Course Descriptions

Courses in the Writing and Rhetoric Program offer students the opportunity to develop expertise in writing for academic, professional, community, and personal purposes. The course work provides practice in writing in a range of genres, editing and style, and digital media. Courses also investigate rhetoric, information technology, the politics of language use, and language and identity.

RHET 100
How Writing Works
This course, taught at the York Correctional Institution in Niantic, is an interdisciplinary writing course whose goal is to develop and refine students’ facility with the stages of preparing, drafting, and revising analytical essays. Assignments will include readings from a variety of disciplines as well as frequent short essays that will culminate in a sustained final project. The course will be taught in 7 workshops. Each workshop will be 3 hours long. The workshops will occur twice a week for three and a half weeks.
0.50 units, Seminar
RHET 102
American Writing and Academic Culture
This is a four-week program designed for students who want to strengthen their academic English language skills for college. The course is geared toward students who speak English at an intermediate level or higher. Students will be exposed to college-level reading, writing, and speaking, in order to develop the skills, fluency, and confidence to communicate more effectively in English at the college level. Open to advanced high school students, incoming first-year students, and rising sophomores. The course consists of nine contact hours per week, including local trips and peer-mentoring sessions.
1.00 units, Seminar
RHET 103
College Writing
An introduction to the art of expository writing, with attention to analytical reading and critical thinking in courses across the college curriculum. Assignments offer students opportunities to read and write about culture, politics, literature, science, and other subjects. Emphasis is placed on helping students to develop their individual skills.
This course is not open to juniors or seniors.
1.00 units, Lecture
RHET 120
Exploring the (Un)known: Discovering Trinity Through Writing
Writing is a way to create knowledge, and what better to create knowledge about than your own life and environment? We will explore students’ experiences at Trinity through exploratory writing, drafts, revisions, and a formal paper culminating in a portfolio of writing.
0.50 units, Seminar
RHET 125
Writing for a Digital World
As reading and writing shift from pages to screens, images and other visual elements are becoming increasingly important to successful writing. This course is designed to help students think critically about the role of the visual in written communication today. Using digital design tools in combination with academic writing skills such as research and drafting, students will develop strategies and skills for blending images and words effectively in a range of genres and contexts - both digital and printed, academic and professional.
1.00 units, Seminar
RHET 127
Thoughts of Peace and War
This class is a writing workshop, focusing on writing and revising academic essays. The readings will involve issues of peace and war, and will lead us into the following sorts of questions: Why do countries go to war? What are the effects of war on people? How have people worked for peace, and how can they/we continue to do so? What role does gender play in war? Readings include personal stories like Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone as well as writings by philosophers, psychologists, and others about the causes and effects of war and peace.
1.00 units, Lecture
RHET 140
The Rhetoric of Narrative
In this course, we will look at the rhetoric of narrative, with an emphasis on narratives that cut across cultures to see how people in different places use narrative structures to construct their realities from their everyday lives, imagined lives, and the presumed lives of others. We will write our own narratives and analyze them to see how we create our reality from the essentially chaotic matter of everyday life. Readings will include prison diaries, war journals, film and television scripts, and hypertexts.
1.00 units, Lecture
RHET 145
Autobiography and Activism
A writing workshop focusing on autobiographical writing that is informed by an interest in the world at-large. We will read various writers who combine their personal stories with their political, environmental, and social activism, such as Terry Tempest Williams, Bill McKibben, and Angela Davis. Students will write their own reflective autobiographical essays.
1.00 units, Lecture
RHET 202
Intermediate Writing Workshop
Students will write in a variety of common professional and contemporary genres, culminating in a final project combining elements of multiple genres focused on a topic of issue of the writer's choice. Students will focus on developing stylistic strategies and techniques when writing for numerous genres and audiences. This intermediate workshop is designed for students who have achieved mastery in introductory-level college writing and who want to refine their writing abilities.
1.00 units, Lecture
RHET 208
Argument and Research Writing
A writing workshop emphasizing the development of argumentation and research skills. Students learn how to read and evaluate logical arguments, formulate research questions, explore print and electronic resources, and frame persuasive arguments in papers of substantial length. Frequent practice in writing and revising.
1.00 units, Lecture
RHET 215
Writing the Personal Essay
What makes an excellent personal essay work? We’ll explore this question as both readers and writers. In response to essays by Zadie Smith, Phillip Lopate, D.F. Wallace, and others, you’ll engage with the class in daily reflective writings and discussions. At the same time, you will be working on your own piece—by the end of the course you will have written, revised, and polished a 7-10 page personal essay.
0.50 units, Seminar
RHET 225
The Rhetoric of Broad Street
This course combines community learning and writing as a means of discovering how we define others and ourselves through journals, diaries, essays, and stories. Students explore Broad Street as a social and cultural metaphor, with a wide variety of readings depicting “the other” and reflecting the voices of members of underprivileged and privileged classes throughout history. Students perform community service as a part of course activities.
1.00 units, Lecture
RHET 226
Writing about Places
This class is a workshop for students interested in writing about "place", which can refer to nature, rooms, buildings, streets, public squares, landscapes, towns, cities, countries, or any physical worlds. Students will write essays in various forms, from travel writing to many other reflections about issues arising from the interactions between people and places. Readings include a range of essays exploring diverse approaches to place.
1.00 units, Lecture
RHET 300
The Art of the Essay
An advanced writing workshop intended to help students find their own subjects and styles as essayists. We will read and write personal essays that express authors’ unique responses to ideas and experiences in deeply reflective ways. Our study will include essays by Seneca, Montaigne, Woolf, Dillard, and others from various historical periods that have explored their responses to the world in engaging and complex detail.
1.00 units, Lecture
RHET 302
Writing Theories and Practices
This course investigates the theories and practices of writing consultation in North American university writing centers as informed by studies in composition pedagogy, literacy, and rhetoric. Students will be introduced to the broad range of topics found at the intersection of practice and theory in writing centers, including socio-cultural dynamics, grammar instruction, English as a Second Language, learning disorders, critical reading, writing processes, and interpersonal communication. The course will encourage students to create new knowledge about writing and tutor research. By invitation only. For students admitted to the Writing Associates Program.
1.00 units, Lecture
RHET 315
Writing in the Public Sphere: Theory and Practice
This course is a writing workshop in which students will explore the theory as well as the practice of language in the public sphere. Students will write and revise long and short essays aimed at various sources of news and information; they will also analyze those sources. Possible questions include: How do written words affect the process by which public opinion is formed? How can writing best promote public dialogue and deliberation? How is our concept of "writing" evolving in a changing digital landscape? How do various personalities and perspectives gain cultural prominence? How can we best participate as writers in the public sphere? Students will follow current issues with a goal of participating through writing in public conversations.
1.00 units, Seminar
RHET 395
Academic Internship
Internship or field work placement, with a required academic component to be determined by the faculty sponsor and student. Students need to submit a completed internship contract form to Career Services. Students will not be enrolled until the contract has been approved.
1.00 units, Independent Study
RHET 399
Independent Study
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and Writing Center director are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
RHET 406
Composition Pedagogy
Language and literacy have always served as lightning rods for social and political issues, as well as for conflicts of theory and practice in education. This course will explore the contemporary teaching of writing, with attention to the range of current pedagogies in US colleges. We will examine influences of 20th-century revival of rhetoric, process and post-process writing, cultural and feminist studies, cognitive theory, the digital revolution, and the implications of "the global turn" for 21st-century students and teachers of writing. For undergraduate English majors, this course counts as an elective.
1.00 units, Seminar
RHET 466
Teaching Assistant
Students may assist professors as teaching assistants, performing a variety of duties usually involving assisting students in conceiving or revising papers; reading and helping to evaluate papers, quizzes, and exams; and other duties as determined by the student and instructor. See instructor of specific course for more information. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
RHET 498
Senior Thesis Part 1
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office and the approval of the instructor is are required. (2 course credits are considered pending in the first semester; 2 course credits will be awarded for completion in the second semester.)
2.00 units, Independent Study
RHET 499
Senior Thesis Part 2
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office and the approval of the instructor is required. (2 course credits are considered pending in the first semester; 2 course credits will be awarded for completion in the second semester.)
2.00 units, Independent Study