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Current Course Offerings

Spring 2020

English 5310.251: Writing Across Cultures

W 6:30-9:20 pm; Online only


Instructor: Dr. Pinfan Zhu

Description: English 5310 prepares students with contrastive rhetoric theories, applied linguistic theories, and intercultural communication theories so that they can write effectively for cross-cultural audiences. Specifically, they will understand different rhetorical patterns used in different cultures, important cultural models to understand cultural differences, and language differences at different levels such as the semantic, syntactic, and cultural levels. The course is a hybrid course which includes both online meetings and face-to-face meetings. Class discussions, small projects, reading responses, and lectures are the main forms in which the class is conducted. Students will write analytic papers that focus on solving semantic, syntactic, textual, and cultural problems to be coped with in writing across cultures. After taking the course, students can act as a cultural consultant that gives advice on writing, revising, and critiquing texts aimed at cross-cultural audiences. The course is writing intensive, so students need to be mentally prepared for the writing tasks.


  1. Enable Students to use contrastive rhetoric theory to write rhetorically effective texts aimed at cross-cultural audiences. 
  2. Enable students to use applied linguistic theories to create texts that are semantically, syntactically, and textually effective for cross-cultural audiences. 
  3. Enable students to write culturally persuasive writings for cross-cultural audiences. 


  • Mathew McCool, Writing Around the World: A Guide to Write Across Culture, 2009.
  • Mona Baker, In Other Words, 2011
  • Online Readings


• 10% Class Participation

• 10% Class Discussion

• 40% Two short analytical papers

• 10% Mid-term exam

• 10% Four reading responses

• 20% Comprehensive long paper (presentation 10%)

Office: FH M18 

Phone: (512) 245-3013



English 5312.252: Editing the Professional Publication

M 6:30-9:20 pm; Online only


Instructor: Dr. Miriam F. Williams

Description: This is the MATC internship course; the course is required for MATC students on the internship track. In this course MATC students will provide professional editing, design, and writing services to actual clients. (Note: The instructor will assign clients on the first day of class.)

Goals:The course will give MATC students the opportunity to: 

• participate in applied learning experience,

• provide useful service to others while gaining professional technical communication experience, 

• conduct qualitative research and negotiate user/client needs, 

• write, edit, and design print and web content in collaborative online environments, 

• write, edit, and design print and web content for personal or MATC exam portfolios

Books: Students will be assigned weekly readings from scholarly journal articles. 

Format: The course will be held online in Zoom. Clients and student meetings will also be held in Zoom. 


• Class Participation (Individual Assessment) 20%

• Midterm Progress Report (Individual Assessment) 20%

• Content Editing Project (Group Assessment) 30%

• Recommendation Report (Group Assessment) 20%

• Final Presentation to Client (Group Assessment) 10%

Office: Flowers Hall 132

Phone: (512) 245-3015



English 5314.251: Digital Video Writing and Production for Technical Communicators

T 6:30-9:20 pm; Online only


Instructor: Dr. Scott Mogull

Description: In this course, students will learn to create professionally scripted digital videos as technical communicators. This course will cover the following phases of video writing and production: (1) planning instructional and informative videos, (2) scriptwriting and storyboarding, (3) directing and filming, and (4) video editing and distribution (specifically posting the video on the Internet). The focus of this class will be on the writing and development of the technical content (this is not specifically a software tutorial course). Students are not required (or expected) to have any experience with digital editing software or the online posting of video. However, as a technology-focused course, students will be required to learn and use appropriate software and equipment. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to conceptualize, write/storyboard, manage, produce, and share videos of technical information in professional settings. 

Books: No textbook planned at this time. Readings will be articles from academic literature


• Active Participation in Online Class Sessions & Minor Assignments, 20%

• In-Class Technology Presentation: 6 to 10 min. online presentation of a technology related to editing or publishing digital video 5%

• Practice Video (Class Presentation): Approx. 2 to 3 min. unscripted video designed to practice using video recording equipment, video editing/production software, and uploading to YouTube, 10%

• Written Genres for Informative Video: Technical Video Proposal, Storyboard, Script, Shot List 50%

• Informative Video (Class Presentation): 5 to 7 min. scripted video published on YouTube and presented to the class, 15%

Office: FH 137

Phone: (512) 245-3718



English 5327.251: Research Methods in Writing Studies

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


Instructor: Dr. Deborah Balzhiser

Description/Goals: Welcome to ENG 5327: Research Methods in Writing Studies. This course will introduce you to what Stephen North has called "the making of knowledge" in composition--the research methodologies we use to answer questions in a field. North focused specifically on the discipline of composition, but we'll extend this to writing studies more broadly. We'll examine how research helps make sense of the world and contribute meaningful work. We'll explore questions such as "how do I conduct research?" to "what does it mean that I conduct a particular kind of research?" In doing so, we'll study sociocultural and ethical implications of questions we ask, methods we employ, and means of distributing our findings--hopefully instilling in  you habits of thinking and strategies for researching that lead you to becoming mindful, ethical researchers. This course surveys methodologies often used in writing studies, which means it is primarily an introduction to different kinds of research (analytical and critical, qualitative, quantitative [although we will not cover how to do statistical work], and empirical), their nature, traditions, scope, limitations, as well as perspectives or "worldviews" that often underpin them. This course will be as much about learning to read and evaluate research as beginning to practice research processes and techniques. We'll learn to be better readers of studies while coming to critically evaluate existing research techniques, including options such as observation, interview, artifact and text analysis, narrative, surveys, and critical analyses. We'll likely talk about other research techniques. In doing so, we'll address conventional moves associated with these techniques. The class will culminate in designing a research project for which you will have considered the context, existing literature, and research; developed workable research questions of your own; chose the best and appropriate methods to address them; articulated and justified the need and method for the study; and set out a realistic plan for completion. When feasible, it would be helpful to use this to work through your thesis or dissertation proposal, grant application, or foundation for a publication. 


• Blakeslee, Ann, and Catherine Fleischer. Becoming a Writing Researcher. Routledge. 2007.

• Cresswell, John M. Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design. 3rd ed. Sage 2013. 

• Moore, Kriste R., Daniel P. Richards (Eds.). Posthuman Praxis in Technical Communication. Routledge Studies in Technical Communication, Rhetoric, and Culture.

• Nickoson, Lee, and Mary Sheridan. Writing Studies Research in Practice. Southern Illinois UP. 2012.

• Stanovich, Keith E. How to Think Straight about Psychology. 10th ed. Pearson. 2013. 

Evaluation: You will have approximately 100 pages of assigned reading plus your own research reading plus written assignments (including journal entries and a written assignment) due each week. You will be evaluated on reading & research journal (10%); ethnographic exercises (10%); fieldwork journal (5%); CITI (5%); article analyses (10%); drafts of assignments (10%); research proposal (which will be completed through multiple assignments throughout the semester for a total of 50%). 

Office: ASBN 101A (inside the University Writing Center)

Phone: (512) 245-7660

Email: (though if you really want to reach me, it would be better to drop by in person or, perhaps, by phone)