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Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition

Current and Recent Offerings


Core Courses: 255 | 302 | 307 | 413

Genres & Practices:  300 | 301 | 303 | 308 | 331 | 422 

Histories & Theories : 424 | 437 | 440


WRT 255: Advanced Writing Studio: Advanced Argumentative Writing 

MW 3:45-5:05 (11350, M001) – Collin Brooke

TTH 12:30-1:50 (13044, M002) – Tony Scott

Intensive practice in the analysis and writing of advanced arguments for a variety of settings: public writing, professional writing, and organizational writing. (Required for Writing and Rhetoric Majors and Minors.)


WRT 301: Civic Writing: Pens Against Poverty

TTH 9:30-10:50 (12778, M001) – Brice Nordquist

1 in 2 children in Syracuse lives in poverty. The city’s poverty rate, now 13th highest in the nation, has been climbing since the 60s, when the organization Crusade for Opportunity was formed to combat poverty in the city. The problems identified by the CFO—segregation, racial discrimination, and lack of employment opportunities—are still pressing today. We’ll work with materials from the library’s newly released CFO Collection to study the forms of civic writing and public rhetoric they employed to intervene in these problems and to compose our own newsletters, editorials, proposals, and reports engaging systemic poverty in Syracuse and in students’ home towns and cities. (G&P)


WRT 302: Advanced Writing Studio: Digital Writing

TTH 2-3:20 (12232, M001) – Lenny Grant

Practice in writing in digital environments. May include document and web design, multimedia, digital video, weblogs. Introduction to a range of issues, theories, and software applications relevant to such writing. (Required for Writing and Rhetoric Majors.)


WRT 303: Research & Writing: Constructing Rhetorical Truths

MW 3:45-5:05 (20335, M001) – Rebecca Moore Howard

In a complex world of fast-moving, questionable information, how can we know whether what we’re reading is true? How can we ourselves use research as a means of discovering truth? We will explore Socratic and Sophistic approaches to finding truth, and apply them to contemporary research practices. Assignments will focus on advanced academic research writing preparatory to graduate studies; on non-academic research writing for public audiences; and on advanced everyday “quick” research practices to support on-the-spot decision-making. Some assignments will offer options for video rather than print texts. (G&P)


WRT 307: Advanced Writing Studio: Professional Writing

WRT 307 is taught by multiple instructors at various times.

Professional communication through the study of audience, purpose, and ethics. Rhetorical problem-solving principles applied to diverse professional writing tasks and situations. (Required for Writing and Rhetoric Majors.)


WRT 308: Style: Seven Deadly Styles (and How to Avoid Them)

MW 6:45-8:05 (20336, M001) – Collin Brooke

Style lurks deep in the heart of language, past the dictionary definitions and rules of usage, waiting to dazzle, delight, haunt, and vex us. This course will expose you to writers past and present who have plumbed these depths. Following their examples, we will experiment with voraciously molding and reshaping texts, sharing and playing with language, and honing our stylistic capacities and sensibilities. Assignments will include weekly exercises, a transmedia project, and stylistic analysis. (G&P)


WRT 331: Peer Writing Consultant Practicum

MW 2:15-3:35 (11363, M001) – Ben Erwin

Students will discover more about what it means to be an effective Writing Center tutor. The course covers a mixture of Writing Center history, theory, and pedagogy, with an emphasis on real-world experience and application. (G&P)


WRT 413: Rhetoric and Ethics

TTH 12:30-1:50 (12280, M001) – Patrick Berry

Introduces historical conversations concerning rhetoric's ethical responsibilities and explores complications that emerge as assumed historic connections between language and truth, justice, community, and personal character are deployed in various social, political, cultural, national, and transnational contexts.

This is a required course for all Writing and Rhetoric Majors.


WRT 422: Studies in Creative Nonfiction: Writing Critical Race Counterstory 

MW 5:15-6:35 (11333, M001) – Aja Martinez

Counterstory is a writing and research method of Critical Race Theory, founded in creative non-fiction genres of oral history, slave narrative, and testimonio. As a narrative form, counterstory illuminates other(ed) perspectives about genre and dominant ideology. It functions as a method for social justice-oriented writers to intervene in and counter practices that dismiss or decenter racism and those whose lives are affected daily by it. Working in genres of dialogue, autobiography, and allegory, students will craft counterstories based on personal experience and supported by data and literatures on their chosen topics. (G&P)


WRT 424: Studies in Writing, Rhetoric, Identity: Fashioning Queer Lives

TTH 11-12:20 (20338, M001) – Margaret Himley

We will analyze how queer folks—from the homophile movement of the 1950’s, gay liberation of the 1970s, powerful responses to HIV/AIDs in the 1990s through the rise of Queer Nation and the emergence of *trans identities and struggles—have refused dominant discourses, fashioned spaces of freedom, and dared to act, individually and communally. Students will write their way into this inquiry through reflection, rhetorical analyses, a class archive of historical footnotes and primary texts, experimental essays where ideas are meant to be tested and transformed, and a group global project. (H&T)


WRT 437: Information Design: Beyond the Visual

M 12:45-2:05 (20339, M001) – Krista Kennedy

We live in constant streams of data, working to extract pertinent information from a swift current of text and visuals.  We also face the challenges of getting our own messages to readers dealing with information overload and anxiety.  This course introduces the concepts, vocabulary, and tools for effective presentation of print and digital information.  We’ll read a number of approaches to information design and create audience-centered products for both print and digital contexts.  This hybrid course meets once each week; significant portions of our work will be online. This hybrid course meets face-to-face once each week and completes the remaining weekly work online. (H&T) 


WRT 440: Politics of Language and Writing: Is This What Democracy Looks Like?

TTH 2-3:20 (13552, M001) – Tony Scott

The study of rhetoric has long been intertwined with the study of democracies. In the current, troubled political landscape, concerns about the continued viability of democratic governance raise parallel questions about the functions and uses of rhetoric. Our inquiry will draw on theoretical texts as well as utopian and dystopian fiction and cinema to consider relationships between rhetoric and democracy in an era in which democracy is at risk. Writing will include primary research and creative projects that explore authoritarianism, activism, propaganda and ethics as they relate to democratic and rhetorical practice. (H&T)


Core Courses: 255 | 302 | 307 | 413

Genres & Practices:  300 | 301 | 303 | 308 | 331 | 422 

Histories & Theories : 424 | 437 | 440