Graduate Courses | Undergraduate Courses

Graduate Courses

501 Introduction to Professional Writing and Rhetoric
Provides historical and theoretical background in professional writing and editing in a seminar format. Explores professional writing's emergence as field of scholarship and practice, emphasizes the relationships between rhetorical theories and practice, and introduces students to bibliographic research in the field. [NB: Only offered in Fall semester]

502 Research Methods in Rhetoric and Writing
Introduces theory, methods and ethics of conducting research in rhetoric and professional writing. Students learn to conduct and evaluate research that may include rhetorical analysis, discourse analysis, historical methods, ethnography, user-centered design, document and usability testing, and others. [NB: Only offered in Spring semester]

503 Theory and Practice of Editing
Instruction in revising, editing, and preparing specialized writing for printing. Emphasizes methods of achieving clarity, accuracy, and completeness. Lecture and discussion on editing and printing techniques; practical exercise in revision, layout, and production.

504 Internship
Open to senior English majors, and graduate students pursuing MA in English or MFA. Contact English Department one semester before enrolling. Variable credit and prerequisites. Approved work-study positions in writing or editing established by department with specific employers.

505 Document Design
Theory and practice of using computer programs to design and produce publications including brochures, fliers, newsletters, and small magazines. Includes readings, writing papers, and producing and editing copy and original publications. Depending on the instructor, the focus of the course may be on document design for print publications or design of web-based publications.

506 Research for Narrative Writing
Prerequisite: ENGL 565 or 566, or permission of instructor. Combines study of basic research tools with field work and writing workshop experience. Helps students develop techniques and skills necessary for writing a research-dependent project of sufficient complexity to be of book or long essay length. Emphasis on finding story behind facts, using material from numerous sources.

507 Web Authoring and Design
Provides a rhetorical foundation for web authoring and design in professional settings. Students will learn basic principles of writing for the web, information architecture, coding for accessibility, and usability testing. The production-oriented component of the course provides instruction in writing valid code and practice with web- and graphic-editing software tools. (Cross-listed with ENG 342)

508 Digital Rhetoric
Provides an examination of major works on digital rhetoric and digital media framed by contemporary rhetorical theories that inform the emergent field of digital rhetoric. Coursework includes projects that engage in the design, analysis, and assessment of digital media.

565 Forms of Nonfiction
Prerequisites: ENGL 489 or equivalent, and permission of instructor, except for MA and MFA candidates in English. Intensive study of and practice in various forms of nonfiction writing through analyzing models and weekly writing assignments. Includes biographies, documentaries, editorials, interviews, reports, reviews, and essays. [NB: Only offered for non-MFA students in Spring semesters.]

611 Studies in Rhetoric
Reading and discussion of several major texts that address patterns of discourse, communication, and other issues of rhetoric. Content varies. Recent offerings include 20th century rhetoric, collaborative writing, and computers and rhetoric. May be repeated for credit with permission of department.

612 Cultures of Professional Writing
Students work as ethnographers, studying selected sites where people write professionally, and analyzing ways production and reception of writing contribute to and result from local culture of each site. Lecture and workshop format.

613 Technical Communication
Intensive study of theory and practice of technical and scientific writing, with emphasis on writing for variety of audiences. Focuses on writing and evaluating formal reports, articles for lay and technical audiences, proposals, theses, manuals, and other forms of technical prose.

615 Proseminar in Composition Intsruction
Methods of teaching expository writing. Includes consideration of planning courses, practice in teaching and grading papers, and study of recent developments in teaching writing.

697 Composition Theory
Acquaints classroom teachers with theory relating to writing and teaching composition. Focuses on explaining theories of participants, reading works of leading theorists, and developing statement describing implications of theoretical consistency in teaching writing.

797 Projects in Professional Writing and Rhetoric
Focuses on completing a capstone project guided by the instructor and a faculty consultant. Students should reflect on the theories and methods learned in previous course work and apply them to a concrete rhetorical situation to produce a professional-quality project, and be able to explain and justify the rhetorical decisions made in producing it. Primary audiences may be located in the professional workplace or the discipline of rhetoric and professional writing. Class sessions will be conducted as seminars, with discussion centering on the progress and problems of researching, designing, developing, and presenting the project. [NB: Only offered in Spring semester]

Undergraduate Courses

Note: Course numbers have been changed starting Fall 2011. Old course numbers appear in parentheses after the course title. The course prefix has also changed from ENGL to ENGH.

375 Web Authoring and Design (342)
Provides a rhetorical foundation for web authoring and design in professional settings. Students will learn basic principles of writing for the web, information architecture, coding for accessibility, and usability testing. The production-oriented component of the course provides instruction in writing valid code and practice with web- and graphic-editing software tools.

376 Rhetoric and New Media (343)
Critical understanding and practice of new media in a variety of public rhetorical genres such as social networking, blogging, microblogging, social bookmarking, and digital video. Instructs students in rhetorics of new media, including invention, identification, persuasion, and the complexity of global audiences. Such technology-enriched activities present the complex circulation of words, images, word-as-image, and kinetic text in networked settings.

380 Introduction to Writing and Rhetoric
Introduces students to advanced strategies for writing academic, professional, and civic documents. Develops expository, persuasive, organizational, and stylistic skills through analysis of rhetorical situations and understanding of the features and approaches of successful writing. Students develop a significant informational or argumentative writing project related to their major field, profession, or area of interest.

382 Writing Nonfiction Genres (309)
Intensive introduction to various genres common in nonfiction, such as feature story, essay, profile, memoir, and review. Workshop course; may include reading assignments. Notes: Not to be taken concurrently with ENGL 486, and not to be taken by students who have taken ENGL 486.

384 Writing Ethnography (311)
Study and practice of ethnographic writing. Students conduct ethnographic investigations and practice journal keeping, field note recording, interviewing, transcription, and interpretation. Includes introduction to current issues in ethnographic writing.

386 Editing for Audience, Style, and Voice (392)
An introduction to the many skills associated with textual editing. Students will examine a range of approaches to editing within particular rhetorical contexts. While attention will be paid to the details of close copyediting and some principles of design, the course will also explore the situated negotiations editors face as they solicit, select, and comment on texts, as they communicate with authors, and as they prepare texts for publication—and the negotiations authors face as they submit and revise work in response to editorial expectations and commentary.

388 Professional and Technical Writing (410)
Intensive study and practice in various forms of technical writing, including formal and informal reports, proposals, and technical correspondence. Emphasizes writing for variety of audiences, both lay and informed, and writing within various professional and organizational contexts.

486 Writing Nonfiction for Publication (489)
Workshop course that focuses on intensive practice in advanced nonfiction writing and emphasizes writing for publication. Prerequisites: ENGL 382 or permission of instructor.

488 Topics in Writing and Rhetoric (496)
Advanced studies in rhetoric and writing that will examine various aspects of production, distribution, and reception of texts in a variety of contexts. Topics may include the relationship between rhetorics and poetics, rhetoric and new media, histories of rhetoric, argument theory, discourse analysis, theories of technical communication, or advanced theories of composition and pedagogy. May be repeated once for credit when subtitle is different, with permission of department.

459 Internship (498)
Under supervision of a faculty advisor, students work as interns with a site supervisor in an agency of the student's choosing, with advisor's permission. Prerequisites: English majors: 60 credits, including 3 credits of 100-level English courses; 3 credits of English 302; and 12 credits of other English courses, 6 of which must be upper-level (300 - 400) courses. Non-English majors: 60 credits, including 3 credits of 100-level English courses; 3 credits of English 302; 9 credits of other English courses, 3 of which must be upper-level (300 - 400) courses; and 3 credits of upper-level courses in the major. Notes: Approved internship positions at specific sites. For 3 credits, students work 120 hours on site and write 3,500 words, or the equivalent, given contract with advisor. Contact the English department the semester prior to enrollment. No more than 3 credits can be counted in concentration or English minor. May be repeated once with permission of department.

PWR Contacts

  • Contact: BA concentration in W+R & MA concentration in PWR: Douglas Eyman, deyman@gmu.edu