Department of Writing and Rhetoric

O'Dowd Hall, Room 378
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2746
fax: (248) 370-2748

featured_classes

Featured Classes

Fall 2021

WRT 2060: Introduction to Writing Studies

What does it mean to study and practice writing? What goals can be accomplished through writing in private, public, professional and academic contexts? What assumptions inform these writing goals? What are some affordances and limitations of writing in digital environments? These are some questions that WRT 2060 will explore. In this online course, you will join the conversation about the academic discipline of writing studies. You will read and discuss historical and contemporary theories and issues in writing studies and conduct primary research that contributes to how writing studies scholars understand and practice writing.

Please contact Dr. Felicita Arzu Carmichael, carmichael@oakland.edu, for more information about this course. 

Course format: fully online (with synchronous online meetings Thursdays 10:00-11:47 AM)

WRT 3010: Issues in Writing and Rhetoric

While many people assume that writing is simply a means of communication, this course will take a closer look at the act and art of writing itself. Together, we will discuss theories on how writing is taught and learned, how sociopolitical issues affect writing, and much more.

Please contact Dr. Roger Chao (rogerchao@oakland.edu) for more information about this course. 

Course format: hybrid (with in-person meetings Mondays 10:40-11:47 AM)

WRT 3020: History of Rhetoric

What is rhetoric? What does it do? How and why should it be taught (or not)? In Fall 2021, we will explore these questions in WRT 3020: History of Rhetoric. This writing intensive course will introduce you to influential people who studied and taught rhetoric across several historical periods and cultures, from ancient Greece to contemporary America. We will trace how rhetoric has adapted to – and contributed to – major changes in society, as well as how professional and digital writing today is influenced by rhetorical practices and concepts from the past.

This fully online class has been designed to be collaborative and interactive. Every Thursday from 3:00-4:47 p.m., we will meet in Zoom so that we can work through the readings together, workshop drafts of your papers, and share individual and group multimodal projects to explore how rhetoric functions in areas of particular interest to the members of the class.

Please contact Dr. Elizabeth Allan (allan@oakland.edu) for more information about this course. 

Course format: fully online (with synchronous online meetings Thursdays 3:00-4:47 PM)

WRT 3071: Podcasting

In this course, we will examine and explore podcasting as a form of writing, tuning our ears and bodies to the voices and sounds around us. Sound is one mode of expression that today’s writers have at their disposal, and digital tools are making it easier to write with sound. Podcast listenership is also on the rise, and composing with sound is a growing sub-field of Rhetoric and Writing studies. Students in this course will listen and respond to popular podcasts, read about and practice professional audio storytelling techniques (for example, interviewing, sound editing, and music design), and compose oral histories and a three-episode podcast series in teams.


Please contact Dr. Crystal VanKooten (vankooten@oakland.edu) for more information about this course. 

Course format: hybrid (with in-person meetings Mondays 12:00-1:07 PM)

WRT 3083: Editing

Do you aspire to be an editor or a better writer? If you do, then register for WRT 3082: Editing this fall! Using a rhetorical approach to editing, this class teaches the fundamentals of technical editing, from proofreading for errors at the surface to ensuring that the document contains appropriate content, organization, and visuals for its audiences. You will perform comprehensive editing, copyediting, and proofreading on a variety of technical documents such as job application materials, medical information sheets, and government websites. This class will help students in all majors to become better writers and editors, as you will gain practical knowledge and experience with style guides, editorial terminology, and electronic editing using word-processing software.


Please contact Dr. Felicia Chong (fchong@oakland.edu) for more information about this course. 

Course format: fully online (with synchronous online meetings Tuesdays 10:00-11:47 AM)

WRT 3086 and 4086: Workshop in Creative Non-Fiction / Advanced Creative Non-Fiction

WRT 3086: This writing workshop emphasizes stories of real life, balancing artistry and accuracy. Students will read and compose personal essays, autobiographies, and travel writing.

Please contact Dr. Marshall Kitchens (kitchens@oakland.edu) or Dr. Lori Ostergaard (ostergaard@oakland.edu) for more information about WRT 3086. Course format: fully online (asynchronous with no online meetings required).

WRT 4086: This course is for students who have already taken WRT 3086: Workshop in Creative Non-fiction and want to continue to study creative non-fiction and further develop their skills as authors.

Please contact Dr. Greg Giberson (giberso2@oakland.edu) for more information about WRT 4086. Course format: fully online (asynchronous with no online meetings required).

Winter 2022

WRT 2065: Advanced Writing: Persuasion

Course theme: Media and Messaging. This course explores approaches to persuasive messaging across various media environments. We will explore how messages are crafted to appeal to the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of target audiences. The course is both practical (we will learn techniques of effective written communication) and analytical (we will work to understand how certain appeals function). The course is interdisciplinary and will include ideas from Communication, Rhetoric, Sociology, Advertising, Psychology, Language, Marketing, Business, Ethics, and Social Science. Students will spend the semester exploring social media, influencers, advertising, fan culture, gaming, and a bit of politics. 

For more information, contact Dr. David Hammontree, (hammontr@oakland.edu)

Course format: fully online (with synchronous online meetings Tuesdays 10:00-11:47 AM)

WRT 2070: Introduction to Writing for Digital Media

Students in this course will explore definitions of writing and digital media, examine the intersections of rhetoric and digital media, and analyze and compose digital documents that focus on visual, aural, and multimodal forms of communication. Students will not only create visual, audio, and multimodal compositions for publication, but they will reflect in various ways over their digital work.

For more information about this course, please contact Dr. Crystal VanKooten (vankooten@oakland.edu). 

Course format: hybrid (with in-person meetings Mondays 10:40-11:47 AM)

WRT 3030: Literacy, Technology, and Civic Engagement

What do people mean when they talk about literacy? How has technology changed the way we practice and think about literacy? What role does literacy play in civic engagement—in the ways that we can (or can’t) participate in society? In the Winter 2022 WRT 3030 Literacy, Technology, and Civic Engagement course, we will consider how myths and controversial claims about literacy and technology have influence social, political, and educational policies.

This fully online class has been designed to be collaborative and interactive. Every Thursday from 1:00-2:47 p.m., we will meet together in Zoom. Projects for the course will include hands-on investigations of the role of books, blogs, photographs, films, videos, websites, billboards, magazines, newspapers, and other media in everyday life. You will explore your own literacy practices; analyze how literacy is represented in the media; and develop strategies for using literacies and technologies for your own civic engagement purposes.

For more information about this course, contact Dr. Elizabeth Allan at allan@oakland.edu.

Course format: fully online (with synchronous online meetings Thursdays 1:00-2:47 PM)

WRT 3062: Writing Center Studies

In this course, students study peer tutoring theories and practices and gain practical experience in teaching and tutoring writing. The work is divided between classroom and tutoring assignments, and the course is particularly valuable for majors in Professional and Digital Writing, the humanities, education, psychology, human services, and related fields.

For more information, please contact Dr. Lori Ostergaard, (ostergaa@oakland.edu).

Course format: fully online (asynchronous with no online meetings required)

WRT 3072: Rhetoric of Web Design

This course teaches website authoring using HTML and CSS, covering all the essentials of visual design, typography, and design tools such as Photoshop. Learn the lucrative skills needed to reach web audiences, including writing for the web, audience analysis, and search engine optimization (SEO) copy writing. This class assumes only a working knowledge of desktop computing—but it will be valuable to students with a wide range of prior abilities.

For more information about this course, contact Dr. Jim Nugent at nugent@oakland.edu. 

Course format: hybrid (with in-person meetings Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:00-2:47 PM)

WRT 4908: Special Topics in Professional Writing: Digital Publishing

This course provides an introduction to the products and processes of digital and online publication focused within the field of Rhetoric and Composition. Students will read and analyze texts that describe and originate from digital publication venues such as Kairos (https://kairos.technorhetoric.net) and Computers and Composition Digital Press (https://ccdigitalpress.org); develop digital literacies through composing images, audio, video, blogs, and webtexts; and gain hands-on experience in digital publishing through editorial work with the JUMP+, the Journal for Undergraduate Multimedia Projects (https://jumpplus.net/).

For more information about this course, please contact Dr. Crystal VanKooten at vankooten@oakland.edu.

Course format: hybrid (with in-person meetings Mondays 12:00-1:07 PM)