To add to Will's description of his program, here's a description of our
undergraduate Rhetoric and Professional Writing major at Waterloo.
The following are the required core courses
292--Contemporary Issues in Language, Writing, and Rhetoric
210E, G, or F--one of the three; 210E-Technical Writing, 210G-Business
Writing, 210G-Technical Writing-On-line Mode.
306A-English Language and Linguistics
309A-Rhetoric I : Principles and Practices (classical rhetoric)
309C-Contemporary Rhetoric Theory
392A,392B,408A,408B,408C--any two of these: 392A-Theories and Practices of
Documentation, 392B, The Rhetoric of Text and Image, 408A, Writing for the
Media, 408B, The discourse of Advertising, and 408C, The Rhetoric of Web
Design. (we unofficially call these portfolio courses as the students
produce and analyzed items for their portfolios in these courses).
Electives include course in Speech writing, creative writing as well as
several linguistic courses,
They also have to have two language based courses in their first year as
well as 7 literature courses and 2 computer courses.
We also have a co-op work program at Waterloo which helps a great deal in
terms of keeping up with software innovations. There is no way we have the
resources to keep up with changes in software or even to really teach them--
but the co-op program does help as it provides many of our students with the
on-job training that we cannot provide.
From: Will Garrett-Petts <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: February 1, 1999 12:31 PM
Subject: Re: Issues in Composition at Canadian Universities
>> The RPW stream sounds to me like a great idea. I believe that if I had
>> the choice, I may have taken an honors BA in an RPW program. Does the
>> program have writing courses for every year of study, in a more advanced
>> level each year? (does your dept. have the info on a website yet?) Is
>> there any cross-pollenation going on, so that students focusing in one of
>> these streams need to take a few courses in the other two?
>The RPW option does allow English majors to mix and match, and, yes,
>we are looking at the following sequence of writing courses:
>English 110 (first-year comp)
>English 229 (business & professional writing)
>English 301/302 (intermediate writing)
>English 308 (personal writing)
>English 309 (writing in the disciplines)
>English 310/311 (Classical & contemporary rhet/comp theory)
>English 478 (scholarly editing: in the year 2000, we'll introduce
> students to editing practices using our journal, _Textual
> Studies in Canada_ as a vehicle)
>and an English 307 (Studies in Rhetoric/variable content).
>> Interesting. Does your university have a journalism program? I have
>> thought of journalism as a type of professional writing degree. I wonder
>> if there will be some sort of tension or competition between Journalism
>> programs and this type of program.
>UCC just started a BA in Journalism, and the RPW option was worked
>out in consultation with that new program (with Journalism students
>taking some of our courses for elective credit, and English
>students allowed to take selected Journalism courses as space allows).
>We also give full program credit to specified courses taught in Philosophy,
>Theatre, and Anthropology.
>> Who will do the teaching of the courses? Do the faculty feel that anyone
>> among them can teach writing and rhetoric courses just as well?
>Our preferred option is to hire a rhetoric/composition specialist. We
>do have Department members, however, who feel they might be able to
>cover some of the courses. I'm always (ie., continually) surprised
>how often one needs to argue the benefits of hiring someone whose
>research interests & training relate directly to what she or he
>I suspect that, locally, we'll work things out. My point in
>raising this example is to suggest that the relative absence
>of Canadian grad programs in rhetoric/comp, and the relative
>emphasis on reading rather than writing, necessitates an
>ongoing rearticulation (perhaps even reinvention) of the
>discipline to suit local circumstances. Will
> < < W.F. Garrett-Petts > >
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