nau | english | rothfork | teaching | eng522
Rhetoric & Writing in
Arts & Letters
ENG 522: Rhetoric & Writing in Professional Communities
BAA 324 (Babbitt Academic Annex, next to the English bldg.); hours: M-F 9-11
Accepted in either the certificate program or the MA professional writing track
Writing is not
simply writing. Professional writing
is not self-expressive writing. It is driven by reader needs, not by an author's
interests. This course will help you recognize
& define contexts, audiences,
& “discourse communities”; such specific communities as:
Even though it may not be a conscious recognition, you have in mind a context or an implied audience when you write a document. You write to your teacher or to a friend or to an unknown official at an agency & the context or situation influences your style, organization, & rhetorical strategy.
Easy writing is addressed to an audience with whom you share values, methods, & experiences. You assume such readers can "read between the lines." Providing an occasion for you to write, a discourse community becomes a kind of co-author or a familiar "room of one's own." The organization of a community in defining authority determines who speaks (or writes), when they speak, how they speak, what tone they use, how long they speak, to whom they speak, why they speak, and what they can say. Because little of this is explicitly defined, it is important to recognize & analyze discourse communities in order to write successful documents. In this course, you will:
Informally, I might describe the concern of this class as "psyching out" readers to know what they are thinking, how they are recting, & what they want. The better you know someone—as with members of your family—the more adept you are at doing this. Rather than developing a psychological profile of someone, this course strives to develop a sociological or rhetorical profile. Once you know what someone is thinking in a professional or workplace situation & what motivates them, the next step is to get them to do what you want or what your organization wants by grafting the two together. You do that by developing a rhetorical strategy for the documents you write.
Course Structure & Texts:
Component Text Theory Foucault, Michel. The Archeology of Knowledge.
Pantheon: isbn 0-394-71106-8.
Case Study Work Peterson, Gary. Communicating in Organizations.
Allyn Bacon: isbn 0-205-29589-4.
Application Jones, Rodney H. & Christopher A. Hafner. Understanding Digital Literacies. 2012
Routledge: isbn 978-0-415-67315.
Publishers Web support for the text
The Foucault book is easy to find. The case book is out of print but used copies are available. The links above take you to Amazon; used books are fine.
Each unit has several components. Here is a sample, the directions for completing unit 01:
English 522 | Unit 01
What to do in lesson 01:
- Read Foucault's The Archaeology of Knowledge: pp. 21-39.
The 2 Webpages on Foucault offer notes on The Archaeology of Knowledge.
You must study read the text in association with reading through the notes on the 2 Webpages.
- Read the Webpages for Unit 01.
- When you are ready, take Quiz 01 on the reading.
You can take it as many times as you like (28 points).
- Contribute to the class discussion page. Your discussion contributions are graded. 10 points available for this unit.
- Read how to do case studies. This page is accessible from Study Tools.
Do case #3 in the Peterson book, "Scribe & Send" (36-40), questions: 1 & 4 (p. 40).
Consider these additional questions:
5.1 Identify & discuss Ann's management style. Should she change? How?
5.2 Pursuant to #4, is it time to reorganize? What makes you think so? What recommendations do you (Ann) make to Juan Carolos Molinio?
7 points each: total 28 points.
- Visit the Glossary page. Suggest terms from the reading that you would like me to define. If a definition isn't helpful, let me know. E-mail me your suggestions. This is not a graded assignment. It is optional.
There are 66 points available in unit 01.
This sample suggests the course workload:
"I hate teams!"
Me too. I complained about the few teams I was assigned to as a student
because the grade went on my transcript. Academic scholarship remains an individual competition. The reason I rely
on teams in this course is that:
This is the course in the Certificate program that acquaints you with team methods. You should not get stuck carrying the load for your group. It is more important to learn something about how to work on a team than it is to solve the cases. No one will be responsible for more than 2 reports on behalf of their group.
|Course paper & critiques of other papers||100|
(The numbers may not be accurate, but they give a sense of relative importance for different activities in the class.)
A: 90% of the total points
There are 10
lessons in the course.
All lessons are available throughout the course.
But, this is not a self-paced class, nor a tutorial. The
course follows the university calendar. The calendar
tool in the course specifies the schedule.
Emergency: If BBLearn is off-line for some time, you can contact me outside the course.
NAU Information Technology Services offers some information of BBLearn. The E-Learing Center offers more information.
You might also give a
bit of thought about what you might do in the event that your computer
crashes. If you don't have a backup
or access to a family or friend's computer, public libraries often offer a limited resource.
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