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Undergraduate

Courses

Course sections currently being offered:

Fall >
Spring >

Check the course schedules/descriptions available via the Registrar's Office for the official schedules for the widest range of terms for which such information is available.

Many of our courses fulfill requirements in other academic units. These include the Legal Studies minor (cognate course), and the Digital Media Studies major. For a list of WRTG courses that can be used toward clusters, visit the Cluster Search Engine.

Undergraduate course offerings:

WRTGTitleDescriptionOffered
101

EAPP Speaking & Listening I

This course is designed to help undergraduate non-native speakers of English improve their English oral communication and listening skills in preparation for social interactions at the university. Students will practice speaking at greater length and faster speed by developing fluency, grammatical accuracy, complexity of sentence structures, and vocabulary. In addition, students will practice listening actively to peers, summarizing, paraphrasing, and repeating key information from native speakers of English. The course will also cover such techniques as asking follow-up questions, using socialization strategies, adapting to cultural differences, practicing small talk, and making formal and informal introductions. Class work will take place in and out of the classroom with the collaboration of native and non-native speakers of English in formal and informal settings. Significant class time will be devoted to English pronunciation.

Fall, Spring

102EAPP Speaking & Listening IIThis course builds upon the lessons from WRTG 101: EAPP Communication across Contexts I, and it is designed to help undergraduate non-native speakers of English improve their English oral communication and listening skills in preparation for academic and social interactions. Students will practice taking notes, summarizing, repeating, and critiquing key information from recorded lectures and presentations with an emphasis on the discourse most prevalent in undergraduate university courses. Students will also practice communicating in different academic, social, and cultural contexts as they engage in classroom conversation, debates, interviews, speaking to formal audiences, and giving academic presentations in English. Class work will take place in and out of the classroom with the collaboration of native and non-native speakers of English in formal and informal settings.Fall, Spring
103EAPP Critical Reading, Reasoning & WritingThis course builds upon the lessons from WRTG 101: EAPP Communication across Contexts I, and it is designed to help undergraduate non-native speakers of English improve their English oral communication and listening skills in preparation for academic and social interactions. Students will practice taking notes, summarizing, repeating, and critiquing key information from recorded lectures and presentations with an emphasis on the discourse most prevalent in undergraduate university courses. Students will also practice communicating in different academic, social, and cultural contexts as they engage in classroom conversation, debates, interviews, speaking to formal audiences, and giving academic presentations in English. Class work will take place in and out of the classroom with the collaboration of native and non-native speakers of English in formal and informal settings.Fall, Spring
104ESOL Reading & Writing IIWRTG 104 extends the critical reading and writing skills learned in WRTG 103: EAPP Critical Reading, Reasoning, and Writing to the act of research. Research may include traditional library sources and academic journals, but it may also include primary research such as fieldwork, surveys, and interviews. A variety of texts will be analyzed and discussed in preparation for constructing extended argumentative essays and a final argumentative research paper. Reading and responding critically to texts will be practiced. Students will learn to incorporate source material into research writing and integrate one's ideas with those from other texts. Collaboration is an important part of learning; therefore, students will work together as they learn to critique their work and the work of peers. Attention will be given to writing beyond the classroom, such as communicating with faculty and staff across the college.Fall, Spring
105Reasoning & Writing in the College

WRTG 105 introduces students to academic writing at the college level and an awareness of variations across the disciplines. The course offers instruction in small sections that focus on the act of writing. It provides instruction and practice in clear and effective writing and in constructing cogent and compelling arguments, as students draft and revise numerous compositions of different forms and lengths. These assignments introduce some of the genres students are expected to produce later in their college careers as well as in their public and professional lives after graduation. The subject of the course is writing, but since writing is about something, each section of WRTG 105 focuses on a unique theme. Within this theme, students analyze, discuss, and engage with a range of texts in order to construct their own arguments and a final argumentative research paper. Students consider the roles of audience and purpose in shaping the organization, style and argumentative strategies of their papers, and they learn to become self-aware readers of their writing through reflection, peer response, revision, and editing. All sections include writing instruction, workshops, and practice in core writing principles and strategies needed to meet the course learning objectives and to become successful writers in and beyond college. For more information, refer to course learning objectives.

Note: a grade of “C” or higher satisfies the Primary Writing Requirement.

Fall, Spring
105AReasoning & Writing in the CollegeWRTG 105A and WRTG 105B distribute the work of WRTG 105E across two semesters, with WRTG 105A covering the first half of WRTG 105E. WRTG 105A immerses students in the experience of academic writing, with a particular emphasis on analyzing, using, and documenting scholarly and non-scholarly texts. It provides instruction and practice in constructing cogent and compelling arguments, as students draft and revise two short argumentative essays. Students will develop and test their ideas through discussion, informal writing, peer critiques and self-assessments. All sections of WRTG 105A&B revolve around a theme and include a weekly writing group in which students do the work of writing with immediate support from the course instructor. To proceed from WRTG 105A to WRTG 105B, students must earn a grade of "C" or higher.Fall
105BReasoning & Writing in the College: Part IIThe second-half of the WRTG 105A-WRTG 105B sequence, WRTG 105B immerses students in the experience of academic writing, with a particular emphasis on analyzing, using, and documenting scholarly and non-scholarly texts. It provides instruction and practice in constructing cogent and compelling arguments, as students draft and revise a proposal and an 8-10 page argumentative research paper. Students will develop and test their ideas through discussion, informal writing, peer critiques and self-assessments. All sections of WRTG 105A&B revolve around a theme and include a weekly writing group in which students do the work of writing with immediate support from the course instructor. WRTG 105B students who have worked diligently but have not attained a grade of "B-" or higher may take an incomplete and sign up for WRTG 108, a weekly workshop and tutorial program that allows students to continue working on their writing, raise their final grades, and satisfy the Primary Writing Requirement.Fall, Spring
105EReasoning & Writing in the CollegeWRTG 105E is an extended version of Reasoning and Writing in the College. While WRTG 105 and WRTG 105E have the same expectations for completion, WRTG 105E is intended for students who decide that they need a more supported writing experience to meet the demands of college writing. All sections of WRTG 105E include an additional class session each week and are taught in computer labs and limited to 10 students. WRTG 105E students who have worked diligently but have not attained a B- or better may take an incomplete and sign up for WRTG 108, a weekly workshop and tutorial that allows students to raise their final grades and satisfy the Primary Writing Requirement.Fall, Spring
108Workshop in WritingOffers ongoing practice and instruction in writing and critiquing writing. Students meet weekly with a writing center consultant to work on forms of academic writing relevant to their spring coursework. These forms may include summaries, critical responses, argumentative essays, and lab reports, among others. Students may also choose to revise essays completed in previous semesters or work on other non-fiction projects. Guided by a writing center consultant, students plan, draft and revise their writing, critique each other's work, assess their own writing, and participate in group session on common writing issues. The semester's work will culminate in a final portfolio that features polished essays and an overall self-assessment.Spring
243

Applied Argumentation in Ethics

Colocates with: PHIL 243

Every fall, the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics hosts regional competitions in applied ethics. Ethics bowl is a unique form of competition that asks participants to seek the most compelling responses to difficult problems through respectful deliberation. Teams research cases that focus on a wide range of contemporary issues such as fake news, plagiarism, call out culture, biomedical issues, social justice, and automation. The purpose of this course is to prepare students to read, develop critical questions about, and evaluate Ethics Bowl cases. Students will construct written arguments and develop the oral skills to deliver those arguments in a manner that dynamically responds to specific questions about the cases. We will cultivate collaborative argumentative practices that are generative rather than adversarial. A team of 3-5 will be selected to attend the regionals competition.Fall
244

Performing Argument

Colocates with: PHIL 344

The first half of this course will focus on preparing written and oral arguments that respond to the Ethics Bowl national cases. The second half of the course will critically reflect on that preparation in order to deliberate about the best methods for preparing, delivering, and engaging in argumentation. We will pay particular attention to what makes argument effective, the performative nature of argument, and the ways in which different argumentative strategies might be inclusive or exclusive. This reflection and discussion will be used to articulate and recommendations and document strategies for future ethics bowl participants.

Prerequisite: Completion of WRTG 243 or PHIL 343
Spring
245

Advanced Writing & Peer Tutoring

Colocates with: ENGL 285

Prepares sophomores, juniors, and seniors enrolled in five-year programs, from the humanities, sciences, and the social sciences for work as writing fellows. Course design facilitates the development of a strong, intuitive writer and speaker in order to become a successful reader, listener and responder in peer-tutoring situations. Ample writing and rewriting experiences, practice in informal and formal speaking, and the critical reading of published essays and student work enhance students' ability to become conscious, flexible communicators. Before tutoring on their own, students observe writing fellows and writing center consultants conduct tutoring sessions. On completion of the course with a B or better, fellows should be prepared to accept their own hours as peer tutors.Fall
247Spoken Communication & Peer TutoringPrepares selected sophomores, juniors, and eligible first-year students for work as Speaking Fellows. This course focuses not only on the skill of public speaking, but also on peer tutoring and assisting students with their own forms of spoken communication. In this course, we will examine various components of presentations, including effective use of visual aids and professional delivery styles. We will also explore several types of spoken communication for different purposes and audiences, including argumentative and descriptive speeches, interviews, and group presentations. Through analyzing, studying the construction of, and creating and delivering their own presentations, students will improve their own speaking styles and develop the skills necessary to aid their peers in constructing and revising presentations. By the end of the semester, students should be ready to take on their own hours as peer tutors. This course satisfies a requirement for the Citation for Achievement in College Leadership.Spring
250
Modern English Grammar

Colocates with: LING 161

This course is a comprehensive review of the grammar of Modern Standard English. The course will be of interest to those who wish to sharpen their language skills, or to know more about the workings of the English language whether for practical, cognitive or creative ends. Drawing on work in mostly pre-theoretical, descriptive linguistics this course reveals the mechanics of Standard English structure, with occasional detours into the finesse of usage across registers (dialect to slang). Students will learn to develop the ability to see patterns in grammar, as well as its structural possibilities and limits. Assignments will regularly involve reflection on form, usage and speaker judgments. Through a final project, students will investigate some aspect of an English variety available to them. Throughout, students will be working with their data samples of English to explore how speaker choices lead to particular grammatical structures or yield ungrammaticality. Background in linguistics or grammar not needed.Fall
251
The Rhetorical Sentence
Colocates with: LING 160, ENGL 288
Drawing on linguistics and rhetorical grammar (e.g., Vande Kopple, Hyland), this course investigates the sentenceespecially its rich potential for creating the writers meanings, personas, and voices. Through studying the form and function of the sentence, students will develop the ability to see meaningful patterns and variations within and across texts. Assignments will regularly involve analyzing works chosen by students and experimenting with sentences.Students will also have the chance to use AntConc, a simple corpus analysis tool that aids analysis. Through a final project, students will investigate some aspect of the sentence in a medium and context of their choice or address an interesting theoretical question about the sentence. This course is ideal for those interested in writing, editing, or writing education, as well as those curious about how humans use language to do things in the world. Background in linguistics or grammar is not necessary. Open to undergraduates and graduate students.Fall
252
Principles & Practices of Copyediting
Colocates with: ENGL 136
While the term copyediting? may be associated with journalism or literary fiction, in fact it is a vital component of the publication of almost any textual materialsfrom scholarly and popular publishing in arts and sciences to corporate and technical communications. So what do copy editors do? Is copyediting simply about enforcing rules of correctness? When is it okay to break those rules, or to allow others to do so, and what guides such decisions? How do copy editors understand and negotiate the relationships and interests of readers, writers, and the publications they work for? How has the information age changed the way copy editors think about and approach textual editing? In this class we will address both the principles and practices of copyediting. Students will learn the principles that guide copy editors, and then put these principles into use in a workshop setting, practicing copyediting in a variety of contexts, including digital communications.Spring
253

Cognition & Writing

Colocates with: BCSC 163

What goes on in writers minds when they write and in readers minds when they read? Can learning about what goes on in both writers and readers minds help writers make their writing more effective? In this coursewe will delve into the cognitive processes underlying writing and reading: how writers generate ideas, translate those ideas into words and sentences, organize those sentences into arguments, and do all of this while managing things like spelling and typing, and how readers actually interpret the message being conveyed by a piece of writing. Well also explore the extent to which research in cognitive science can inform what we do as writers by experimenting on ourselves with research-grounded strategies. Students will read and take responsibility for presenting work from cognitive scientists and composition theorists, and will work towards a final project in which they explore existing research on a topic of their choosing and propose either further research or applications of that research.Fall
260

Writing Across Technologies

Colocates with: DMST 260

Technology involves the development of a tool to solve a problem. In this way, writing itself can be seen a technology to aid memory, thinking, and communication. Since the invention of writing, other newer technologies have further changed how we write and how we think. Each new technology offers us a range of options that are more or less effective depending on our audience and purpose. This course will explore some of the many writing technologies that have come (and gone!) over the history of writing, from clay tablets to Snapchat. The class will take a hands-on approach and allow us opportunities to experiment with writing technologies to get a better sense of how technologies affect what we think, what we communicate, and what we think we can communicate. Students will propose individual research projects on a writing technology of their choice, which may involve some combination of original composition, scholarly research, and ethnographic study.Fall
261

Writing in a Digital World

Colocates with: ENGL 288, DMST 250

The purpose of writing in a digital world is to engage with a broader community around a topic of interest and contribute to public knowledge. In this course, students are invited to dig deeply into a question of interest, write for a public audience, and use the Internet as an archive of information waiting to be discovered, analyzed, and written about. Students can draw on pre-existing research interests from their majors or develop a line of inquiry stemming from class discussions, writing, and research. In order to gain experience writing to a range of readers, students will engage in a writing process informed by peer review, self-assessment, and revision. Shorter writing assignments will help students develop and refine ideas as they transform texts for different audiences. The final research project will be multimodal, published for a public audience, and should demonstrate your ability to think critically about a topic and effectively communicate that knowledge to a range of readers.Spring
262

What Do You Mean I Can't Do That? Learning to Write Like an "Insider" in Your Discipline(s)

Colocates with: BIOL 274W

Drawing on the concepts of discourse community and rhetorical genre analysis (e.g., Bazerman, Berkenhotter & Huckin, Swales), this course investigates ways of understanding the choices writers make when communicating about the natural, social, or applied sciences, with the goal of better understanding how to read and write as an insider in your chosen discipline. You will develop a technical vocabulary and set of skills that allow you to describe recurring patterns and writer choices within those patterns. Using these tools, and talking to experts in your chosen discipline(s), you will investigate disciplinary and interdisciplinary boundaries, how writers convey meaning in different situations, and why they make the writing choices they do. Through a final research project of your choice, you will practice using what you have learned to communicate the results of your own research. This course is especially suitable for dual-major students, or those heading to graduate or health professions schools.Spring
263

Translation: Interpreting & Adapting

Colocates with: ENGL 289, LTST 263

This course takes up translation process as an object of study. How do translators work? What opportunities and constraints are present for freelance, specialist, or professional translators? To what extent do translators not only transmit but actively create knowledge and build community via their work of interpreting and adapting? We'll explore a range of potentially high-stakes cases involving textual, audiovisual, and multimodal renditions of a source text. These may include translating an ad or museum label; subbing a TED Talk or performance; dubbing in anime or games; interpreting for business, medical, or other purposes. Along with course readings and short experimental translations, students will work with our paraprofessional consultants and community partners in SW Rochester to craft final projects that provide a meaningful extension of course learning to real-world issues (Counts toward the Citation in Community-Engaged Scholarship; see Authentically Urban, Virtually Global: Southwest Rochester).Spring
264

Digital Portfolio

Colocates with: DMST 200

This course centers around the creation of a digital portfolio. While students will design portfolios that highlight the most exciting media based projects they have worked on in their educational and professional career so far, most of the course work will be looking forward, developing new skills in our field. We will focus on how to research in digital media, create new work from that research and how to best present work in our field after it is completed. This is a writing intensive class, so students will be expected to complete 25 pages of writing by the end of the semester. Variously, we will look at and write about career development, portfolio design, collaboration and research techniques within digital media. The final project is a digital portfolio and reflection. Spring
265

Argument and Evidence Across Contexts

Colocates with: ENGL 284, PHIL 106

In this course students will investigate the following questions: What is argument? What is evidence? To answer these questions, students will also think deeply about how context does or does not shape our understanding of these concepts. For instance, what do arguments in STEM fields have in common with those in the humanities? Do different fields such as philosophy, psychology, and biology share evidence and argumentative strategies? Is the meaning of evidence static across these fields? We will begin by investigating different models of argument from philosophy and argumentation theory, and then students will use these broad models to investigate and analyze argument in academic contexts of their choice. We will also explore how these theoretical accounts of argument apply to popular contexts such as advertising, public deliberation, and journalism. Students will explore these issues through reflective writing, several short papers and a research project of their own design.Fall
266

Words Have Power: Writing for Social Change

Colocates with: GSWS 276

What kinds of power do words really have? What does it mean to be a writer-activist? How can we use writing as a tool for social change?Drawing on social and political concepts like community, power, justice, and democracy, and scholars who reflect on these issues, this course will engage with a variety of texts (scholarship, blogs, documentary films) as we consider how the political can inform what we believe and impact the choices we make as writers. Through experiential learning and reflective writing, students will explore the power of writing to elicit equity, inclusion, and change. Research projects may include traditional academic source material, primary research such as fieldwork, surveys, and interviews, and direct work with local community organizations. Class time will include visits from community speakers and off-campus events. This is a community-engaged course that meets the requirement for the citation in community-engaged scholarship.Fall
267

Legal Writing and Analysis

In this course, students will develop an understanding of practical legal writing and legal analysis. Students will examine the relationship between common law and statutory construction as they develop core legal writing competencies. Through problem-based learning, students will learn to distinguish pertinent case facts, applicable law, and possible outcomes for legal problems in a real-world, community context. With a focus on analysis of cases and statutes, students will develop a series of legal communications, such as client letters/emails, legal memoranda, and legal documents which are grounded in an argument and based on law and facts. This course may be used as a cognate course for the Legal Studies minor.Spring
268

Black Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric

Colocates with: GSWS 165, RELC 165

Preaching uses religious rhetoric in communal contexts in order to share and perhaps persuade congregants into various Biblical interpretations. This course provides an overview of histories and contexts of Black preaching while exploring argument, arrangement, invention, delivery and style as preachers/pastors make claims of God, suffering and liberation. This course will be interactive, consisting of presentations, discussions, lectures and a field trip to a local Black church to witness firsthand preaching traditions. We will learn about varying preaching methods (Proctor, Mitchell, Rufus, Womanist…) across varying denominations (African Methodist Episcopal, COGIC, Apostolic…)—of which—made clear stances on whether enslaved Africans were allowed to worship amongst White people—subsequently, banning preaching for Black people. From an outlawed performance to a lauded communication art form, Black preaching provides insight to Black religiosity and American religious history.Spring
272

Communicating Your Professional Identity - Biology and Public Health

Colocates with: BIOL 272W

This interactive course teaches 'real life' communication skills and strategies that help students present their best professional selves and develop a fulfilling career. Students will explore and articulate their internship, career and graduate school goals for distinct audiences and purposes as they develop a professional communication portfolio of materials such as resumes, cover letters, statements of purpose, electronic communications, elevator pitches, project descriptions and abstracts, and online profiles (i.e., LinkedIn). Students will revise and refine their written and spoken work across the semester based on feedback from peers, instructors, and alumni. By the semester's end, students will have gained extensive experience with the communication skills expected in today's competitive environment. The class can be used to fulfill 1 of 2 required Upper-Level Writing experiences in biology or public health, and is suitable for junior and senior year biology and public health majors.Fall, Spring
273Communicating Your Professional Identity - EngineeringThis interactive course teaches 'real life' communication skills and strategies that help students present their best professional selves and develop a fulfilling career. Students will explore and articulate their internship, career and graduate school goals for distinct audiences and purposes as they develop a professional communication portfolio of materials such as resumes, cover letters, statements of purpose, electronic communications, elevator pitches, project descriptions and abstracts, and online profiles (i.e., LinkedIn). Students will revise and refine their written and spoken work across the semester based on feedback from peers, instructors, and alumni. By the semester's end, students will have gained extensive experience with the communication skills expected in today's competitive environment. This course is suitable for sophomores and juniors in the Hajim School; all others require permission of the instructor. Students must have completed a minimum of two engineering or CS courses in their major.Fall, Spring
274

Communicating Your Professional Identity - Psychology

Colocates with: PSYC 274W

This interactive course teaches 'real life' communication skills and strategies that help students present their best professional selves and develop a fulfilling career. Students will explore and articulate their internship, career and graduate school goals for distinct audiences and purposes as they develop a professional communication portfolio of materials such as resumes, cover letters, statements of purpose, electronic communications, elevator pitches, project descriptions and abstracts, and online profiles (i.e., LinkedIn). Students will revise and refine their written and spoken work across the semester based on feedback from peers, instructors, and alumni. By the semester's end, students will have gained extensive experience with the communication skills expected in today's competitive environment. The class can be used to fulfill 1 of 2 required Upper-Level Writing experiences in psychology, and is suitable for junior and senior psychology majors; all others require instructor permission.Fall, Spring
275Communicating Your Professional Identity - MathematicsThis interactive course teaches 'real life' communication skills and strategies that help students present their best professional selves and develop a fulfilling career. Students will explore and articulate their internship, career and graduate school goals for distinct audiences and purposes as they develop a professional communication portfolio of materials such as resumes, cover letters, statements of purpose, electronic communications, elevator pitches, project descriptions and abstracts, and online profiles (i.e., LinkedIn). Students will revise and refine their written and spoken work across the semester based on feedback from peers, instructors, and alumni. By the semester's end, students will have gained extensive experience with the communication skills expected in today's competitive environment. The class can be used to fulfill 1 of the 2 required Upper-Level Writing experiences in mathematics, and is suitable for juniors and seniors.Fall, Spring
276

Communicating Your Professional Identity - Law, Policy, and Social Good

Colocates with: INTR 299, PSCI 299

This interactive course teaches 'real life' communication skills and strategies that help students present their best professional selves and develop a fulfilling career. Students will explore and articulate their internship, career and graduate school goals for distinct audiences and purposes as they develop a professional communication portfolio of materials such as resumes, cover letters, application essays, electronic communications, elevator pitches, project descriptions and abstracts, and online profiles (e.g., LinkedIn). Students will revise and refine their written and spoken work across the semester based on feedback from peers, instructors, and alumni. By the semester's end, students will have gained extensive experience with the communication skills expected in today's competitive environment. Course is designed for juniors and seniors with an interest in law, policy, and social good careers. This course may not be used to satisfy any major or minor requirements in Political Science or International Relations.Fall, Spring
277

Communicating Your Professional Identity - Cross-Disciplinary

This interactive course teaches real life? communication skills and strategies that help students present their best professional selves and develop a fulfilling career. Students will explore and articulate their internship, career and graduate school goals for distinct audiences and purposes as they develop a professional communication portfolio of materials such as resumes, cover letters, statements of purpose, electronic communications, elevator pitches, project descriptions and abstracts, and online profiles (i.e., LinkedIn). Students will revise and refine their written and spoken work across the semester based on feedback from peers, instructors, and alumni. By the semester's end, students will have gained extensive experience with the communication skills expected in today's competitive environment. This course is suitable for second-semester sophomores, juniors and first-semester seniors; all others require permission of the instructor. All majors welcome.

Fall, Spring
282

Research Methods

Spring
370

Creating Digital Identities

Fall
391

Independent Study

Fall, Spring
395Independent ResearchSpecial application required and permission of the School Dean required.Fall, Spring