Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Rhetoric, Scientific and Technical Communication Minor

Writing Studies Department
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Writing Studies, 214 Nolte Center, 315 Pillsbury Dr SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-624-3445; fax: 612-624-3617)
  • Program Type: Graduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2020
  • Length of program in credits (master's): 6
  • Length of program in credits (doctoral): 12
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
The Graduate Minor in Rhetoric and Scientific & Technical Communication (RSTC) is available for masterís and PhD-level students enrolled in other University graduate programs. Courses train students to understand how people use written communication (textual, digital, and visual) to shape the world around them, with a particular emphasis on communication in scientific and technical areas. The minor also offers students opportunities to pursue special interests in areas such as digital, textual, or visual literacies; theories of rhetoric; writing; composition; and writing pedagogies. Tailored to students in research degree programs, the minor prepares students to integrate writing pedagogy into discipline-specific teaching practices, develop skills in rhetorical analysis, apply scientific and technical communication principles to the communication of scholarly work, and more. Students in graduate-level professional programs who are interested in applying basic theory and research-driven approaches to workplace contexts are encouraged to pursue the Scientific and Technical Communication Minor.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
Special Application Requirements:
Students interested in the minor are strongly encouraged to confer with their major field advisor and director of graduate studies, and the Rhetoric, Science and Technical Communication director of graduate studies regarding feasibility and requirements.
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
Courses offered on both the A/F and S/N grading basis must be taken A/F, with a minimum grade of B earned for each course. The minimum cumulative GPA for minor field coursework is 3.00.
Coursework (6 to 12 credits)
Masterís students select 6 credits, and doctoral students select 12 credits from the following in consultation with the Rhetoric, Science and Technical Communication director of graduate studies. The 12 credits applied to the doctoral minor must include at least three credits in WRIT 5775, 5776, and/or 8510.
WRIT 5112 - Information Design: Theory and Practice (3.0 cr)
WRIT 5270 - Special Topics (3.0 cr)
WRIT 5531 - Introduction to Writing Theory and Pedagogy (3.0 cr)
WRIT 5532 - Writing Pedagogy Practicum (1.0 cr)
WRIT 5662 - Writing With Digital Technologies (3.0 cr)
WRIT 5671 - Visual Rhetoric (3.0 cr)
WRIT 5775 - The Rhetorical Tradition: Classical Period (3.0 cr)
WRIT 5776 - The Rhetorical Tradition: Modern Era (3.0 cr)
WRIT 8011 - Research Methods in Writing Studies and Technical Communication (3.0 cr)
WRIT 8510 - Seminar in Rhetoric (3.0 cr)
WRIT 8520 - Seminar in Scientific and Technical Communication (3.0 cr)
WRIT 8540 - Seminar in Technical Communication and Composition Pedagogies (3.0 cr)
WRIT 8550 - Seminar in Technology, Culture, and Communication (3.0 cr)
WRIT 8560 - Seminar in Writing Studies (3.0 cr)
WRIT 8792 - Independent Study, Reading, and Research (1.0-4.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
Students are required to complete one of the following sub-plans.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.
Masters
Doctoral
 
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WRIT 5112 - Information Design: Theory and Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
This course examines how verbal, visual, data, and other forms of content can be designed and combined to create meaning, improve comprehension, and make information more usable. In particular, we will study the rhetorical roles visual elements play in print and digital communications, and how we as technical communicators can use visual means to reach audiences, convey information, and achieve rhetorical goals. We will read and discuss theory, practice information design skills, and apply both to real communications projects suitable for inclusion in a professional portfolio. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
WRIT 5270 - Special Topics
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics specified in Class Schedule.
WRIT 5531 - Introduction to Writing Theory and Pedagogy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Pedagogical philosophy/methodology in composition, primarily first-year writing. Theories underlying teaching/tutoring with technology. prereq: Grad student
WRIT 5532 - Writing Pedagogy Practicum
Credits: 1.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Discussion/activities that support development of sound pedagogical practices. Practical details of classroom. Professionalization, theory/research. prereq: Grad student
WRIT 5662 - Writing With Digital Technologies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02724
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
WRIT 5662 is a graduate level Writing Studies course that explores various digital writing technologies and provides multiple opportunities to assess writing situations and make appropriate decisions about digital form and production. Students will learn the basic building blocks of writing in Internet environments (text, sound, images, video) as well as the vocabularies, functionalities, and organizing structures of Web 2.0 environments, how these impact understanding and use of information, and how to produce these environments (i.e., multimedia internet documents) for interactivity and use. This course includes design projects and practice with apps, markup language, content management systems, video, and social media.
WRIT 5671 - Visual Rhetoric
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course investigates current understandings of how visuals participate in and extend the rhetorical strategies long associated with speech and writing. Students explore developments in the discipline of visual rhetoric by engaging with an emerging canon of texts that survey the work of rhetoricians, graphic designers, graphic novelists, commercial artists, fine artists, and technical communicators. Emphasis is placed on the use of visuals in science and technology; identifying shared principles of persuasion through visual information; developing the vocabulary to comment on, critique, and create visuals; and assessing whether visuals meet the needs of intended audiences.
WRIT 5775 - The Rhetorical Tradition: Classical Period
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Rhetoric in the Classical world and recurring themes that constitute "the rhetorical tradition." Epistemological/ethical status and sociopolitical importance of ancient rhetorical training and discourse. Works by Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, and others. Prepares students for preliminary examinations/seminars in rhetoric.
WRIT 5776 - The Rhetorical Tradition: Modern Era
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02306 - Comm 5611/Writ 5776
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Core works in modern/contemporary rhetorical theory. Twentieth-century revivals of and challenges to the Aristotelian rhetorical tradition. Units devoted to Enlightenment rhetorics; the New Rhetorics of I. A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, and Chaim Perelman; feminist rhetorical theory, historiography, and critique; deconstruction/post-structuralism. Prepares students for preliminary examinations/seminars in rhetoric.
WRIT 8011 - Research Methods in Writing Studies and Technical Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Survey of quantitative/qualitative research methods. Theoretical perspectives that demonstrate/test analytical approaches to scientific/technological rhetoric. prereq: STC/RSTC grad student or instr consent
WRIT 8510 - Seminar in Rhetoric
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics may include theories, history, criticism, major figures, movements, visual or material rhetoric. Topics vary. See the Class Schedule.
WRIT 8520 - Seminar in Scientific and Technical Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics may include theories, landmark studies, history, gender, ethics. Topics vary. See the Class Schedule.
WRIT 8540 - Seminar in Technical Communication and Composition Pedagogies
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics may include theories of pedagogy or research studies that inform the classroom or workplace, social and ethical concerns, landmark studies, current controversies. Topics vary. See the Class Schedule.
WRIT 8550 - Seminar in Technology, Culture, and Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics may include computer-mediated communication, democracy/technology, controversies over digital communication, privacy/ethical issues, feminist theory and interactions of gender with science and technology, communication in legal or medical settings. Topics vary. See the Class Schedule.
WRIT 8560 - Seminar in Writing Studies
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics may include literacy, genre, history of writing, narrative theory and practice, writing as textual practice. Topics vary. See the Class Schedule.
WRIT 8792 - Independent Study, Reading, and Research
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Supervised study, reading, or research on projects not covered in regularly scheduled offerings. prereq: instr consent