course description

Welcome to English 610:
Proseminar in Rhetoric and Professional Communication


Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Sheppard
Office: English 226
Phone: 646-2341
Email: (best way to reach me)
Course web site:

Office Hours

Mondays 3-4pm (in Milton Hall Design Center)
Wednesdays 2-4pm in English 226
and by appointment

Required Materials

Bloom, Lynn Z., Donald A Daiker, and Edward M. White (eds.). Composition Studies in the New Millennium: Rereading the Past, Rewriting the Future. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-8093-2522-5

Mirel, Barbara, and Rachel Spilka (eds.) Reshaping Technical Communication: New Directions and Challenges for the 21st Century. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002. ISBN 0-8058-3517-2


Course Description and Objectives

As the department's required introduction to doctoral studies in Rhetoric and Professional Communication, this course explores readings that represent a range of intellectual and professional issues in the field. It will introduce you to pertinent areas of research, to major journals, and to current issues and trends in academic and organizational settings. This course is also an introduction to the PhD program. It should help you figure out how to survive and prosper here. The course will introduce you to the program, its faculty, requirements, procedures, and expectations. To help familiarize you with the program and the work that is done here, faculty members will visit the class to talk about their research, interests, and experiences. Another major purpose of the course is to allow you to work toward most major components of the qualifying exam, a portfolio that will be due on March 1, 2007.

By the semester’s end, you should:

  • Understand current issues, methods of inquiry, and types of scholarship in rhetoric, composition, and professional communication.
  • Develop viable research interests, a research trajectory, and an academic plan of study.
  • Prepare a critique of a scholarly article, in preparation for the qualifying exam.
  • Situate your own strengths, weaknesses, and career goals in the field of rhetoric and professional communication.