Upcoming Courses

Summer 2022


Research Communication

English 5314.501



Instructor: Dr. Aimee Roundtree

Description/Goals: This online course examines the ways in which scholarly information is produced, disseminated, and evaluated. Challenges, trends, and opportunities will be examined, including open access, peer review, responsible authorship and publication, and various models for the dissemination. The course covers best practices in research ethics, writing and editing, methods reporting, and practical genres such as book reviews and proposals. The course will guide students through the process of writing and publishing research, presenting research at conferences, promoting research, and writing proposals for research funding. Students will receive feedback and will be expected to provide constructive feedback to others in the course. The course will help students complete their research-specific communication tasks. The course also includes service-learning opportunities with research-related units at Texas State University. Students can work to complete a journal article, book review, conference paper, proposal, etc. They can make progress on their dissertation, prospectus, or other personal projects. They can help advance and promote research at Texas State University.


  • Article
  • Research Proposal or Report
  • Presentation
  • Peer Review
  • Reading Responses
  • Book Review (optional)

Fall 2022


Foundations in Technical Communication

English 5311.001



Instructor: Dr. Christopher Dayley

Course Description/Goals: Foundations in technical communication is a graduate-level course meant to give students a broad understanding of the field of technical communication as both an academic and a professional discipline. In this course students will:

  • Study the history of technical and professional communication
  • Learn practical technical communication skills and how to apply them
  • Learn academic and professional research methods
  • Apply basic theoretical concepts related to technical and professional communication

As an asynchronous online course, students will participate in online discussions and will be assigned group work that must be done remotely.

Technical Video

English 5313.001



Instructor: Dr. Scott Mogull

Description/Goals: In this course, students will learn to create professional-quality digital videos as technical communicators. Students should expect to plan and write short, but well-developed, video scripts. Specifically, this course will cover the following phases of video writing and production: (1) planning informative and instructional videos, (2) scriptwriting and storyboarding, (3) directing/acting and filming, and (4) video editing and distribution (focusing on sharing the video on the Web). This course will cover the following phases of video writing and production:

  • Conceptualizing effective instructional/informative videos (or “technical videos”)
  • Scriptwriting technical videos
  • Storyboarding technical videos
  • Video directing (and filming)
  • Video editing and relevant special effects to enhance communication
  • Video distribution (specifically posting the video on YouTube)

Ethics in Technical Communication

English 5313.002



Instructor: Dr. Miriam F. Williams

Description: Students will be introduced to theories and philosophies of ethics from various disciplines. Students will use case studies in technical communication to negotiate these theories and solve ethical dilemmas and conflicts.

Goal: To provide students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to identify and resolve ethical dilemmas in technical communication.

Readings: No textbook required. Students will read peer-reviewed journal articles, which are available online via the Texas State Library databases. Students will also read discussions of ethical dilemmas in online trade publications, news articles, and social media threads and posts.

Meeting Dates/Times: Course Taught Completely Online & Asynchronous (i.e., no meeting times or date of the week)


  • Case Study Responses: 20%
  • Readings Responses: 20%
  • Short Paper Investigating Ethics and Social Media: 20%
  • Short Paper Investigating Ethics in Science & Medicine: 20%
  • Short Paper Investigating Ethics in Technology & Design: 20%

Visual Rhetoric   

English 5314.001



Instructor: Dr. Pinfan Zhu

Description/Goals: This is an asynchronous online class. It teaches how rhetoric is applied in creating and interpreting visuals and images. The world today is full of visual images. Mass media such as television, cinemas, films, magazines, advertisements, internet, billboards, advertisement, books, videocassettes, etc., are all inalienable from visuals. In technical communication, use of visuals is even more important. Few technical documents or presentations could be considered as effective without the help of visual elements. Naturally, it is important 10 that we learn to use visuals effectively. The goals of English 5313, Visual Rhetoric, are to develop students' visual intelligence and train their visual literacy so that they are able to properly interpret, critically analyze, and effectively use visuals both in technical communication and other fields. Specifically, students will learn principles of visual perceptions such as Gestalt theories, the use of rhetorical theories, semiotic theory to interpret, analyze, and create visuals. They will also understand the rhetoric of images and design, as well as visual rhetoric of argumentation and visual rhetoric of cultures. Topics cover the study of document layouts, typographic applications, and the interpretation and analysis of images. On the whole, the course will be interesting and practical. I hope you will enjoy yourself immensely by taking this course. 


  • 15% Reading responses
  • 15% Exercises from chapters
  • 10% Forum Responses
  • 20% Two short analytical papers
  • 15% Graphic and image projects
  • 10% Quizzes
  • 15% Document Design Project

Cultural Rhetorics

English 5316.001

M 6:30-9:20pm; FH G04


Instructor: Dr. Octavio Pimentel

Description: Rhetoric is commonly described as the creation and analysis of an act of communication and thought to persuade others. Classical rhetoric is usually thought of as the art of persuasion, and most often is studied in terms of speech or writing. Jay Dolmage sees rhetoric as the strategic study of the circulation of power through communication. Ralph Cintron writes, “For Aristotle, teckhne, ‘art’ or ‘craft,’ was associated with a ‘reasoned habit of mind in making something.’” Similarly, Malea Powell argues that we must move from a narrow definition of rhetoric to include “things” and their makings,” which I take to mean, “anything that sends a message.” In this class, our particular focus on cultural rhetorics means exploring the intersections of rhetorics, and cultures. We will read about and examine the relationships of rhetoric to race, ethnicity, cultures, gender, class, and so on to understand rhetoric’s relationship to these constructions and how they intersect and relate to one another.


Primarily discussion, with some background lectures and presentations by students and instructor. Because of the seminar format, well-informed and thoughtful discussion is expected of all participants.


  • 30% Midterm Paper
  • 40% Final Paper
  • 20% Multimedia Presentation
  • 10% Class Presentations

Note: This course fulfills degree requirements for the MATC and the MARC programs, but MATC students need to be authorized to register. Please email Flore Chevaillier for authorization (fc@txstate.edu).

History of Rhetorical Theory

English 5383.001

W 6:30-9:20pm; FH 253


Instructor: Dr. Deborah Balzhiser

Description/Goals: This course examines the development and evolution of rhetorical theory from the classical era to the twentieth century. The course provides a broad view of rhetorical theory, a historical perspective that encompasses how rhetoric has been defined and practiced, how its definitions and practices have been challenged and changed, and how it affects the fields of rhetoric and composition, and technical communication. Primarily we will read canonical texts but you are invited to bring in counter or additional perspectives each week.

Rhetoric resides at the core of our understanding of writing and writing pedagogy; civic, professional, and institutional discourse; power, politics, participation, and voice. Rhetoric can even constitute, rather than merely reflect, reality. Studying rhetorical history, we come to understand the impact this history has on contemporary notions of writing, writing instruction, language, literacy, textual production, agency, power, and culture. The course revolves around the following central questions:

What is rhetoric? What does rhetoric DO? What does it mean to answer the question “What is rhetoric?” How have aims, definitions, and uses of rhetoric changed and evolved? What do changes in aims, definitions, and uses of rhetoric suggest about the relationship between language and knowledge? What presence does rhetoric occupy in the study, teaching, and practice of composition and technical communication? Of what value is the study of rhetoric as both a discipline and a tool? Who is included in traditional history of rhetoric? Who has been excluded? How might traditional rhetorics and history of rhetorics be rewritten? How does rhetoric relate to truth? To knowledge? To ethics?

This course focuses on primary texts but values secondary works. While this is a survey, one seminar does not provide anywhere near a complete picture of rhetorical theory in history or even within one historical movement. A “coverage model” is unrealistic. You will tour some important issues that you can revisit, if you so choose, at another time. You may bring in secondary works to challenge what we cover or explore more deeply. We will be doing a lot of reading and some of it may challenge you in ways that you are not used to texts challenging you.

Evaluation: Weekly reading responses 20%; short texts 30%; peer discussion 20%; seminar text 30%

Note: This course fulfills degree requirements for the MATC and the MARC programs. Students in both programs can add the course when registration opens.