Over the course of my academic career, I’ve taught at a variety of institutions: community colleges, private liberal arts institutions, and public universities with extensive research activity. At these institutions, I’ve taught first-year writing within diverse curricular frameworks: some emphasized rhetoric, some composition, some writing about literature. I’ve also designed my own special-topics course in rhetoric and taught various literature courses. You can find syllabi, assignment sheets, and other pedagogical materials in the subsections below. For many of my courses, I use an assessment system called The Learning Record.
Advanced Rhetoric and Writing Courses
I have designed and taught a number of special topics courses for advanced undergraduates. At MTSU, I teach a course called Rhetoric and Recorded Sound as well as my own version of Advanced Composition. You can find sample syllabi for both courses below.
In 2012-13, I designed and taught my own version of UT-Austin’s RHE 309K, a special-topics course in rhetoric and writing. RHE 309K is targeted at non-majors, many of whom are sophomores and juniors looking to fulfill UT’s Writing Flag requirement. My course was entitled Rhetoric of Irony, and I have included a syllabus for an iteration of the course I taught during a summer session. I’ve also included descriptions of some short writing exercises that I assigned students. I adapted these exercises from the progymnasmata sequence included in Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee’s Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students.
In addition to the upper-level undergraduate courses I teach at Middle Tennessee State University, I teach first-writing courses. MTSU has a two-semester sequence. The first course, ENGL 1010, takes a genre-based approach to writing and literacy. The second, ENGL 1020, emphasizes research-based argumentative writing. The syllabus from my most recent section of ENGL 1020, which used a rhetorical framework and had students research and argue about future controversies, is available below.
Before coming to MTSU, I taught first-year writing courses at five other institutions, including The University of Texas at Austin. You can find my syllabus for UT-Austin’s first-year writing course, RHE 306: Rhetoric and Writing, below.
I’ve taught literature courses at both UT-Austin and Tennessee State University. At UT, I taught E 314L: Banned Books and Novel Ideas. E 314L serves two purposes: For English majors, it is an introduction to the modes of reading and writing expected of majors (close reading, historical and cultural criticism, etc.). For non-majors, the course fulfills a university-wide Writing Flag requirement. My syllabus for the course is included below.
In addition to the rhetorical tradition and contemporary approaches to writing instruction, I integrate a lot of digital and multimedia components into my pedagogy. From 2013-15, I was part of the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory’s pedagogy working group. My contribution to the group’s 2013-14 project was a lesson plan entitled “Podcast/Paper: Having Students Do One Assignment in Multiple Media.” I incorporated this plan into my RHE 309K course; an alternate version of it is available via the Digital Writing & Research Lab’s lesson plan library. I’ve also contributed three other lesson plans to that library; all three are linked to below.
- Revising/Drafting/Editing With Wikis: An online approach to collaborative composing that I used in RHE 306.
- Teaching the Enthymeme with Restaurants: Another lesson plan from my RHE 306 course. This one is designed to get students practice with logos.
- Creating Visual Models of Rhetorical Concepts with Adobe Illustrator: A plan I designed for my RHE 309K course. Inspired by the models of irony offered in Wayne Booth’s A Rhetoric of Irony, it asks students to use illustration software to create their own visual models of rhetorical devices.