Sample Materials


English 776: Methods and Methodologies in Writing Studies (graduate course; A&M-Commerce)

Official Description: English 776: Methods and Methodologies in Writing Studies. This course will provide an introduction to research methods and methodologies commonly used in rhetoric, composition, writing studies, and literacy studies. Topics include the following: histories of research methods and methodologies; connections among (and understandings of) methods; practical guidance for student-selected, original research; and methodologies as theories that guide our use of methods. Students will learn how to create and sustain a research project by drawing attention to how methods and methodologies can enable, constrain, and complicate our work. Students will have the chance to learn about various methods (such as interviewing, archival work, grounded theory, ethnography) as well methodologies (such as feminist, transnational, racial). 

*this course served three distinct graduate programs (PhD, MA/MS, and Professional Advancement in English Studies Graduate Certificate) and was taught 100% online with optional weekly zoom meetings. 

ENG 776_AU 2022_Syllabus_Johnson.pdf
ENG 776 course schedule_AU22.docx

English 373: Advanced Composition (Christian Brothers University)

Official Description: English 373: Advanced Composition. Studies composition and rhetorical models accompanied by advanced analysis and practice of writing. 3 credit hours. Prerequisite: ENG 112, ENG 231, ENG. 232 or equivalent.

Something More Specific: Language and writing move us through the world. Languaging and writing are things we do to create and facilitate meaning in ways that communicate politics, education, culture, and, even, humanity. Throughout your schooling, you have likely learned a number of rules dictating how you should use language. These rules are often presented as the standard, correct, and only way to write and communicate. These are bad ideas about writing that limit the meaning-making possibilities as a writer. Furthermore, many sociolinguistics and writing scholars argue that “the idea of ‘standard American English’ is an artificial human construct used to establish hierarchies of language users” (Sánchez-Martín, p. 272). Such hierarchies support violence against communities often based on racist, gendered, sexist, ablest, and classist ideologies hidden with our language practices and politics.


In ENG 373, we will study the various ways that language and meaning are entangled with identity and power by investigating contemporary language topics such as white linguistic supremacy, code meshing/code switching, and other student-chosen topics. We will research, develop, and polish extended arguments that displace traditional “bad ideas about writing” and, instead, focus on the politics of language and the possibilities of linguistic justice.

Johnson_E373 syllabus_SP22.pdf
ENG 373 schedule_SP22_updated Feb 18.docx

English 371: Professional Communications (Christian Brothers University)

Official Description: English 371: Professional Communications examines and analyzes the forms of written, oral, and visual communication employed in professional settings. Prerequisites: ENG 112, ENG 231, ENG 232, or equivalent. 3 credits.


Something More Specific: This class gives you the opportunity to research and produce communicative genres often encountered in professional environments. Through a partnership with Cossitt Library, you will learn how the writing you produce requires you to understand specific rhetorical and social practices and be accountable for the meanings that exist in the texts you create. Most importantly, we will not ignore the ways market-based values affect our communications, and we will practice inclusion, sustainability, and social justice in our writing.

Johnson_ENG 371 syllabus_AU21_2.pdf
371 assignments.pdf

English 303: Topics in Media and Rhetoric (Christian Brothers University)

official description: English 303: Topics in Media and Rhetoric considers and analyzes the media and methods by which rhetoric may be employed and spread.  Additionally, this course will include the study of digital rhetoric. 3 credit hours. Prerequisite: ENG 112, ENG 231, ENG. 232 or equivalent. Repeatable for credit.


something a little more specific: What does a meme about COVID policies, a poster protesting student debt, a button calling for Trans rights, and a soundscape documenting Indigenous environmental activism have in common? Each of these are purposefully designed, curated, and composed “texts” that signal the multiple modes of communication available to social justice advocates. In this version of ENG 303, we will consider how intentionally designed multimodal communication can contribute to social justice activism and advocacy. Multimodality, we will learn, considers and (re)mixes five modes of meaning—linguistic, audio, spatial, visual, and gestural—when communicating. We will take advantage of the affordances and constraints of different modes, genres, and media to advocate for social change in ways beyond the purely discursive. Bringing the ideas of multimodal design and social justice together, we will study a range of important issues, including contemporary protest, communicating COVID, and student-chosen issues. This course purposefully mixes critical inquiry with creative composing so that students feel comfortable not only discussing rhetorical concepts but also putting those concepts into practice.

Johnson_E303 syllabus_SP22.pdf
ENG 303 brief guide_sp 22.pdf

English 303: Topics in Media and Rhetoric (Christian Brothers University)

official description: English 303: Topics in Media and Rhetoric considers and analyzes the media and methods by which rhetoric may be employed and spread.  Additionally, this course will include the study of digital rhetoric. 3 credit hours. Prerequisite: ENG 112, ENG 231, ENG. 232 or equivalent. Repeatable for credit.


something a little more specific: Mobile Technologies as Rhetorical Technologies – Mobile devices, such as smart phones, computer tablets, and wearable devices, are ubiquitous, rhetorical technologies that we use daily to communicate. From text messages to viral videos, we use mobile rhetorical practices to complete everyday tasks while expressing ourselves and engaging our communities. In this course, we will consider the intersections of technologies, composing practices, and identity while producing original material about (and with!) mobile devices. We will read widely across multiple disciplines from critical media studies to digital humanities to policy studies to user experience and design. Our goal is to not only discuss the possibilities available when communicating with mobile technologies but also provide you with a new way to think and compose rhetorically about/with yourself, your communities, and your mobile devices. You do not need previous experience with video, audio, or image editing technologies in order to complete class projects; you will receive necessary instruction and practice during the semester.

Johnson_E303 syllabus_SP21.pdf
english 303_assessment agreement_SP21.pdf

English 301: Topics in Cultural Rhetorics (Christian Brothers University)

Course Description: English 301: Topics in Cultural Rhetorics explores the ways different cultural discourses, such as race, ethnicity, region, gender/sexuality, or class, shape our understanding and use of rhetorics. Prerequisite: ENG 112, 231, 232, or equivalent. Repeatable for credit.


This is a story. For centuries, The Western Rhetorical Tradition (WRT) has dominated the scholarly study of written and oral communication. The WRT, typically, centers the “good man speaking well” who uses key concepts such as logos (logic), ethos (creditability), pathos (emotion), and kairos (proper timing) to present a reasoned argument to an accepting audience. But what happens when such appeals are ignored or misused by a rhetor? In a post-Truth era, where fact is called into question and typical rules of decorum are pushed aside, how do rhetoricians (that’s you and me) make sense of the world and its workings?


While the WRT is worthy of careful study (see ENG 300), in this course, we will look beyond the WRT to cultural rhetorical practices to understand the complex ways those left out of the WRT have harnessed impressive suasive tactics. Specifically, this course takes up the cultural rhetorics practice of storying as a mode of understanding, critiquing, and counteracting contemporary post-Truth discourses. We will read extensively across rhetorical traditions and beyond assumed disciplinary lines. We will work together to decide lines of inquiry for the course/your critical-creative projects. We will engage each other through story and center the work of Indigenous, Black, queer, trans, feminist, disabled, and transnational communities to build knowledge on the four pillars of cultural rhetorics: story as theory; engagement with decoloniality; constellate with communities; acknowledge all our relations. In sum, we will practice a cultural rhetorics framework for living and learning, together, in a post-Truth world.

Johnson_301 syllabus_AU20.pdf
Concept Constellation Prompt_E301.pdf

English 112: Composition II (Christian Brothers University)

official description: An introduction to argumentative strategies, research skills, and other applied writing. Students will write several short pieces and a research paper. Special sections which focus on a specific topic may be designated. Honors Program students typically take ENG 231 and ENG 232 instead of ENG 111 and ENG 112 and a literature course. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ENG 111.


something more specific: Writing is a powerful way of understanding ourselves and the world in which we live.  It is through writing that the various disciplines and professions define the knowledge and methodologies that characterize them.  Building a diverse toolbox of writing and information literacy skills is central to engaging in the productive life of academic and professional discourse communities. To these ends, this course is designed to introduce you to the genres of academic writing and research. Our approach will be “writing about writing,” which is designed to strengthen your writing by exposing you to and asking you to engage with the writing done by professional academics. We will survey disciplinary conventions and ruminate on what is means to write as a humanist, scientist, engineer, social scientist, etc., respectively. You will have the opportunity to examine a topic of your choosing and conduct research on how and why various discourse communities take up similar topics but to different ends.


You might, for example, be interested in current environmental justice policies. Across our course assignments, you might research, compare, contrast, and synthesize how environmental justice policies are discussed and influenced by climate scientists, engineers, political scientist, and historians. You would then ask: how do these different experts inform each other? This type of constellating of knowledge offers deeper and more rigorous conversations about important topics while making space for various academic expertise, professional credentials, and lived experiences.

Johnson_E112 syllabus_SP21.pdf
Project 1 Assignment Sheet.pdf