Doctor of Philosophy Program Guide: Language and Rhetoric

The written examinations cover three areas: (1) major approach to study in language and rhetoric; (2) second approach to study in language and rhetoric; (3) special topic or third approach to language and rhetoric. The reading list should cover primary texts; relevant materials from historical context; and pertinent scholarship and research.

  1. First Approach to Study in Language and Rhetoric. This exam is intended to help students develop advanced competence within a prominent approach to the study of language and rhetoric. This should be an established kind of inquiry in English language study or rhetoric and composition. Examples include:

    • discourse analysis
    • rhetoric
    • composition
    • ethnography
    • history of the English language
    • teaching English to speakers of other languages
    • other similar established areas of study
  2. Second Approach to Study in Language and Rhetoric. This exam asks students to develop advanced knowledge in a second approach to the study of language and rhetoric which provides contrast to the methods and assumptions of the major approach. A Second Approach may be chosen from suggested approaches for the First Approach.
  3. Special Topic or Third Approach to Study in Language and Rhetoric. The third exam may be a topic of special interest for the student or a third approach to study in language and rhetoric:
    • Special Topic

      • A “special topic” is a more narrowly delimited topic, sometimes a significantly augmented subset of the material covered in the Major Approach list.
      • “Special topics” are sometimes intended as a future area of dissertation research.
      • It may be an area of significant but narrowed research, such as
        • gender
        • second language writing
        • digital literacy
        • basic writing
        • writing program research
        • writing assessment
        • language policy
    • Third Approach, from examples listed under the Major Approach