Theory and Practice of Composition

English 8010
Becca Hayes
Course Description

ENG 8010 will provide you with a theoretical and practical background for designing rhetoric and composition courses and putting into practice effective teaching strategies. In this course, we will study scholarship in rhetoric, composition, and writing studies and apply it to our teaching. Through this course, you will learn how to teach a first-year writing course that aligns with program vision and expectations, builds on your existing knowledge, and centers student writing and experience; design scaffolded writing projects that promote student engagement and growth over time; design and facilitate daily learning experiences that combine a variety of teaching and learning modes, methods, and materials to foster an inclusive community of writers; respond to student writing rhetorically, effectively, and strategically; develop your own goals as an emerging teacher; and reflect on your learning to support your continuing professional development as a teacher.

The course goals are:

  • Understand praxis as a goal of teaching rhetoric and writing
  • Engage in teaching as a reflexive, responsive, and collaborative practice of inquiry
  • Demonstrate an understanding of key scholarship in rhetoric, composition, and writing studies that informs writing pedagogy
  • Apply knowledge of pedagogical approaches, theories, and threshold concepts to design teaching materials and classroom learning experiences

Assignments and course activities may include: reading and responding to select articles and chapters on rhetoric and composition theory and pedagogy; writing reflective journal entries; observing ENG 1000 classes; reading and responding to sample student essays; developing a teaching philosophy; creating and workshopping instructional materials such as a syllabus, assignment sheets, unit schedules, and lesson plans grounded in disciplinary research in composition and writing studies; and assembling a teaching portfolio.