access, the submission process, and other related topics. Course materials will include readings in writing studies, rhetoric, linguistics, communication, design, and information sciences.
Writing, Speaking, and Technoscience in the 21st Century
In 1959, English physicist C.P. Snow gave an influential lecture in which he identified two cultures within the modern university, Science and Humanities, and claimed that they not only speak different “languages,” but that they are growing so separate (due to divergent educations) that communication between them is difficult. While this divide still exists and reaches across both professional fields and society, professionals in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields will have to be able to bridge that divide in their professional lives, as they deal with a general public which mostly does not possess science literacy.
This course introduces students to the theories of science in society and approaches to science communication. Specific topics include the nature of wicked problems, ethics of emerging technologies, and communicating about science and technology within a range of contexts including professional, academic, and public domains.
Writing in the Health Sciences
As Western society grows increasingly intertwined with modern medicine, health and medical professionals require strong rhetorical skills in order to successfully interact with patients, caregivers, and fellow professionals, among others. Health professionals not only need medical, scientific and technical experience, but they need to have the tools and skills to communicate that information to a variety of audiences in a range of contexts. Writing in the Health Sciences, therefore, introduces students to rhetorical analysis as a framework for engaging with the diverse communication scenarios they may encounter as health professionals, in addition to introducing students to a variety of healthcare-related genres including letters, fact sheets, infographics, white papers, and reports.
Even more, writing in health and scientific contexts requires strong research, collaboration, and critical thinking skills; therefore, students will practice conducting scholarly research, examining a variety of sources (e.g., scholarly articles, patient blogs), testing their work through usability studies, and providing peer review feedback in small teams. As much as possible, this course provides opportunities for students to shape the assignments according to the knowledge, interests, and examples from their own career areas.
Professional and Technical Writing
This course is designed to equip students with the tools you will need to succeed in a variety of communication situations in their professional lives. Students will learn the foundations of rhetorical analysis as a way to approach both oral and written communication scenarios, in addition to gaining familiarity with a variety of professional and technical communication genres (including, but not limited to, reports, letters, proposals, and resumes) and document design strategies. As a part of this class community, students will also have the opportunity to develop project management, organizational, and collaboration skills, which are key to successful communication in any profession.
Because professional and technical communication practices often entail collaboration, this course will ask students to expand their view of writing to include the interactions through which students accomplish projects and writing goals with other people—for example, producing a formal report collaboratively often means multiple stakeholders need to agree upon tone, content, or format as a group. Students will apply this kind of book-learned awareness to real writing projects in order to gain experience in another area of collaborative work, revising and editing individual work and the work of others in order to meet professional standards. As much as possible, this course provides opportunities for students to shape the assignments according to the knowledge, interests, and examples from their own career areas.