Contact Information

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

Office Hours

Tuesdays and Thursdays 10-11:45 (in Milton Hall Design Center)
Thursdays 1-2 pm 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

Johnson-Eilola, Johndan, and Stuart A. Selber (eds.). Central Works in Technical Communication. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 9-780195-157055


Course Description

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, 2008.


Course Objectives
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.