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Rhetoric & Writing

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The Program

The English Department offers a 42-hour Bachelor of Arts with Rhetoric & Writing Emphasis, Bachelor of Science with Rhetoric & Writing Emphasis, as well as a 24-hour Rhetoric and Writing Minor and a 15-hour English Writing Concentration Certificate.

The Rhetoric and Writing major emphasis is designed to develop skills valued by professions such as marketing, business, law, technical writing, education, healthcare, or publishing. A blend of marketplace-oriented writing courses in technical writing, grant writing, and web authoring offer real-world writing experience, often through service learning projects for regional community partners, while foundational courses in rhetorical and composition theory prepare students to teach writing or to pursue graduate study in rhetoric and composition.

Likewise, the Rhetoric and Writing minor complements degrees in education, business, science, healthcare, engineering, and social services, as well as all other fields where creativity, critical thinking, and clear communication skills are prized.

We encourage each Rhetoric and Writing student to consult with a Rhetoric and Writing faculty advisor to design a flexible program of study that best fits her or his career goals. Our Rhetoric and Writing faculty will work with you to find local internships, complete individual research projects, and create professional writing portfolios for the modern workplace. Please contact Dr. Patrick Shaw or Dr. Evon Hawkins for more information.

Rhetoric and Writing Faculty Advisors

Dr. Evon Hawkins' specialty is technical and professional writing. Most of her advanced courses include a service learning component that involves students in real-world writing. Dr. Hawkins also teaches courses in advanced composition, writing center theory, and empirical research methods, and she is a member of USI's Graduate Faculty.

Dr. Tom Rivers has been a professor of English for 41 years at the University of Southern Indiana. His scholarly and teaching areas of interest are in the history of rhetoric and literary theory. He received his BA in English from St. Michael's College in Burlington, Vermont where he grew up. He received his MA in English from Southern Illinois University and his doctorate from the University of Michigan. Besides teaching in the Department of English, he directs the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program.

Dr. Patrick Shaw is Associate Professor of English and the Director of Composition.  He teaches courses in the history of rhetoric and modern and contemporary rhetorical theory as well as freshman and advanced composition.  His research interests include rhetorical theory and writing program administration and assessment.