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Current Course Offerings

Spring 2019

English 5312.252: Editing the Professional Publication

M 6:30-9:20 pm; FH 114


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 an applied learning experience

• provide a useful service to others while gaining professional technical communication


• 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. Also, students will be assigned readings from E-reserved book chapters.

Format: The course will be held online in Zoom. Client 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: FH 132

Phone: (512) 245-3015




English 5313.251: Computers and Writing

T 6:30-9:20 pm; FH 257


Instructor: Dr. Deborah Balzhiser

Description/Goals: In this course, we focus on the emergence of what is known as the discipline of “computers & writing,” identifying its importance to English Studies. Within this investigation, we pay particular attention to textuality and what happens socially, politically, epistemologically, pragmatically, creatively, critically, and otherwise when “text” changes. Students will explore, speculate, and experiment with textuality and multiple media. For their major assignments, students can pursue what interested them most during our investigations about the discipline, textuality, or the influence of textuality. At the end of the class, students will be able to identify key concepts in the discipline of computers & writing and the importance of the discipline to English studies. Students will be able to begin to assess movements in a discipline and identify key issues. Students will be able to discuss meanings of textuality.

Books: Ong’s Orality and Literacy (30th anniversary edition); Marshall McLuhan's The Medium is the Massage; 2 other texts still to be decided.

Evaluation: Approximately Conversations & Activities (15%), Presentations (15%), Presence (10%), Short Texts (35%), Seminar Paper (25%)

Office: ASBN 101A (in the Writing Center)

Phone: (512) 245-7660




English 5313.252: Research Methods in Technical Communication

Th 6:30-9:20 pm; Online


Instructor: Dr. Scott Mogull

Description: In this course, students will learn to design and conduct research in the field of technical communication. In this course, we will explore the conceptual foundations of quantitative and qualitative research methods in social sciences and analyze published research in technical communication. The general course format is seminar and workshop. In the class, we will combine mini-lectures on background readings and information given by the instructor, discuss selected research papers as a class, and utilize hands-on practice of a small research project and presentation that is appropriate for a conference in the field.

Goals: Upon completing this course, students will be able to design and communication a research study by:

• Crafting a research question that can be empirically tested

• Choosing valid methods of data collection and measurement

• Collecting and evaluating the research data

• Communicating the research project findings in a professional (conference-type)

presentation and research article (journal article)

Books: TBA

Evaluation: The anticipated projects and evaluation criteria are:

• Leading a seminar discussion that critiques a published research article (journal article) in

technical communication (25%)

• Short, quizzes that cover research method principles (25%)

• Research project and class presentation in conference format (50%)

Office: FH 137

Phone: (512) 245-3716




English 5383.251: Rhetoric and Technical Communicators

W 6:30-9:20 pm; Online


Instructor: Dr. Pinfan Zhu

Description: Rhetoric for Technical Communicators is a course that focuses on the study of rhetorical theories from classical to modern eras, as well as their applications to solving problems in technical communication. Students will understand important rhetorical theorists (rhetoricians) of different time periods and their representative works. By reading some selected classic works and contemporary works, students learn how rhetoric has been defined as socially and culturally situated in different times and its status in the then society. In addition, students will also learn some rhetorical devices that help create effective writing. Throughout the course, students will be expected to involve themselves in a four-part dialogical process of reading -writing- discussing-practice. While going through this process, students are required to pay attention to how rhetoric is defined in different periods, how different definitions affect rhetoric status and the attitude the society takes toward it, and how varied definitions may affect the way of solving technical communication nowadays. Consideration should be also given to how rhetoric is related to the following subjects such as philosophy, politics, psychology, science, religion, dialectics, knowledge, communication, truth, and composition as the reading goes, in addition to the major theories or arguments expounded by the great rhetoricians under study.

Goals: The goals for this course include:

• Understand important rhetorical theorists from classical to contemporary times and their theories about rhetoric through reading both classical works and contemporary works

• Understand how rhetoric is related to politics, philosophy, psychology, science, knowledge, religion, composition and its status and application in different historical periods

• Command the use of rhetorical theories to solve technical communication problems.

• Study the use of different rhetorical devices to create effective writing

• Understand important rhetorical strategies and concepts used in the original works of

great rhetoricians of different historical periods

Books: The Rhetorical Tradition 2nd ed. By Bizzell Herzberg


Class Participation 15%

Reading responses 20%

Three short papers 30%

Mid-term exam 10%

Oral presentation 10% Optional Group Project

Term paper or final project 15% Optional Group Project

Office: M18, Flowers Hall

Phone: (512) 245-3013