National University

General Course Information for ENG657: Modern Rhetoric

Course: ENG657 - Modern Rhetoric
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Description: Modern Rhetoric introduces students to the contemporary study of rhetoric. The course covers major figures such as Kenneth Burke, Lloyd Bitzer, and Stephen Toulmin. The course introduces a wide range of academic interests in contemporary rhetoric; in particular, students will practice reading texts rhetorically through major theories of rhetoric.
Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Discuss and analyze scholarly articles in the field of Rhetoric and Composition Studies.
  • Analyze, discriminate, and distinguish disparate views on rhetoric and writing studies in the process of assessing complex epistemological, rhetorical, and ideological assumptions.
  • Appraise academic discourse to assemble a discriminating review of literature on a specific idea in Rhetoric and Composition studies.
  • Evaluate scholarly texts indicating possible areas of further inquiry.
  • Synthesize conflicting viewpoints to find productive research space in order to address vital questions in the field.
  • Evaluate the contributions of various major figures in the field.
  • Construct a niche or position and enter scholarly discourse through composing of a research paper with a strong claim.
Specified Program Learning Outcomes:
  • Specialization in Rhetoric
    • Analyze how language and image are used to produce various effects and meanings across a variety of media forms.
    • Evaluate the relevance and validity of different theoretical approaches to the understanding of specific texts.
    • Interrogate and synthesize key theories and practices within Composition Studies.
    • Produce a work of rhetorical criticism suitable for publication in a scholarly journal.
    • Produce rigorous critiques of the scholarly works of others.
    • Produce sustained textual analyses and interpretations that are informed by relevant published criticism.
Course Requirements: Minimum course requirements to meet the goals and measure studentsandamp; competencies include:andamp; andamp; andlt;br /andgt;1. Completion of assigned readingandlt;br /andgt;2.andamp; In-class discussionandamp; andlt;br /andgt;3. Completion of short essay assignmentsandlt;br /andgt;4.andamp; Completion of final research paper

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures