Graduate Program | Course Descriptions blue line

WRTC 510. Seminar in Technical and Scientific Communication. 3 credits.
A foundations course. The study of the theories and history of technical and scientific communication and its major figures and issues. Introduces students to foundational texts in the field.

WRTC 511. Seminar in Writing and Rhetoric Studies. 3 credits.
A foundations course. The study of the theories and histories of the discipline and its major figures and issues. Introduces students to foundational texts in the field.

WRTC 521. Web Design. 3 credits.
Web design study, emphasizing theories of evaluation, developing, revising, and maintaining Web sites; negotiating single-source documentation; and learning the various technological tools communicators use on the job. Students will learn to analyze audience's design needs, establish effective components of a Web site and justify design decision when working with clients. Students will learn to work through a professional and legal project cycle, and create and revise various genres of Web sites.

WRTC 530. Research Methods in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication. 3 credits.
Advanced study of research methodology used in technical and scientific communication, covering techniques for collecting information or data through primary and secondary research. Emphasizes extended bibliographic research through projects that employ conventional bound texts as well as electronic texts, including CD-ROM and the Internet. Prerequisite or corequisite: WRTC 510 or WRTC 511.

WRTC 535. Genre Theory. 3 credits.
This course examines the history of genre theory as well as the intersections of genre, critical theory, and social practices. Students will conduct extended analyses of texts within their own academic and professional contexts.

WRTC 540. Professional Editing. 3 credits.
Advanced study of and practice in the central editorial duties of managing a document through the editorial process, including establishing the need, purpose and scope of a document; developing levels of edit; copyediting; substantive editing; determining document design; editing graphic aids; collaborating with authors; and proofreading. Prerequisite: WRTC 530 or permission of instructor.

WRTC 542. Tutoring Writing. 3 credits.
This writing-intensive course integrates the theory and practice of tutoring writing in academic settings and is suited for preparing students and teachers who will use writing across the disciplines. The course includes an internship in a campus writing center and provides students opportunities to develop as writers, scholars, and professionals. Students will be eligible for, but not guaranteed, employment in a university writing center.

WRTC 545. Ethical and Legal Issues in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication. 3 credits.
Advanced study of the ethical and legal issues confronted by technical communicators in a range of fields. Examines the role of ethics in the field, the nexus of ethics and the law, ethical theories and critical thinking in moral reasoning, falsification of information or data in written or graphic form, ownership of information, confidentiality, copyright and trademark laws, conflicts of interest, and causes of unethical behavior. Prerequisite: WRTC 530 or permission of instructor.

WRTC 550. Organizational Communication. 3 credits.
Advanced study of the structure of communication in organizations by exploring formal and informal communication systems in government, industry and business. Examines the role of communication in the social construction of organizations with hierarchical and nontraditional structures. Prerequisite: WRTC 530 or permission of instructor.

WRTC 555. Managerial Communication. 3 credits.
Advanced study of how managers communicate in organizations by examining the various forms, contexts and functions of managerial written and verbal communication. Emphasizes the role of communication in management and the rhetorical guidelines followed by effective managers to design, write, revise and produce clear, concise and persuasive documents. Prerequisite: WRTC 530 or permission of instructor.

WRTC 560. Scientific Rhetoric. 3 credits.
Study of how writers and editors in technical and scientific communication structure language in communicating scientific knowledge and in presenting and defending a position. Examines theoretical approaches to the uses of language in science and technology within specialized disciplines, industrial organizations, and social and cultural settings as well as critical approaches to the works of figures such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, James D. Watson, Francis Crick and Stephen Jay Gould. Prerequisite: WRTC 530 or permission of instructor.

WRTC 565. Digital Rhetoric. 3 credits.
This course examines the influence of new media and modern digital technologies on persuasion and communication. Students will critique digital media texts and design their own digital projects.

WRTC 570. Rhetorical Theory: Classical Through Contemporary. 3 credits.
Study of the history of rhetoric with an emphasis on the use of language as a means of generating knowledge and of understanding, establishing and maintaining human communities. The course examines the rhetorical theories of major figures from the Classical Period through the present day. Prerequisite: WRTC 530 or permission of instructor.

WRTC 581. Hypertext Theory. 3 credits.
Study of the history of hypertext, its theories and applications. Students will learn the characteristics of hypertext and the structures and navigational approaches to hypertext. The major theorists and designers of hypertext fiction and non-fiction will be explored and discussed. As well as learning about hypertext, students will apply their knowledge to create hypertext. They will also be encouraged to research and explore/create in other online environments (e.g., blogs, wikis, 2nd Life).

WRTC 590. Intercultural Technical and Scientific Communication. 3 credits.
Study of technical and scientific communication in a variety of cultural and international settings and contexts. Emphasizes strategies for understanding and developing analytical skills needed to collaborate with or communicate to people with varied racial, ethnic or cultural backgrounds in both domestic and international settings. Prerequisite: WRTC 530 or permission of instructor.

WRTC 595. Issues in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication. 1-3 credits.
Writing and research in a variety of writing, rhetoric and technical communication genres. Examines special and timely issues currently being explored in the field not addressed in sufficient depth in regularly scheduled WRTC courses. May be repeated with different course content and permission of director. Prerequisites: WRTC 530 and WRTC 540.

WRTC 610. Publication Management. 3 credits.
Advanced study of the management and editorial policy of academic and professional publications. Examines such managerial and editorial responsibilities as defining editorial policy, choosing a management hierarchy, defining management roles, reviewing and editing submissions for publication, and collaborating with authors. Prerequisites: WRTC 530 and WRTC 540, or permission of instructor.

WRTC 615. Document Design. 3 credits.
Advanced study of the document production process, including such design and production processes as creating publication designs, determining publication format and layout for a range of documents (e.g., brochures, newsletters, journals, and books), manipulating text and graphics using desktop publishing software, proofreading galley and page proofs, and submitting final drafts through electronic prepress to printer. Prerequisites: WRTC 530 and WRTC 540, or permission of instructor.

WRTC 620. Science Writing. 3 credits.
Advanced writing course that examines the writing, editing and producing of scientific documents including manuals, research reports, conference papers and journal articles. Emphasizes the process of submitting manuscripts for publication to professional and academic science journals, magazines and newspapers and also reviews methods for creating finished, publishable articles about new research, theories, projects, trends and personalities in science and technology. Prerequisites: WRTC 530 and WRTC 540, or permission of instructor.

WRTC 625. Government Writing. 3 credits.
Advanced study of writing genres from a variety of fields within government. Examines the purposes, audiences and formats unique to government publications. Directs students in writing original and editing existing government documents. Prerequisites: WRTC 530 and WRTC 540, or permission of instructor.

WRTC 630. Legal Writing. 3 credits.
Advanced study of central components of legal writing such as legal analysis, representation of facts and evidence, reasoning, logic, and argumentation. Addresses such key rhetorical elements of legal documents as clarity and conciseness of style, level of diction, jargon, passive voice and errors in person. Prerequisites: WRTC 530 and WRTC 540, or permission of instructor.

WRTC 635. Medical Writing. 3 credits.
Advanced study of the theory and practice of writing in medical/health-related fields. Examines the kinds of documentation written about medical practices for nontechnical audiences (patients and their families). Emphasizes communication between medical professionals and patients. Prerequisites: WRTC 530 and WRTC 540, or permission of instructor.

WRTC 640. Proposal and Grant Writing. 3 credits.
Advanced study of the planning and writing of proposals and grants with emphasis on research proposals and grants seeking funding from industry and government. Covers key proposal components including the executive summary, purpose and scope, problem definition, need, methodology, project feasibility, facility requirements, personnel qualifications, cost, and proposal presentation. Prerequisites: WRTC 530 and WRTC 540, or permission of instructor.

WRTC 645. Documentation of Computer Technologies. 3 credits.
Advanced study of theory and practice in designing, writing and producing computer documentation for end users. Emphasizes documentation design and production, online documentation, usability testing, and writing of user's guide for computer hardware and software. Prerequisites: WRTC 530 and WRTC 540, or permission of instructor.

WRTC 650. Electronic and Online Publication. 3 credits.
Advanced study of electronic and online publications, including World Wide Web pages, electronic newsletters and magazines, and online help. Emphasizes principles in designing, writing and producing publications using such current authoring tools as the hypertext mark-up language, HTML. Prerequisites: WRTC 530 and WRTC 540, or permission of instructor.

WRTC 655. Electronic Graphic Design. 3 credits.
Advanced study of the theoretical and practical use of computer graphics as a form of visual communication in scientific or technical documents. Examines topics such as visual perception, design theory, formatted text and graphics, color and design concepts, animation, and video. Emphasizes the development of technical skills in manipulating electronically generated text and graphics. Prerequisites: WRTC 530 and WRTC 540, or permission of instructor.

WRTC 670. Teaching Writing. 3 credits.
Preparation of WRTC teaching assistants in rhetorical theory and teaching methodologies. Emphasizes pedagogical strategies central to teaching effective written and oral communication in the field and provides practice in course development and assessment under the guidance of a faculty mentor in actual course situations. Required of all teaching assistants before their first semester teaching. Prerequisites: WRTC 530, WRTC 540 or permission of instructor.

WRTC 680. Readings in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication. 3 credits.
Faculty-supervised reading, research and writing on advanced technical and scientific communication projects not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Prerequisites: WRTC 530, WRTC 540, permission of instructor, and completion of 18 or more credit hours in the major. May be repeated with different content and permission of director.

WRTC 690. Special Issues in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication. 3 credits.
Advanced writing and research in a variety of technical communication genres, including government writing, medical writing, legal writing, and proposal and grant writing. Examines special and timely issues currently being explored in technical and scientific communication not addressed in sufficient depth in regularly scheduled WRTC courses. Prerequisites: WRTC 530 and WRTC 540. May be repeated with different course content and permission of director.

WRTC 695. Internship in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication. 3 credits.
Work-world experience within business, industry, government or academia in technical and scientific communication. Designed to allow students to incorporate field experience with WRTC course work and to observe communication processes and apply effective written, interpersonal and public communication skills. Prerequisites: WRTC 530, WRTC 540 and permission of internship coordinator. May not be repeated.

WRTC 699. Thesis/Practicum Continuance. 2 credits.
Individual reading, research and writing associated with completion of major's thesis/practicum portfolio. Directed by the chair of the student's thesis/practicum committee and required for graduation. Prerequisites: WRTC 510, WRTC 530, WRTC 540, successful completion of the comprehensive exam, and permission of thesis/practicum committee director. Students who have registered for six hours of thesis/practicum credit but have not finished the thesis/practicum must be enrolled in this course each semester until the thesis/practicum is completed. This course is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (NC) basis.

WRTC 700. Thesis. 6 credits.
Individual reading, research and writing associated with completion of major's thesis. Supervised by the director of the student's thesis committee. Student must complete six hours of thesis research to graduate. Prerequisites: WRTC 530, WRTC 540 and permission of thesis committee director. Credit hours may be taken over one or two semesters. This course is graded on a satisfactory / unsatisfactory/incomplete (S/U/I) basis.

WRTC 701. Practicum. 6 credits.
Individual reading, research and writing associated with completion of major's practicum. Supervised by the director of the student's practicum committee. Students must complete six hours of practicum research to graduate. Prerequisites: WRTC 530, WRTC 540 and permission of practicum committee director. Credit hours may be taken over one or two semesters.