Department of Writing and Rhetoric

O'Dowd Hall, Room 378
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2746
fax: (248) 370-2748

A student at a computer with a microphone

Class Schedule

Take a Writing course with us!

First-year writing courses allow you to develop and strengthen writing knowledge and skills that will serve you as you complete any degree program at OU.

Advanced students in writing can further cultivate writing and rhetorical skills through courses in professional and digital writing (PDW) that focus on rhetoric, digital composition, civic engagement, and technology.

We offer many writing electives in PDW, enabling you to personalize your studies and gain skills and experience that support your own objectives. Check out the following courses!

Creative Nonfiction
Cross-Cultural Rhetorics
Digital Publishing
Editing
Grant Writing
Technical Writing
Rhetoric and Video Games
Writing with the Community

Many courses in PDW fulfill general education requirements for writing-intensive, knowledge applications, global perspectives, and diversity. Browse a full list of our upcoming general education and upper-level courses below.

Class Availability

Summer 2022

WRT 1000: Supervised Study (Summer 2)
Instructor: Hammontree
Course format: fully online

Students in this course meet one-on-one with the instructor to discuss and work on academic writing projects. It is recommended that students take WRT 1000 concurrently with other Writing and Rhetoric courses (such as WRT 1020, 1050, or 1060) for 7 or 14 weeks. The course is graded S/U.

WRT 1020: Basic Writing (Summer 2)
Instructors: TBD
Course format: hybrid (with in-person meeting times MW 12:00-1:37 p.m.)

In this course, students will develop writing skills and strategies for generating ideas, organization, fluency and effective writing processes. Assignments include a written narrative, a primary research project and an academic analysis essay. The course is graded S/U.

WRT 1040: Critical Reading and Thinking (Summer 2)
Instructor: TBD
Course format: fully online

This course emphasizes developing flexible reading skills for personal and professional use. Students will analyze main ideas and organizational patterns used in academic texts, synthesize different passages and evaluate written and digital materials, focusing on non-fiction prose.

WRT 1050: Composition I (Summer 1 and 2)
Instructors: Ostergaard, TBD
Course format: fully online

In this course, students study and practice college writing through a focus on experiential, analytical, and expressive writing. Students learn to generate, organize and develop their ideas and to make choices as writers that are appropriate for the rhetorical situation.

WRT 1060: Composition II (Summer 1 and 2)
Instructors: Arzu Carmichael, Schoen, VanKooten, TBD
Course format: fully online

Students in WRT 1060 study and practice methods of writing and research including the use of rhetorical strategies and the synthesis of scholarly sources to create academic arguments. Emphasis is on writing and revision that uses information literacy, critical thinking and effective communication.

WRT 3082: Business Writing (Summer 1 and 2)
Instructors: Allan, Chong, Nugent
Course format: fully online

Students in Business Writing study and practice written, visual and digital rhetoric within business and professional contexts.

WRT 3086: Workshop in Creative Nonfiction (Summer 1 and 2)
Instructor: Kitchens
Course format: fully online

This writing workshop emphasizes stories of real life, balancing artistry and accuracy. Students will read and compose personal essays, autobiographies and travel writing.

Fall 2022

WRT 1000: Supervised Study
Instructors: Brehmer, Bohn
Course format: fully online

Students in this course meet one-on-one with the instructor to discuss and work on academic writing projects. It is recommended that students take WRT 1000 concurrently with other Writing and Rhetoric courses (such as WRT 1020, 1050 or 1060) for 7 or 14 weeks. The course is graded S/U.

WRT 1020: Basic Writing 
Instructors: J. Freeman, VanKooten 
Course format: hybrid, with various in-person meeting times depending on instructor

In this course, students will develop writing skills and strategies for generating ideas, organization, fluency and effective writing processes. Assignments include a written narrative, a primary research project and an academic analysis essay. The course is graded S/U.

WRT 1050: Composition I 
Instructors: various
Course format: hybrid or fully online, depending on instructor

In this course, students study and practice college writing through a focus on experiential, analytical and expressive writing. Students learn to generate, organize and develop their ideas and to make choices as writers that are appropriate for the rhetorical situation.

WRT 1060: Composition II 
Instructors: various
Course format: hybrid or fully online, depending on instructor

Students in WRT 1060 study and practice methods of writing and research including the use of rhetorical strategies and the synthesis of scholarly sources to create academic arguments. Emphasis is on writing and revision that uses information literacy, critical thinking and effective communication.

WRT 3010: Issues in Writing and Rhetoric
Instructor: Giberson
Course format: fully online (asynchronous with no online meetings required)

This course is an introduction to important past and present issues in the field of Writing Studies. Students will develop theoretical and historical foundations for understanding current issues, changes and challenges for the discipline. Together, we will discuss theories on how writing is taught and learned, how socio-political issues affect writing and much more.

WRT 3020: History of Rhetoric
Instructor: Schoen
Course format: fully online (with synchronous online meetings Mondays 10:40-11:47 a.m.)

History of Rhetoric gives students insight into the origins and development of our understanding of rhetoric. By exploring the history of rhetorical studies, students learn the source of the most enduring beliefs, contentious debates and challenging questions that face writing studies today.

WRT 3062: Writing Center Studies
Instructor: Allan
Course format: fully online (with required synchronous online Zoom meeting on Thursdays from 3:00 - 4:47 p.m.)

Would you like to take a practical, hands-on course that will prepare you for paid student-worker positions in Oakland University’s Writing Center and in the Writing and Rhetoric Department’s Embedded Writing Specialists Program? In WRT 3062 Writing Center Studies and Peer Tutoring Practice, you will hone your own writing skills in a supportive, collaborative environment while you learn how to support other writers at any stage of their writing process from brainstorming to proofreading.

WRT 3082: Business Writing 
Instructors: various
Course format: hybrid or fully online, depending on instructor

Students in Business Writing study and practice written, visual and digital rhetoric within business and professional contexts.

WRT 3084: Race, Social Justice, and Professional Writing
Instructor: Arzu Carmichael
Course Format: fully online (with synchronous online Zoom meeting on Thursdays from 10:00-11:47 a.m.)

How do issues related to race and social justice shape writing in professional settings? What counts as “professional writing” and to what extent do racial ideologies and social justice determine this? What role does professional writing play in effecting positive social change? To explore questions such as these, students will study race and social justice in relation to corporate social responsibility and corporate social justice in professional writing contexts. The course prepares students to think critically about how corporations depict accountability to themselves, their stakeholders and the general public and how race and social justice inform this accountability.

WRT 3086: Workshop in Creative Nonfiction 
Instructors: Kitchens, Ostergaard
Course format: fully online (asynchronous with no online meetings required)

This writing workshop emphasizes stories of real life, balancing artistry and accuracy. Students will read and compose personal essays, autobiographies and travel writing.

WRT 4998: Capstone
Instructor: Allan
Course format: fully online (with required Zoom meeting on Tuesdays from 5:30 - 7:17 p.m.)
Instructor Permission Required

The Capstone course will prepare you to make the transition from being an undergraduate student to being a professional or a graduate student. You will complete a major Capstone project: an internship, research assistantship or thesis research project. You will also develop a digital professional portfolio that showcases the skills and competencies employers value most.

Winter 2023

WRT 1000: Supervised Study
Instructor: Dodge
Course format: fully online

Students in this course meet one-on-one with the instructor to discuss and work on academic writing projects. It is recommended that students take WRT 1000 concurrently with other Writing and Rhetoric courses (such as WRT 1020, 1050, or 1060) for 7 or 14 weeks. The course is graded S/U.

WRT 1020: Basic Writing 
Instructor: J. Freeman
Course format: hybrid (with in-person meetings Thursdays 10:00-11:47 a.m.)

In this course, students will develop writing skills and strategies for generating ideas, organization, fluency and effective writing processes. Assignments include a written narrative, a primary research project and an academic analysis essay. The course is graded S/U.

WRT 1050: Composition I
Instructors: various
Course format: hybrid or fully online, depending on instructor

In this course, students study and practice college writing through a focus on experiential, analytical and expressive writing. Students learn to generate, organize and develop their ideas and to make choices as writers that are appropriate for the rhetorical situation.

WRT 1060: Composition II
Instructors: various
Course format: hybrid or fully online, depending on instructor

Students in WRT 1060 study and practice methods of writing and research including the use of rhetorical strategies and the synthesis of scholarly sources to create academic arguments. Emphasis is on writing and revision that uses information literacy, critical thinking and effective communication.

WRT 3030: Literacy, Technology, and Civic Engagement
Instructor: Allan
Course format: fully online (with synchronous online meetings Thursdays 1:00-2:47 p.m.)

What do people mean when they talk about literacy? How has technology changed the way we practice and think about literacy? What role does literacy play in civic engagement—in the ways that we can (or can’t) participate in society? In the Winter 2023 WRT 3030 Literacy, Technology, and Civic Engagement course, we will consider how myths and controversial claims about literacy and technology have influence social, political, and educational policies.

This fully online class has been designed to be collaborative and interactive. Projects for the course will include hands-on investigations of the role of books, blogs, photographs, films, videos, websites, billboards, magazines, newspapers and other media in everyday life. You will explore your own literacy practices; analyze how literacy is represented in the media; and develop strategies for using literacies and technologies for your own civic engagement purposes.

WRT 3060: Cross-Cultural Rhetorics
Instructor: Hammontree
Course Format: fully online (with synchronous online meetings Tuesdays 1:00-2:47 p.m.)

Cross-Cultural Rhetorics takes a multi-disciplinary approach to engage present-day and historical uses of rhetoric in language and written communication across non-Western cultures.

The first half of the class will examine historical rhetorical contexts worldwide (China, India, Egypt, Sub-Saharan African and Native Americans). The second half of the semester will draw from the historical context and engage with present-day issues in communication (including politics, business and education).

Students will engage and analyze the evolutionary and cultural foundations of rhetoric across cultures.  Discussion based (in class and on Moodle) with two writing projects.

WRT 3070: Digital Identity and Culture
Instructor: Arzu Carmichael
Course Format: Fully online (with synchronous online meetings Thursdays 10:00-11:47 a.m.)

In this course, students will examine the rhetoric and ethics of internet technology and culture. They will investigate theories of digital culture and its effects on both online and actual identities and communities, especially in relation to ethnicity, gender, class, physical ability and sexual orientation. The course includes individual and collaborative analysis and construction of web projects.

WRT 3071: Podcasting
Instructor: VanKooten
Course format: hybrid (with in-person meetings Mondays 12:00-1:07 p.m.)

In this course, we will examine and explore podcasting as a form of writing, tuning our ears and bodies to the voices and sounds around us. Sound is one mode of expression that today’s writers have at their disposal, and digital tools are making it easier to write with sound. Podcast listenership is also on the rise, and composing with sound is a growing sub-field of Rhetoric and Writing studies. Students in this course will listen and respond to popular podcasts, read about and practice professional audio storytelling techniques (for example, interviewing, sound editing and music design) and compose oral histories and a three-episode podcast series in teams.

WRT 3082: Business Writing
Instructors: various
Course format: hybrid or fully online, depending on instructor

Students in Business Writing study and practice written, visual, and digital rhetoric within business and professional contexts.

WRT 3083: Editing
Instructor: Nugent
Course format: hybrid (with in-person meetings Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00-11:47 a.m.)

Do you aspire to be an editor or a better writer? If you do, then register for WRT 3082: Editing! Using a rhetorical approach to editing, this class teaches the fundamentals of technical editing, from proofreading for errors at the surface to ensuring that the document contains appropriate content, organization and visuals for its audiences. You will perform comprehensive editing, copyediting and proofreading on a variety of technical documents such as job application materials, medical information sheets and government websites. This class will help students in all majors to become better writers and editors, as you will gain practical knowledge and experience with style guides, editorial terminology and electronic editing using word-processing software.

WRT 3086: Workshop in Creative Nonfiction
Instructors: Kitchens, Ostergaard
Course format: fully online (asynchronous with no online meetings required)

This writing workshop emphasizes stories of real life, balancing artistry and accuracy. Students will read and compose personal essays, autobiographies, and travel writing.

WRT 4998: Capstone
Instructor: Allan
Course format: Fully online (with required Zoom meeting on Tuesdays from 5:30 - 7:17 p.m.)
Instructor Permission Required

The Capstone course will prepare you to make the transition from being an undergraduate student to being a professional or a graduate student. You will complete a major Capstone project: an internship, research assistantship or thesis research project. You will also develop a digital professional portfolio that showcases the skills and competencies employers value most.