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Course Information

"Rhetoric is the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion."

Aristotle

The Department of Writing & Rhetoric offers courses that help you improve and expand on your powers of written expression.

These courses are tailored to help you be a better writer, not only in your major, but in your professional and personal life as well. Don’t shortchange yourself. Make the most of your university education. Check out our courses and "get it in writing."

General Education Courses

WRTG 1010 Introduction to Academic Writing (3)
Prerequisite: WRTG 1010 placement. Fulfills WR1 requirement. To be taken during Freshman year.
Students learn to read and write rhetorically, develop and support claims, and produce and evaluate writing in collaboration with peers. Course readings and assignments emphasize writing for diverse purposes and disciplines.
 
WRTG 2010 Intermediate Writing (3)
Prerequisite: WRTG 1010 OR WRTG 2010 placement. Fulfills WR2 requirement. To be taken during Freshman year.
Writing in undergraduate academic contexts. Students practice analytical and persuasive writing that addresses various academic audiences in a research university. Emphasis on writing for learning, textual analysis, writing from research, and collaborative writing.

Upper Division Courses 

WRTG 3011 Writing in the Arts and Humanities (3)
Prerequisite: WRTG 2010 OR EAS 1060. Fulfills CW requirement
Prepares students for professional and public careers in the Arts and Humanities by emphasizing reading and writing arguments and the kinds of writing needed in further study and executive positions: summaries, analysis, proposals, research notes, reports, and reviews. Includes collaborative projects, electronic writing, instruction in revision and editing, and exploratory writing to discover ideas.
 
WRTG 3012 Writing in the Social Sciences (3)
Fulfills CW Requirement. Prerequisite: WRTG 2010 OR EAS 1060.
Designed to facilitate thinking and writing in the social sciences. Focuses on using sources to develop critical thinking on issues, forming one's own position about disciplinary problems, and creating arguments using rhetorical conventions associated with specific disciplines.
 
WRTG 3014 Scientific Writing (3)
Fulfills CW Requirement. Prerequisite: WRTG 2010 OR EAS 1060.
Designed to help students in the sciences develop the skills needed for scientific research and communication. Provides students with the opportunity to write in the variety of forms that they are likely to encounter in their professional lives (i.e. memos, proposals, reports, presentations) in a scientific context.
 
WRTG 3015 Professional/Technical Writing (3)
Fulfills CW Requirement. Prerequisite: WRTG 2010 OR EAS 1060.
Prepares students for professional practice by emphasizing problem solving in organizational contexts, writing for multiple audiences, and writing with visual and numerical data. Includes collaborative projects. Service learning option.
 
WRTG 3016 Business Writing (3)
Prerequisite: WRTG 2010 OR EAS 1060.
Fulfills CW requirement.
Prepares Business majors for writing in the business world. Emphasizes argumentation and linguistic precision.
 
WRTG 3018: Writing about Popular Culture: Rhetorics of Gender
Fulfills Humanities Exploration. 
This course will work through the lens of film, music, television, and new media to explore the cultural contexts of post-modern culture. A key component is learning to write detailed analysis of these kinds of texts, as well as understanding the function such texts play in our collective cultural memory. Students strongly advised to take WRTG 2010 or equivalent prior to this course.
 
WRTG 3019: Writing about War (3)
Fulfills Humanities Exploration.
Designed to help students develop and refine their reading, writing, and communication skills by examining and articulating their perspectives of war. Students will study the work of established authors and write multiple genres, including nonfiction, fiction, and analysis. Open to all students, but men and women in uniform are encouraged to enroll.
 
WRTG 3020: Write4U (3)
Fulfills HF and CW requirements.
This course is designed for students who are new to the University of Utah and have completed Writing 1010/2010 elsewhere. Using concepts, research methodologies, and genres from the field of writing studies, this course builds on transfer students' prior knowledge and experiences -- including their distinctive writing strengths -- while providing an opportunity to learn about University resources and examine research and writing practices in their major discipline. In addition to fostering rhetorical awareness and disciplinary writing knowledge, Writing 3020 offers opportunities to connect with peers, faculty, and staff in order to make the most of the academic and professional opportunities available to undergraduates at the University of Utah.
 
WRTG 3040: Digital Storytelling (3) 
Fulfills Humanities Exploration.
Digital Storytelling takes new tools and techniques, computers and software, to update the ancient craft of telling tales. Students will learn to apply their writing ability with digital imaging and editing tools to tell as series of illustrated, real-life stories using pictures and narration in ways that are engaging and exciting.
 
WRTG 3420: Environmental & Sustainability Writing (3)
Fulfills CW Requirement and Humanities Exploration Requirement 
This course engages students to write about contemporary environmental problems from a variety of genres. In particular, creative/ecocritical, natural history/science, and public/advocacy writing are emphasized. Students will learn to think critically and with nuance about environmental issues and convey that information in its complexity.
 
WRTG 3430: Language of the Law (3) 
This course is about the specialized, sometimes arcane, always powerful language in which Anglo-American law is written and through which it is enacted. Though we will focus on the United States, we will do so within the broader context of English Common Law. We will learn about the Anglo-Saxon and Latin roots of legal English. We will also consider the role written language plays in transmitting law from generation to generation in the form of statutes, precedents, and case law, and we will consider the role of spoken language in in-court interactions. 
 
WRTG 3440: Digital Methods (3) This course is an interdisciplinary study in online and networked research methodology. Prepares students to develop efficient, effective, and ethical research methods for online environments through qualitative and quantitative activities including: website analysis, link traces, data collection, information visualization, interviews, collaboration, search engine optimization, data coding, and social network analysis. Course topics will vary to account for emerging research technologies and instructor/student interest.
 
WRTG 3510: Grammar and Stylistics for Academic Writing (3)
Fulfills CW Requirement. Cross listed as EAS 3510, LING 3510. Prerequisite: WRTG 2010 OR EAS 1060.
Examines common grammatical and stylistic problems from a rhetorical and functional perspective.
 
WRTG 3705: Rhetoric, Science, & Technology (3) 
Most people don't really think about science and its role in society, but in this course, we will become more familiar with rhetorical moments that have shifted the way we think about ourselves and the world we live in. We will pay particular attention to how science has been presented to the public, and how the public has responded. Today, more than ever, science and the public have an intricate relationship, dependent on the other for success and in some cases survival.
 
WRTG 3830: Research in Professional Communication (3 A gateway course for those interested in pursuing a career in professional and technical communication, as well as for students interested in communicating effectively within their chosen field. The course introduces students to the foundations of professional and technical communication, workplace communication practices, and the most recent research in digital communication and social media. The class will also explore contemporary issues related to professional communication - from issues of usability and ethics to information design.
 
WRTG 3860: Introduction to Rhetoric (3)
Fulfills Humanities Exploration.
This course presents a survey of select rhetorical theories and examples of rhetoric from Greek antiquity to the present. Emphasizes connections between rhetoric and writing.
 
WRTG 3870: Writing as Social Practice (3)
Fulfills Humanities Exploration.
In this course, students will be introduced to key theories of writing. Emphasis will be placed on the cultural, social, and rhetorical practices that have given rise to and shape writing processes, documents, and ultimately writers themselves. Students will be introduced to various forms of writing, theories that consider the impact of material and social factors, such as education, on writing systems, and theories that consider the writer/reader relationship that is established through writing.
 
WRTG 3890: Under-represented Rhetorics (3) 
Fulfills Upper Division Diversity.
Examines the discourses of power systems within the United States, considering the ways writing serves as a medium of control over national ideas and group identities. Also, explore rhetoric representative of several national histories, heritages, and social movements. Focus on theories or rhetoric and discourse, writing to establish the other, writing and the construction of race, rhetorical concepts of gender and class, and tools for analyzing power discourses.
 
WRTG 3900: Literacy Studies: Reading, Writing, Identity and Class (3)
Fulfills HF Requirement. Prerequisite: WRTG 2010 OR EAS 1060. Meets with ENGL 3690.
History and theory of literacy, including scholarship on literacy and schooling, intercultural communication, and literacy in the workplace.
 
WRTG 4001: Business Plans and Proposals (3)
Fulfills Humanities Exploration.
Prepares students for writing in the business world. Focuses on business plan and proposal writing in a business context, addressing the expectations of specific audiences. Students strongly advised to take WRTG 2010 or equivalent prior to this course. Online
 
WRTG 4010: Writing Across Borders (3)
Fulfills Upper Division Communication/Writing and International Requirements.
Prepares students to write for culturally and linguistically diverse audiences for various purposes. Emphasizes linguistic and rhetorical considerations in print and electronic texts. Focus on critical appreciation of English as an international language. Students strongly advised to take WRTG 2010 or equivalent prior to this course.
 
WRTG 4030: Visual Rhetoric: Word / Image / Argument (3)
Fulfills Upper Division Communication/Writing and Quantitative Reasoning Requirements.
Students will learn theories of visual rhetorical criticism, and examine different strategies for integrating words and images, and other multimedia elements. They learn to employ principles of effective document design and visual argument, as well as practice strategies for design and composition of new media texts.
 
WRTG 4040: Digital Rhetoric  (3)
How has Facebook changed the nature of political campaigns? How do Internet memes - like gumpy cat and rickrolling - develop and circulate? How have social networking applications, wikis, blogs, twitter, snapchat and texting changed the way we approach everyday written communication tasks? What is "New Media" and how does it relate to and diverge from older forms of communication? Can we apply classical and contemporary rhetorical theory to video games? Who is Strongbad? These are some of the key questions that will be explored in this course.
 
WRTG 4050: Writing and Cultural Rhetorics (3) 
Fulfills Diversity Requirements. 
 This course explores the rhetorical traditions and practices of diverse communities, typically focusing on the history and contemporary rhetorics of groups who have not been included in the Greco-Roman-Western tradition. Specifically, it examines how these communities develop rhetoric to identify themselves as members of groups and enact political and social change, often by drawing on distinctive cultural resources. Students strongly advised to take WRTG 2010 or equivalent prior to this course.
 
WRTG 4060: Writing and the Public Sphere (3)
Prerequisite: WRTG 2010 OR EAS 1060.
Students learn to recognize common genres of public writing, consider the historic roles of these genres in public decision-making and community organizing, and examine ways that new technologies are changing the writing landscape for citizens and advocates.
 
WRTG 4090: Writing and the Book (3)
Last year, the sale of eBooks superseded the sale of printed books for the first time. With the continuation of digitalization, will we see the ever-prophesied demise of the printed word? The proliferation of book arts programs and the small press's consistent focus on chapbook publication stand as a kind of answer to this question. Through medieval and early American marginalia, the advent of the printing press, and the avant-garde's use of typography, this course studies the book as material object and fulcrum in cultural movements. We will study theories of the book next to brief lessons on letterpress printing and bookbinding. Open to all students of all ranges of experience.
 
WRTG 4200 Writing Popular Nonfiction (3)
Fulfills CW Requirement. Prerequisite: WRTG 2010 OR EAS 1060.
Focuses on popular nonfiction addressed to a wider audience. Students practice a select set of genres such as travel, memoir, autobiography, biography, history, food, domestics, science, technology, personal philosophy and religion.
 
WRTG 4830 Usability Testing (3) 
Usability Testing is a course that prepares students for writing in the workplace. It focuses on the types of user experience (UX) evaluation that organizations employ to develop and improve their products. Students will learn principles of user-centered document design to help them meet the needs of their intended audiences. Students will also be introduced to different methods and technologies associated with usability testing, in order to determine whether users of texts - such as instructions or brochures or websites - are able to employ them successfully. These usability testing methods and technologies will be put into practice with a community engaged learning project.
 
WRTG 4890 Writing, Power, & Persuasion (3)
This course addresses writing as a medium of control over ideas, individuals, and/or groups. Course content may include theories of writing, rhetoric, and discourse; writing and ethnicities; writing and gender; and tools for analyzing power discourses. 
Objects of study may include academic and professional disciplines, legislation, media and news coverage, advertising, propaganda, and social justice, among other topics.
 
WRTG 4905: Medical & Health Science Discourses (3) 
Fulfills Upper Division Communication/Writing  and one CEL credit
This course introduces students to professional discourse, such as legal, medical, governmental, media, or non-profit. Course content may include discourses of legislation, sustainability, risk assessment, world health organizations, legal precedent, and the like. Using a variety of theories and methods for gathering and analyzing professional discourses, students will consider the ways in which professional discourses intersect with larger discourses of power and ideology. Variable topics. Students strongly advised to take WRTG 2010 or equivalent prior to this course. 
 
WRTG 4910: Independent Readings in Rhetoric, Discourse and Writing (1 to 2)
Prerequisite: Instructor's consent.
 
WRTG 5830: Digital Publishing  (3)
This course instructs students in the techniques and technologies used in the publishing industries. Students are led through the process from content selection and development to feature writing and editing, from audience analysis to document design, layout, and production. Classes are conducted in a designated editing lab and students are taught layout and design on Adobe's InDesign software (the industry standard). Students in the course work with community partners to produce professional articles, press releases, and published documents. The course also covers digital publication for online and digital reading devices. 
 
WRTG 5905: Sound & Rhetoric (3) 
This course will tune into sound's various practical and theoretical relationships to rhetoric. With efforts to understand the long and continued relationship of sound to rhetorical practice, students will study foundational sound theories across a variety of disciplines, and then work to become familiar with sound as it is taken up in scholarship within writing and rhetoric studies.
Last Updated: 1/12/17