This will vary depending on the projects, but having a good idea of the audience will be very important in developing a good project. Of course our class will be part of the audience.


To meet and demonstrate the following course objectives:

  • Survey the (recent) historical development of contemporary rhetoric / composition as an academic field of study
  • Practice "ways of reading" and ways of talking about / writing about a variety of scholarly and professional writing
  • Participate in one or more of the conversations that constitute the field
  • Explore the wide range of resources available for inquiry and research in the field
  • Examine critically and reflectively the various works we read
  • Examine critically and reflectively the ways that theory and practice shape and are shaped by one another
  • Develop thoughtful, reflective responses to the ever present question of "So What?" (as it applies to the study of "Composition Theory and Pedagogy")
  • Continue to develop students' repertoires for reading critically and purposefully
  • Continue to develop students' repertoires for using writing for various purposes and audiences and in various contexts

How to Accomplish This

  • Choose a text on Rhetoric and Composition (by Feb 19th). (Good choices can be found on the Comprehensive Exam Reading list, but choose from the Comp/Rhet section or the Text, Culture and Community section.) The list can be found on the MA Graduate page. Click on Handbook.
  • Explore an area of interest within the rhet/comp field. This may take various shapes depending on your various interests. Examples:
    • Research a particular theory and show how it would be applied to a class, conference, focus groups
    • Conduct field research on a topic of interest and present initial findings/results
    • Write a book review.
  • Incorporate other secondary sources as are needed to contextualize and explain your work

Checking Work in Process

  • Post an outline of what your project will involve and how it will meet the course objectives listed above by March 2nd.
  • Have 5 pages written/developed/whatever on March 26rd and April ??th and also tell how you are meeting the objectives for this project. Show your process. How are you meeting the course objectives? How are you going to get where you are going? Show how you are engaging in the conversation.
  • Periodical sharing of progress and feedback

Final Grading

I will look for the following in determining final project grades:

  • Speaks to a specific audience
  • Provides evidence of an understanding of the research that makes up the larger conversation
  • Includes the author's contribution to the larger conversation (the So What)
  • Is well revised (discussion is well developed)
  • Is well edited (paper has very few surface errors)