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WRTC Course Descriptions

See below for complete course descriptions. Click here to learn more about the degree requirements to earn an English degree with an emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication.

English Department Core Studies

Students studying on campus. Photo by Brian Angers.

Students studying on campus. Photo by Brian Angers.

ENGL 198 INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH STUDIES (1-0-1)(F,S,SU). Introduction to the disciplines that make up English studies: creative writing, English education, linguistics, literature, rhetoric and composition, and technical communication. Topics include the principles, theoretical underpinnings, methods, and practical applications of English studies. (Pass/ Fail.)

ENGL 201 NONFICTION WRITING (3-0-3)(F,S,SU). Further development of skills and strategies learned in ENGL 102. Student will study and write non ction prose, particularly research and persuasive writing. Writing practice will stress the writer’s awareness of his or her own style and the manipulation of stylistic elements. PREREQ: ENGL 102.

ENGL 275 METHODS OF LITERARY STUDIES (3-0-3)(F,S,SU)(CID). Preparation for upper-division literature courses. Engagement with principal types of literature, central questions in literary studies, and ways of conducting literary research. Emphasis on critical thinking and writing. PREREQ: ENGL 102 and (ENGL 198 or English Minor or English Teaching Endorsement) or PERM/INST.

LING 305 INTRODUCTION TO LANGUAGE STUDIES (3-0-3)(F,S,SU). A general survey of contemporary language study as it is carried on in the elds of linguistics, anthropology, and psychology, with emphasis on meaning, sounds, words, and sentence formation in English. PREREQ: ENGL 102 or PERM/INST.

The Craft of Writing

Studying on campus.

Studying on campus.

ENGL 202 INTRODUCTION TO TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION (3-0-3)(F,S,SU)(DLS). An introduction to the principles and applications of technical communication, with an emphasis on audience characteristics and methods of performing research, analyzing data, and writing persuasive documents. Topics include audience analysis, the writing process, graphics, document design, the ethics of technical communication, and problem-solving research, as well as applications such as memos, letters, instructions, proposals, and reports. PREREQ: ENGL 102 (or ENGL 112) or PERM/INST.

ENGL 204 CREATIVE NONFICTION: GENRES AND CONTEXTS (3-0-3)(F,S). Students will study and write genres of creative nonfiction. Writing practice and analysis of published creative nonfiction will emphasize voice, genre, and style, with particular emphasis on a writer’s rhetorical choices. PREREQ: ENGL 102.

ENGL 302 TECHNICAL RHETORIC AND GENRES (3-0-3)(S). An advanced study of the rhetoric of technical communication for technical communication emphasis students and others who are considering a career in the field. Topics include information design, technical communication ethics, instructional writing, and strategies of visual and verbal rhetoric. PREREQ: ENGL 202 or PERM/INST.

ENGL 401 ADVANCED NONFICTION WRITING (3-0-3)(F). Advanced practice in nonfiction genres, and study of how writers read and learn from other writers. Focuses on presenting and designing advanced inquiry-based research and critical response as well as language. PREREQ: ENGL 201.

Perspectives on Rhetoric and Technical Communication

Campus scenes.

Campus scenes.

ENGL 115 RHETORIC AND POPULAR CULTURE (3-0-3) (F,S) Introduces the rhetorical strategies and persuasive techniques embedded in popular culture. Analyzes and critiques a variety of popular culture texts and artifacts (e.g., comics, digital media, games, political discourse, sports, TV shows).

ENGL 324 TOPICS IN WRITING, RHETORIC, AND TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION (3-0-3) (F). Topic will differ by semester. Draws from areas such as composition theory; rhetorical theory/ history; cultural studies; literacy, media, and race/gender/class/ethnicity studies; and current trends in technical communication. May be repeated for a total of six credits. PREREQ: ENGL 102.

ENGL 415 TECHNICAL DOCUMENTATION AND USABILITY (3-0-3)(F). An advanced study and application of the principles involved in planning, designing, and writing informational and instructional content. Topics include audience analysis; multimedia content integration; principles of writing usable, accessible information; the role of narrative in technical communication; and effective instructional design. Students will learn to critique existing genres, styles, and patterns in instructional documentation; and will have the opportunity to create manuals, guides, and tutorials for genres such as games, mobile apps, websites, and products. PREREQ: ENGL 202 or PERM/INST.

ENGL 416 USER-CENTERED DESIGN PRINCIPLES (3-0-3)(S). User-centered design focuses on the relationships between people and the products, services, and systems that they use. Students will learn how users interact with their virtual environments and how to plan, develop, and conduct usability tests to solve specific problems. Topics, which borrow from fields including psychology, human factors, and usability engineering, include user prototyping, interface design, accessibility, and information structuring. PREREQ: ENGL 202 or PERM/INST.

ENGL 425 RHETORIC AND SOCIETY (3-0-3) (F) (Odd years). Uses rhetorical theories to analyze relationships between power, identity, and culture in social contexts. Students examine and explore case studies of rhetorical situations to develop a deeper understanding of participation in the community and beyond. Areas may include social movements, mainstream media, political discourses, and digital spaces.  PREREQ: COMM 321.

COMM 321 RHETORICAL THEORIES (3-0-3)(F). Examination of theories concerning the complexity of interaction among ideas, messages, and people, including analysis of various message strategies. PREREQ: COMM 101 or COMM 112 (or ENGL 302 or ENGL 304) and upper-division standing.

COMM 331 MESSAGE ANALYSIS AND CRITICISM (3-0-3)(F,S). An evaluation of methods of analyzing and criticizing messages and their application to making critical appraisals of public communication. PREREQ: COMM 101 or COMM 112 (or ENGL 304) and upper-division standing.

Writing in Action

Students in the fall. Photo by John Kelly.

Students in the fall. Photo by John Kelly.

ENGL 303 THEORY AND PRACTICE OF TUTORING WRITING (3-0-3)(F,S,SU). Preparation for tutoring for the Boise State Writing Center. Emphasis on writing processes, interpersonal dynamics, questioning techniques, evaluation of writing-in-progress, and rhetorical theory as it pertains to tutoring. PREREQ: ENGL 102 and PERM/INST. COREQ: ENGL 493: Internship in Writing Center.

ENGL 304 ARGUMENT (3-0-3)(F,S,SU)(CID). Study of various kinds of arguments and overview of the history and terminology of argument. Allows students to workshop their own argumentative writing and develop communication skills in the field of English, specifically the field of rhetoric and composition. PREREQ: ENGL 102 and ENGL 198, or PERM/INST.

ENGL 310 WRITING, ADVOCACY, AND LEADERSHIP (3-0-3) (S) (Even years) Study and apply literacy theories appropriate to professional writing in organizations and communities. Analyzes formal and informal learning in a variety of settings beyond the classroom. PREREQ: ENGL 102

ENGL 314 PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT (3-0-3)(F, S). Study of principles of effective proposal development and grant writing for a variety of business and nonprofit contexts. Students will practice developing proposals, identifying funding sources, creating proposals in response to requests/calls for proposals, and giving appropriate oral presentations. PREREQ: ENGL 102 (or ENGL 112), ENGL 198 or ENVSTD 121, ENGL 202 or PERM/INST.

ENGL 329 GRAMMAR, STYLE, AND WRITING (3-0-3)(S). Explores grammar, structure, and style through classical and modern rhetorical texts and student writing. Students compose and revise their own academic and creative work. Workshop format. PREREQ: ENGL 102 or PERM/INST.

ENGL 403 EDITING FOR CLEAR COMMUNICATION (3-0-3)(F). An introduction to editing workplace documents so that audiences can understand them easily and use them efficiently. Topics include copyediting, comprehensive editing, proofreading, principles of plain language, working with authors, and preparing documents for publication. PREREQ: ENGL 202 or PERM/INST.

ENGL 408 WRITING FOR NONPROFITS AND SOCIAL MEDIA (3-0-3)(F). Study of content strategy for businesses and nonprofits. Students will produce basic print documents, such as brochures, data sheets, and flyers, and they will develop social media content in projects for clients or service-learning partners. PREREQ: ENGL 202 or SPS 300 or PERM/INST.

ENGL 492 CAPSTONE IN WRITING, RHETORIC, AND TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION (3-0-3)(F,S)(FF). Extensive revision of previous written work in writing, rhetoric, and technical communication courses and creation of portfolio. PREREQ: Senior standing and PERM/INST.

ENGL 493 INTERNSHIP (3-0-3)(F,S,SU). Internship credits are earned in supervised field work specifically related to a student’s major. For information about arranging internships and contacting the Internship Director, see the internships information page. PREREQ: None.