Spring 2020

ENG-W 590, Teaching Composition: Theories and Applications

Course Dates: 1/13/2020 - 5/8/2020

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Course Description

The course engages students in the study of rhetorical theories and applications of teaching writing through the lens of argument. After briefly exploring the foundations of rhetorical theories of argument using Toulmin as our focus in module one we then apply ideas of argument to practical teaching methods and the teaching of writing in module two. Throughout modules three and four, students select texts pairs from among a range of practical topics to study related to teaching reading and writing through the lens of argumentation. Topics include evaluating writing, multimodal writing, developmental reading and writing, and online teaching. Writing activities include responding to and exploring readings as well as practical assignments designed to gain experience in preparing for classroom practice. The reading and writing activities for the course culminate in self-shaped seminar project.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

Learning Materials

Toulmin, Stephen. The Uses of Argument. Cambridge UP. ISBN-10: 0521534836; ISBN-13: 978-1107606593

Crosswhite, James. The Rhetoric of Reason: Writing and the Attractions of Argument. Wisconsin UP. ISBN-10: 0299149544; ISBN-13: 978-0299149543

Choose either Toulmin or Crosswhite as your required text. Additional materials to be researched and selected shaped to student research focus. Email instructor for suggested book list.


Reflective Letter Writing: 10%
Interaction with Peers and Discussion Post Projects: 35%
Seminar Research Project: 25%
Active, Concerned, and Chat Room Participation: 30%