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Courses

 

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.  

 

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • employ strategies of effective delivery for various purposes
  • compose message with well-supported ideas for analysis, persuasion, and advocacy purposes
  • document sources appropriately, both in spoken and written material
  • demonstrate a clear understanding of the rhetorical situation (purpose, audience, occasion, context, medium)
  • address public issues of importance using thoroughly-researched argument
  • critically evaluate the rhetorical and delivery techniques employed by other speakers

 

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.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • critically read and engage with a number of texts that inform the contemporary rhetorical episteme 
  • demonstrate an understanding of and ability to apply these constructs by writing a thoughtful researched text on a focused topic 
  • work in groups to present a well­-researched presentation on the theories and applications of these constructs

 

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.

 

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • shape business messages for multiple audiences in various professional situations
  • convey messages that demonstrate clarity and precision, audience awareness, you-attitude, positive emphasis, and goodwill building
  • synthesize information, question assumptions, recognize and avoid logical flaws, and evaluate arguments and proposals
  • work collaboratively, making insightful and tactful evaluations of others’ performance
  • use IT to research, share and communicate messages in digital environments
  • deliver a formal oral presentation, using multi-media aids

     

    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.

     

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • analyze documents for professionalism and success in achieving rhetorical and workplace objectives
  • compose formal reports of a professional nature: progress, field, lab (according to situation present themselves competitively for specific professional positions with an updated CV and experience in interviewing
  • follow proper procedures to collect primary source data
  • draft a formal proposal with technical and price components, front matter and end matter
  • ·orally defend research project findings to a professional audience

     

    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.

     

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • show how context, audience and purpose interact in the reception and creation of various texts
  • analyze, review and critique professional writing in the social sciences
  • conduct research, applying the procedures, constraints, ethics and conventions of research in the social sciences
  • generate an article for potential publication, complete with prospectus, abstract and bibliography
  • deliver a focused and audience-sensitive oral presentation
  • where appropriate, engage in community-based learning to foster public awareness of a social issue

     

    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.

     

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • show how work produced in the humanities, regardless of its form, positions itself either against or in line with a seminal work
  • engage the interplay between different fields of the humanities
  • critique arguments and language of a text within its political, historical and economic milieu
  • position their arguments within current discourse of the humanities
  • construct research articles that align with the conventions of various genres in the humanities  

     

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

    This course immerses students in the study of argumentation in the humanities. 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.

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • identify and analyze the structure of arguments, either implicit or explicit, in terms of purpose, motive, and method
  • integrate and take a position on broad and narrow theories of argument within their written work
  • effectively employ the jargon of argument theories and components in their analysis
  • identify faulty reasoning in published works and provide an explanation of why a valid conclusion cannot be derived from the reasons provided
  • produce cogent arguments in both oral and written mode
  •  

     

    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.

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • analyze the relationship between writing and cognition
  • conduct experiments that test the validity of claims about writing and cognition
  • write collaboratively with classmates
  • present original research and respond productively to peers as research colleagues

     

    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.

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • perform effectively in the composition and oral delivery of sales/client presentations, proposals, convention addresses, job bids, dispute resolution
  •  

  • employ successful argument strategies in conducting meetings, negotiation and bargaining situations, and conflict mediation situations
  • develop rapport and trust
  •  

     

    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.

     

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • identify and analyze the characteristics of various forms of E-Writing
  • apply knowledge of rhetorical situations and theory to digital environments
  • use a variety of tools and environments to produce effective E-Writing
  • perform genre-specific rhetorical analyses of electronic texts and other forms of digital writing
  • analyze and write about the social and cultural implications of various developments in electronic literacy
  • create original works that make effective use of digital tools and environments, and demonstrate an understanding of media effects as well as audience, context, and other rhetorical and stylistic elements

     

    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.

     

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • read seminal and main works and approaches on cultural memory
  • develop a critical understanding of the social frameworks of memory
  • compare the weaknesses and strengths of different cultural instruments in shaping cultural memory
  • analyze how societies approach the past under the shadow of their particular patterns of memory storage and transmission
  • evaluate theoretical approaches to understand current practices of cultural memory, collective remembering and amnesia
  • demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, an advanced capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose in essay-writing and other written work
  • demonstrate advanced proficiency in information retrieval and analysis through research for seminars and essays

     

    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.

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • read, analyze and evaluate a variety of travel writing texts
  • critically respond to travel writing through a blog
  • make original and insightful observations based on their experiences
  • write, in a variety of genre, clear, coherent and well-informed travel essays
  • utilize various rhetorical strategies, and techniques that make writing appealing to the audience
  • identify markets for sale and publication of travel writing essays
  • approach a topic from different perspectives to produce alternate narratives
  • critically review the drafts of their peers
  •  

     

    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.

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • research and evaluate sources, including children’s works, for background material
  • analyze the structure and conventions of different genres
  • compose texts of different genres (poems, short stories, TV programs, etc) to instruct and entertain
  • write to different audiences of children (different cultures, needs, gender, age groups)
  • employ effective arguments and presentation skills to address sensitive issues
  • employ multi-media to deliver an oral presentation in a specific rhetorical situation
  • demonstrate self and peer evaluation skills
  • demonstrate understanding of the phases of research, proposal, writing, and revision
  • participate in CBL activities that relate to children’s literature or child literacy
  • critically reflect on their experiences and interactions with the community
  •  

     

    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.

     

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • analyze and evaluate personal narratives and memoirs
  • understand how personal and cultural context can impact narrative
  • identify various rhetorical strategies in narrative: point of view, scene, dialogue, description, character and voice
  • identify ideas of memories and develop into structured narratives, using rhetorical strategies
  • give constructive feedback to their peers in a workshop situation
  • revise drafts based on teacher and peer feedback

     

    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.

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • demonstrate sophisticated language use through a body of poems  
  • demonstrate clear understanding of poetic devices in writing
  • analyze the use of poetic devices within and across cultures
  • analyze the rhetorical impact of selected Western and Middle Eastern poetry  

     

    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.

     

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • analyze and evaluate a variety of fictional texts  
  • understand how cultural context can impact rhetorical techniques in storytelling
  • identify various rhetorical strategies in fiction: point of view, setting, plot, dialogue, description and character
  • write fully developed fictional narratives that engage readers  

     

    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.

     

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • provide evaluative analysis of relevant journals in their disciplinary fields
  • follow the academic/scholarly submission and review process
  • identify differences in the publication process for books, scholarly articles and non-specialized journals
  • understand the conventions, expectations and limitations of the different methodologies employed in the disciplines
  • critique and edit own writing and the writing of others
  • complete a mock “blind” review of an article, which critiques content, style, types of evidence and form
  • employ audience-sensitive strategies, disciplinary conventions and methodologies to respond to multiple cultural and discourse contexts
  • apply ethical standards and demonstrate social responsibility throughout process of writing and publication.

     

    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.

     

    Learning outcomes:

    By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

    • work collaboratively with a community partner to align project priorities and objectives
    • identify appropriate grant-funding sources for the project
    • read Requests For Proposals and evaluate projects for eligibility
    • compose donor-tailored proposals, employing appropriate rhetorical strategies and conventions, and abiding by relevant ethics
    • demonstrate the skills of critical thinking, teamwork, interpersonal communication and goal-setting
    • present proposal to the stakeholders and integrate feedback

       

       

      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.

      Learning outcomes:

      By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • complete a substantial portion of a manuscript (i.e., 2-3 chapters or essays)
  • complete a detailed proposal for the entire manuscript
  • analyze the conventions and ethical concerns articulated in certain genres
  • apply analysis of genre conventions to peers’ manuscripts and proposals

 

 

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.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • customize writing to address a job-specific rhetorical situation and organization textual conventions
  • generate writing-upon-demand
  • demonstrate professional communication in the oral mode
  • demonstrate professional skills of research, analysis, argument and documentation
  • engage in critical analysis and discussion of issues related to applied rhetoric, theories of workplace writing, cross-cultural differences in job-related communication
  • commit to all aspects of the job requirements and responsibilities
  • establish rapport with co-workers, supervisors and class peers
  • understand professional ethics/integrity and their application in practice

 

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.

 

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • recognize and acquire stylistic elements particular to the rhetoric of scientific literature reviews, abstracts, introductions, methods, results and discussion sections of scientific and engineering publications.
  • write professional genre-specific academic text, including scientific literature reviews, abstracts, introductions, methods, results and discussion sections for senior reports for courses in the major.
  • master the use of appropriate, clear and simple language as used  on-line help files for software packages   (CS specific)
  • master professional oral and visual presentation skills required in senior project courses in the major.
  • produce, layout, and format complex graphic designs for presentations and reports.
  • successfully collaborate with colleagues on producing complex written documents and oral presentations            
  • enhance professional responsibility through acknowledging the work of others, accurately citing and documenting in writing, speech, and visual representations.
  • produce documents required of entry level scientists and engineers in the workplace, such as inspection reports, visit reports, field reports, progress reports.
  • develop professional, audience- and culture-sensitive, user manuals.
  • write letters or deliver oral presentations for the workplace that explain complex technical information to non-technical clients or senior management.

 

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

  • RHET 396/3096 - Selected Topics in Global Studies
  • RHET 397/3097 - Selected Topics in Arab World Studies
  • RHET 399/3099 - Selected Topics in the Humanities
  • 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