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The following courses are required of all freshman students and must be completed during their freshman year:

  • CORE 1010 - Freshman Seminar (3 credits), taken in the first semester. Students focus on one of the following themes their CORE 1010 class.
  • RHET 1010 - Freshman Writing (3 credits), taken in tandem with the CORE 1010 course during the same semester.
  • RHET 1020 - Research Writing (3 credits), taken in the semester immediately after passing RHET 1010.

The following courses may be taken as part of the Writing Minor or as electives or Core requirements. Students who wish to take these courses must have at least completed             RHET 1020 or its equivalent (3 cr.) as a prerequisite.

RHET 225/3220 Public Speaking
This course is designed to train students in the craft and practice of public address, focusing on the composition of well-researched speeches and their delivery. Students learn techniques of presentation and speech writing to address a specific rhetorical situation. Through a variety of instructional strategies - discussion, class workshops, readings, written analyses, and presentations - students learn the processes by which effective and coherent speeches are conceived, prepared, and delivered. Students prepare an informative speech on a critically-analyzed topic, a well-reasoned persuasive speech on a complex social issue, a special-occasion speech that integrates diverse fields of knowledge, and multiple other exercises that hone their public speech construction and delivery. Students also practice methods of analytic and constructive peer evaluation, as well as self-evaluation of their videotaped speeches. For a sample syllabus please click here.  


RHET 310/3310 Discourse and Power

This course reveals the power of words and what lies behind them. How can language be used to empower or disempower? Who controls the conversation? Students explore how discourse is constructed and how it maintains complex relations of power. As they develop strategies to become more articulate, confident and persuasive writers, students critically analyze various discourse resources - textual, aural and visual - for their intellectual, social and political power dimensions. The course guides students through key readings in rhetorical theory to provide a foundational knowledge of major questions, concepts, and debates in the field. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 320/3210 Business Communication

Today’s globalized and highly competitive world requires businesses, organizations, and individuals to excel in effective communication. This course focuses on helping students to master methods of persuasion that business professionals and administrators of organizations need. Students learn about and analyze various types of correspondences and documents to produce effective and appropriate business documents for professional and public audiences. They conduct research on real-life topics and present findings in the form of proposals, formal reports, and presentations. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 321/3230 Technical Communication
This course develops the knowledge and skills to produce documents that meet professional and ethical standards required by technical fields such as Engineering and the Sciences. Throughout the course, students will analyze and discuss the context, audience, and conventions specific to technical communication. They learn how to produce documents in diverse genres, including proposals and formal reports.
 For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 322/3320 Writing in the Social Sciences
This course is designed for students who want to develop the writing and critical thinking skills acquired in the 1000-level courses to produce more advanced discipline-specific academic and public writing in the social sciences. The course may be theme-based, with each student approaching the theme from a perspective appropriate to his/her discipline, and abiding by the style and conventions of the particular discipline. Course readings and discussions allow students to explore social phenomena, adding valuable research to the existing body of knowledge, and stimulating public interest and action. For the generic syllabus please click here.


RHET 323/3330 Words that Change the World

Which words have had the greatest impact on people? What theories inform the works of authors, artists, and filmmakers? Do the arts have an intrinsic value, or are they related to and serve a purpose in the wider world? Words that Change the World examines those questions by engaging students in contemporary discourse in the liberal arts. Students employ critical reading strategies for the analysis and discussion of key texts that have had an impact on the practice and conceptual understanding of the humanities and fine arts. Through art, photography, cinema, history, dance, architecture, and other modes of expression from countries and cultures around the globe, students critically explore these thematic connections and engage in contextualized arguments. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 325/3340 - Making Your Case: The Art of Persuasion

This course immerses students in the study of argumentation in the humanities and social sciences (philosophy, law, rhetoric, journalism, and politics). It offers an overview and comparison of its theory, structure, mechanisms, and practice. By approaching the argument in a systematic fashion, students will be introduced to instruments for identifying differences of opinion, analyzing and evaluating the argument, researching theory, and presenting coherent arguments in oral and written discourse.


RHET 330/3350 - Writing and Cognition: The Mind and the Machine

This course explores the invention and reinvention of writing over time. Students look at the social and personal uses of writing, consider what writing makes possible, and the ways we take it for granted in daily life. By exploring different forms of writing, students experiment with writing and research the different methods adopted by scientists and authors from different cultures, to gain new perspectives. By looking at the relationship between thought and language, the course surveys the ways written expression has been used as a tool for reconstructing perception, memory, and self in society. It also employs writing to explore and analyze complex issues in today’s rapidly changing world. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 332/3240 - Principles of Mediation and Negotiation

In today’s world, conflict resolution and negotiation skills can be invaluable for the success of individuals and organizations. This course equips students with the interpersonal skills needed to create solutions for common mediation and negotiation situations. A student will learn active listening, problem-solving, relational maintenance, and problem-solution presentation skills. Students will also learn the interpersonal skills necessary for third-party facilitation and mediation in contexts of business and community dispute.


RHET 334/3250 - Digital Rhetoric

This is a course in the rhetorical analysis of the increasingly important genres that comprise the practices of E-Writing, including blogging, wiki-development, networked writing, hypertext, and social networking. The course offers students an opportunity to work within various online contexts, with attention to their evolving conventions, textual features, the relationship between discourse and social practice, and the importance of medium in terms of opportunities and constraints offered. Students analyze and write about the social and cultural implications of developments in electronic literacy. Assignments involve the critique and construction of texts using new media tools and the exploration of how communication practices, notions of audience, elements of argument, narrative and meaning-making are enriched and complicated by the new possibilities of a global, digital environment. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 340/3120 - Life Narratives

This reading-intensive course will familiarize students with writing in the genres of ‘life writing’. Students learn to write critical reviews of classic and contemporary memoirs, confessions, letters, diaries, and visual portraits as well as autobiographies and biographies, through key themes of self, identity, secrets, truth, inheritance, and ethics. The course will consider how critical examinations of new paradigms that consider the 'self' are expressed through writing. The course invites discussion about the social and cultural uses of life writing, from legal testimony to medical case history, and the pervasive ethical dilemmas that arise. In addition, using a variety of texts, the course explores the tensions between local identities rooted in culture, history, and language, and global, trans-national identities, driven by the pressures of the modern interconnected world. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 341/3130 - Travel Writing

In this course, students will become familiar with the genre of travel writing, the history, politics, and economics of place, and how these influence culture. Through various reading, writing, and travel experiences, students will gain an understanding of themselves vis a vis the Other and develop an appreciation of how travel can transform the self. They will learn how to respond critically to travel narratives, identify credible sources to inform their writing, make original observations, and modify perspective to compose alternative texts. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 342/3140 - Writing Children’s Literature

Students in this course will assess and write works of fiction and nonfiction addressing children through different media (picture books, plays, short stories, novellas). Students will explore who writes and illustrates for children and why, and the language used to address children during different stages. They will engage in projects to entertain children, while providing indirect instruction, and produce written works for organizations that serve the needs of children. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 345/3110 - The Writer’s Workshop

This course offers students a unique opportunity to learn the fundamentals of nonfiction writing and to grow as critics, both on the page and in the classroom. Students engage life questions in a number of personal contexts, reflecting upon their places as individuals within the larger contexts of family, country, and/or region. They also practice writing formal critiques of peers’ narratives and participate in class workshop discussions. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 380/3150 - Poetry Writing

This workshop-based course encourages students to explore their ideas through the language and imagery of poetry. Students will experiment with rhythm, rhyme, modes of discourse and poetic form. Throughout the course, they will examine the work of poets from diverse traditions, and the impact of their own expression. In a final portfolio, students will show careful analytical thinking about their work and consideration for how their poems are situated in the larger literary and cultural context. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 390/3160 - Fiction Writing

This course focuses on the craft and discipline of fiction writing. Students study writers in the Arab and Western literary tradition, and from that study, they learn the fundamentals of rhetorical and literary strategies in fiction, understand how to transform small ideas from daily life into fiction, consider how their cultural background affects how they tell stories, and develop a broadened familiarity with cultures different from their own. Students will also learn how to critique other students’ stories in workshops, and how to revise and develop their own work. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 400/4360 - Writing for Publication

This course develops the skills to produce effective articles and presentations with a focus on journal submission requirements, journal review, and publication processes. It provides training in the integration of information technology for presentations, and in primary and secondary research methods. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 410/4260 - Writing for Project Funding

Grant writing skills may be used for fundraising, applying for scholarships and fellowships, starting new businesses, securing research and conference grants, and acquiring funding for the cultural, non-profit and non-governmental sectors. This course develops the skills of effective fund-seeking and proposal writing through a step by step service-learning activity, where students learn how to access donor funds to meet the needs of local non-profit organizations. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 450/4160 - Imagining the Book

Students in this course will propose and then initiate the writing of a book-length manuscript. Each student will design and generate a different project. Manuscripts, therefore, may span across genres (i.e., a group of personal narratives or short stories, a novel, a book of poetry, a collection of critical and/or academic essays, etc.) offering students the opportunity to respond to a variety of texts as they develop. Class workshops and various forms of analysis will allow for the building as well as refining projects. Students in a number of writing contexts and disciplines, as well as those in the Writing Minor, are encouraged to take this capstone course. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 480/4270 - Research and Writing Internship

This capstone course provides students with an applied, real-world writing experience that helps them transition smoothly from academic writing to work-place writing, and prepares them for the job market. The students may produce a variety of writing and editing work - manuals and tutorials, research papers, news articles, grant applications, reports, letters, policy documents, promotional brochures, creative works, book reviews or other materials as required by the internship. At the end of the semester, students have issued a letter acknowledging their participation in an unpaid, credit-bearing internship. For a sample syllabus please click here.


RHET 490/4280 - Advanced Scientific and Technical Writing

This course strengthens and refines advanced scientific and technical communication skills for both academic and professional non-academic environments. Students develop capstone level proficiency in organizing, refining and formatting scientific reports, senior theses, articles for publication in scientific journals, and technical reports for the workplace. In addition, students build on basic oral and visual presentation skills acquired at the 300 level, in order to improve their performance in the oral defense of their theses in their science and engineering majors and acquire greater competitiveness in the job market.

 Selected Topics and Independent Study
(Depending on the topic, these courses may fit in any of the above emphasis areas.)


  • RHET 299/2099 - Selected Topics (3 credits)  
  • RHET 399/3099 - Selected Topics - Advanced Style (3 credits)
  • RHET 460/4060 - Independent Study (1-3 credits


Click here for a link to the current AUC Catalog

"Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry." 

W.B. Yeats