Introduction to Rhetoric and Writing Studies
English 5309 is a comprehensive introduction to the discipline and sub-fields of Rhetoric and Writing Studies. It includes an overview of the field and discussion of various research methodologies including historiography, ethnography, case studies, administrator/teacher research, textual analysis, non-academic research, quantifying and experimenting, and electronic research. The course concludes with a discussion of issues related to research in the field.
English 5310 traces, explores, and investigates rhetorical concepts and theories from the Western tradition—Antiquity through the present. English 5310 is designed to help students trace important issues in the development of rhetoric and to familiarize them with on-going conversations between rhetoricians—both theorists and practitioners—across time.
This course begins with the question “What is Rhetoric?” or “What are Rhetorics?” There are many possibilities to this question and by the end of the course we begin to have some ideas
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Argument and Persuasion
English 5311 is a required course for the MA in Professional Writing and Rhetoric. In this course we will examine various theories of argument and persuasion from antiquity to the present and from a variety of standpoints such as identity, instruction, and technology. Students look at ways in which to analyze, evaluate, construct, and theorize about argumentative and persuasive discourse.
Among other benefits, this course helps students expand the horizons of their rhetorical studies, improve their ability to adapt written arguments and persuasive discourse to differing audiences in various contexts, as well as enable them to become a more effective teacher of argumentative writing.
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History of Rhetoric II
English 6311 chronologically and topically covers Western rhetorical theories and practices from 1700 to the present. Our goal is not a depth of knowledge (each of these figures and movements could easily be the focus of a seminar—if not a lifetime) but a breadth of rhetorical inquiry and knowledge throughout this time span. Although we will take special care to study “the big guys” we will also give equal importance to those whose rhetorical importance has lately come into being.
To begin the course, we will consider rhetorical historiography as a means to explore the ways history has been constructed, deconstructed, and reconstructed. These concerns will influence our discussions throughout the semester. By semester's end, we will both complicate and better understand the meanings of histories and of rhetorics, as well as trace various rhetorical concepts across time.
See the Borderland Rhetorics wiki created by the Spring 2007 PhD students.
Honors Composition 1312 Hybrid
Honors English 1312 Hybrid introduces students the specialized reading and writing skills that enable them to perform academic research on a variety of cross-curricular topics. From this research, they learn to construct rhetorically effective analytical reports and thesis-driven arguments that are clear and convincing.
The course is subtitled “Down in the West Texas Town of El Paso” because we have much to learn about your community. To that end, our analysis and writing focuses on issues in and surrounding El Paso. More specifically, we research and write about issues related to education on the border. To end the course, the final project is submitted to a local publication. The hope is that students will come away with a new understanding and appreciation of “where we are” and discover local issues that interest and engage them.
The class meets one day a week face-to-face and one day a week online.
Honors Composition 1312
The theme of Honors English
1312 is history. This is not to say that students memorize facts
and names; there are quizzes on the dates of the Italian Renaissance
or the names of Civil War heroes. Rather, students consider and examine
the ways in which history is rhetorical: the ways in which it is constructed,
analyzed, revised, and forgotten. Some areas of consideration include
autobiographical texts, visual presentations of the past, and revisionist
history. By the end of the semester, students appreciate how much of
history is caught up in everyday writing problems such as research,
invention, bias, style, argumentation, and revision. Writing projects
include close analyses of essays authors such as Gloria Anzaldua, Mary
Louise Pratt, and Patricia Limerick; examinations of ways history is
created in high art and popular culture; and the creation of personal
Writing About Literature
English 1313 is a research and writing course in the analysis
and interpretation of literature. While the focus is on writing as a
process, in this course, students read a variety of literary texts including
short fiction, poetry, and drama. Students write a variety of papers
including response, comparison, analysis, and criticism. The reading
list includes such authors as Amy Tan, Sherman Alexie, Tennessee Williams, Tobias Wolf,
and Zora Neale Hurston.
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English 3358, the special topics course on editing, covers what students
need to know about precise, clean, efficient writing. The class does
not just cover grammar and style--although there is much of that. Students
also discuss the connections between language and meaning, the role
of editors, and issues such as sexist language. Additionally, students
consider editors' concerns with document design, graphics, and online
Although students examine, consider, and remember a
number of "rules" for writing, one premise that the classs
starts with is that language is not an exact science. Rather, it is
a fluid, constantly changing form. This course helps students understand
that form--what creates it and what changes it--and provides students
with a framework of knowledge they can apply to their writing throughout
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Advanced Composition II
The focus of English 3366 is argumentation. Students analyze argumentation, consider its pervasive nature in our culture, locate examples of it (good and bad), and write arguments. One point that we emphasize early on is that argumentation can take various forms and does not fall easily into goal post positions. Additionally, we learn how to write clear, efficient prose—as well identify examples of not so clear or not quite efficient prose.
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