Technical Writing & Digital Rhetoric, M.A.

Nov 15, 2019 Spring Semester Deadline

Apr 15, 2020 Fall Semester Priority & Graduate Assistance

Jul 15, 2020 Fall Semester Deadline

Program

This 30-credit graduate program offers courses in technical writing, digital rhetoric, and writing technologies and provides opportunities for hands-on experience, advanced scholarship, internships, and professional development. Students can complete program onsite or online.

Program Info

Tuition & Fees

$345 per credit plus student fees for Utah residents

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FAQ

In the TW&DR program, you will have opportunities to investigate the ways in which technical and rhetorical communication is created, used, and commodified. You will develop practical, theoretical, and ethical foundations for communicating across professional and sociocultural contexts.

Kenneth Burke said, “Wherever there is persuasion, there is rhetoric. And wherever there is ‘meaning,’ there is ‘persuasion.’” Digital rhetoric is simply a study of meaning-making in digital spaces. We apply classical and contemporary rhetorical theories to computer-mediated communication. Digital rhetoric is ubiquitous in today’s society, and it is certainly worthy of further understanding and advanced study.

You must take 4 required courses and 6 elective courses (30 credits). To graduate, you must earn a C or better in each class, with a cumulative 3.0 GPA. You must also fulfill institutional requirements, such as applying for graduation. Your advisor will help ensure your graduation readiness.

Required (9 cr)
     ENGL 6401          Research Methods
     ENGL 6400         Advanced Editing
     ENGL 6402         Critical Theories

Must choose one (3 cr)
     ENGL 6972R       Master’s Thesis
     ENGL 6971          Professional Portfolio (includes research-based reflection)
     ENGL 6900         Professional Internship (includes research-based justification and reflection)

Electives (18 cr, repeatable)
     ENGL 6480R      Special Topics in Technical Writing
     ENGL 6460R      Special Topics in Digital Rhetoric
     ENGL 6470R      Special Topics in Writing Technologies
     ENGL 6920R      Directed Readings

Graduate Assistants only (3 cr, must take during first teaching semester; counts as elective)
     ENGL 6820         Practicum in Teaching College Composition

Course descriptions are located in DSU’s catalog. A two-year course rotation is posted on the TW&DR website. Some courses not listed in the rotation are scheduled between you and the program chair to accommodate your personalized graduation plan.

DSU catalog

You will work with the program chair to determine the best culminating course for you based on your short- and long-term career goals and your area of interest. You will select one final project:

     ENGL 6972R Master’s Thesis
     ENGL 6971 Professional Portfolio (includes research-based reflection)
     ENGL 6900 Professional Internship (includes research-based justification and reflection)

All classes except ENGL 6820 are held one night per week, usually Monday through Thursday 6:00-8:30 p.m. Onsite students will typically meet in a campus classroom, but they have the option to attend class remotely as well. Remote students will attend class online using video conferencing software.

All courses are taught onsite and online except ENGL 6820, which is only taught onsite. You can graduate taking classes entirely onsite, entirely online, or some of each. Although you are required to attend each class during its scheduled time, you may select how you attend class, which affords you the flexibility you may need to attend from anywhere in the world.

Standard webcams and computer audio are usually compatible with the online delivery. You do not need a Zoom subscription. Your professor will invite you to class each week, and you will log in simply by clicking the link posted in the email invitation. It’s quite simple, actually, and it’s free! We use a 360-degree, voice-sensitive camera that allows onsite and online students to interact seamlessly.

Graduate Assistants will take ENGL 6820 on campus during their first teaching semester. For now, the course is Fall-only, typically held on T/Th afternoons.

As part-time faculty, Graduate Assistants will be the instructor of record in composition courses (ENGL 1010 or ENGL 2010). They will teach 3 classes per year, typically one in the Fall and two in the Spring. They will not assist full-time faculty with grading, teaching, or research.

G.A.s must be enrolled in at least 6 credits per semester and maintain good standing in the program. G.A.s will attend a week-long workshop before classes begin in the fall and will enroll in a practicum during their first semester (ENGL 6820) to receive intensive training in teaching first-year writing.

G.A.s in the TW&DR program will earn the part-time faculty rate, which is currently $3000 for one composition course. G.A.s will earn $9000 per year teaching part time. Unfortunately, we are not in a position currently to offer tuition waivers, but we may be able to help students identify external scholarship, grant, or voucher opportunities.

G.A.s have intangible benefits, too. You get experience teaching and support from qualified staff. As nearly all university faculty will tell you, teaching on a college campus is an enormous privilege.

Currently, tuition and fees for the TW&DR M.A. is $345 per credit, plus student fees, for Utah residents. You pay a flat rate per credit, no matter how many you take per semester. Utah students will pay about $11,350 and non-residents will pay about $31,000 to take the required course load. DSU—and the TW&DR program specifically—has the least expensive graduate tuition in the Utah System of Higher Education and one of the least expensive in the West. Similar graduate degrees in Utah cost about $14,000.

Graduate Assistants who teach every semester will earn substantially more than the degree costs.

Applicants must submit

  • Application form and $50 fee
  • Writing samples that demonstrate quality writing and analytical thinking
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Letter of intent, for G.A. applicants only
  • Transcripts from accredited college indicating a B.A. or B.S. with 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Language proficiency in Standard American English, for international speakers

No. You are not required to submit standardized exam scores.

After the completion of this program, students will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Convert technical language into user-friendly language
  2. Create software user manuals, documentation, and training materials
  3. Create supporting documentation for products
  4. Standardize content across platforms and media
  5. Produce technical artifacts through common software tools such as Dreamweaver, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, HTML editors, PowerPoint, Word, and Excel
  6. Integrate photographs, drawings, diagrams, animation, and charts to increase users’ understanding of technical documents
  7. Research topics to create technical publications
  8. Devise audience-aware documents that demonstrate a strong command of grammar, syntax, diction, and writing conventions

Contact

English Department

Email: english@dixie.edu

Phone: 435-652-7815

Office: Holland 465

Mike Peterson, Ph.D.

Department Chair

Email: Mike.Peterson@dixie.edu

Phone: 435-879-4373

Office: Holland 446

Joy McMurrin, Ph.D.

Technical Writing & Digital Rhetoric Program Chair

Email: Joy.McMurrin@dixie.edu

Phone: 435-879-4294

Office: Holland 448

Leslie Twitchell

Administrative Assistant

Email: Leslie.Twitchell@dixie.edu

Phone: 435-652-7815

Office: Holland 465