Featured Courses

Fall 2023

ENGCMP 1402 Grant Writing for Research 

Grant Writing for Research is a seminar in which students develop a grant proposal by defining needs, reviewing existing projects and literature, researching sources of funds, and writing a proposal with a specific audience in mind. Students will gain  an understanding of grant proposal writing from an initial idea through final submission and the research and writing skills necessary to write successful proposals.

ENGCMP 1270 Projects in Black Rhetoric

Projects in Black Rhetoric will explore the questions: How do we represent Blackness on the global stage? What effect do media, photography, and global technological networks have on this representation? This projects course will focus on Black visual representation in a global context and guide students through some of the historical debates, ideals, tools, and the impact of contemporary technological contexts on Black Rhetoric. Students will be asked to use these debates, ideals, tools, and contemporary incarnations to produce creative, analytical, digital, or persuasive projects over the course of the semester.

Summer 2023

ENGCMP 0610 Composing Digital Media

Composing Digital Media is a six-week, in-person course. Through play and experimentation, students engage in writing on a wide variety of multimodal platforms, media, genres, and styles. Classes will focus on composing, design, delivery, and accessibility.


ENGCMP 0560 Writing Arguments

Writing Arguments is a six-week, asynchronous course where students practice verbal strategies and writerly moves to make their arguments persuasive across a variety of genres and technologies on topics of present interest.


Spring 2023

FP 0006 Rock and Roll as Literature 

Rock and Roll as Literature is a Seminar and Composition course where students will examine Rock history during the 1950s-80s. Students will listen to the music of this era, read literature, and engage in discussions and writing that lets them explore their individual curiosities about the rich history of music and Rock and Roll. 


FP 0006 On a Quest 

On a Quest is a Seminar and Composition course where first-year students will look at Quests in early medieval stories and contemporary media. Students will consider how engaging in quests is a way to discover, learn, and find out about themselves and the world around them.  


ENGCMP 0214 Seminar in Composition: Sustainability 

In this section of Seminar and Composition, students will learn to develop sustainable relationships and use writing to engage with the world and initiate change. Students will learn how to write in the world rather than about it. This class is excellent for anyone passionate about sustainability, examining what it means to pursue sustainability professionally and the implications of living through a sustainability crisis. 


ENGCMP 0435 The Public Athlete 

The Public Athlete will study the history of sports writing and consider how today’s technologies can shape the representation of athletes in the public eye. Students will write across several genres, including rhetorical, creative, journalistic, and informational. Students will also think carefully about the role of sports and athletes in shaping notions of racial, gender, and class-based identities. 


ENGCMP 0540 Introduction to Disability Studies 

Introduction to Disability Studies challenges students to think about how societal views on disability have resulted in barriers to access and representation for people with disabilities. Students will consider medical, social, individual, identity, and other models of understanding disability. Projects for the course will include a rhetorical analysis of a cultural artifact through the lens of disability, a personal disability narrative essay, and a multimodal video accessibility assessment of a public or professional space. 


ENGCMP 1210 Conjurations: Topics in Black Rhetoric and Public Writing 

Conjurations: Topics in Black Rhetoric and Public Writing is a course that explores Black Rhetoric through the lens of magic, lived experience, and creative production. Students will engage with the ghostly imprints of Black scholars, artists, and everyday people to probe the connections between lived experience and writing. This course will also discuss digital composition, intentional remixing, written and public conjuration, and critical and cultural analysis of Blackness as an identity, methodology, and living subject. Students will create their own forms of conjuration by writing a spellbook that includes a range of modalities and illustrates the complex relationship between identity, experience, and writing.


ENGCMP 1220 Art of the Essay 

Art of the Essay is part of the Pitt Prison Education Project, where students will visit SCI–Somerset and explore the many forms of essay, including portrait, list, meditation, poem, and argument. Pitt students in this course will learn alongside incarcerated students, writing thoughtful, imaginative, and playful essays to be workshopped with the class. Students will travel to SCI each Thursday, leaving at 11:30 a.m. and returning by 5:30 p.m. 


ENGCMP 1420 Writing Proposals for Business

Writing Proposals for Business offers students the opportunity to learn about business proposals, how they differ from other professional writing, and how to get creative in your proposal writing. Students with walk away with knowledge of how to navigate the proposal request process, how to strategize in their writing, and how to craft proposals based on industries and topics of their choosing. This course doesn’t require previous knowledge of proposal writing, and all students will leave the course with a complete proposal they can add to their professional portfolio.


ENGCMP 1430 Usability Testing in Technical Writing 

Usability Testing in Technical Writing prepares students for the creative and technical demands of the professional and technical writing workplace. The course will ensure students possess the hard skills of usability testing and the soft skills required to communicate their results. Students will learn design theories and principles alongside practical applications for measuring usability and user experiences for products and services. The course also incorporates aspects of product consulting, leading students to apply their theoretical and practical understanding of usability testing.


ENGCMP 1510 Writing with Style 

Writing with Style is an advanced writing course that will help students explore how to incorporate style in their writing on the sentence, paragraph and essay level. Students will read texts by poets and essayists, engage in imaginative exercises and language games, compose writing projects and workshop with peers weekly. The course will immerse students in the practice of writing compelling sentences that best express their thoughts and motives.


ENGCMP 1551 Professional Editing in Context 

Professional Editing in Context is a course all about editing where students learn relevant skills they can apply in a future professional position. This course is helpful in a wide range of professional writing fields and significantly benefits those pursuing a career in editing. 




Fall 2022

ENGCMP 0440 Critical Writing

Students in ENGCMP 0440 Critical Writing will be trained in the responsible development and articulation of written opinions. Material drawn from various media will be used to help students increase their powers of observation and analysis that they may learn the art of making discriminating evaluations of situations, events, issues, controversies, artifacts and objects. 


ENG CMP 0510 Narratives of the Workplace

Narratives of the Workplace builds on the work of general writing and 400 level course offerings such as written professional communication, writing in the legal professions, and writing for the public by providing students with the opportunity to diversify their writing skills through critically examining workplace narratives and creating an archived presentation based upon workplace experiences or histories. 


ENGCMP 0540 Introduction to Disability Studies 

Introduction to Disability Studies provides students with a foundation for using writing to understand, apply, and critically engage with key concepts and histories that have been crucial to the experiences of people with disabilities, and perceptions and treatment of those with disabilities. Students can expect to explore and write theoretical pieces, first-person accounts, and representations of people with disabilities. They will learn various models of understanding and discussing disability (including the social, medical, individual model, and identity models) and the histories that have shaped the lives, experiences, and perceptions of people with disabilities. Students in the course will have the opportunity to compose rhetorical analyses of popular, public, and professional representations of disability. Historically, disability has been viewed as a deficiency or defect through the lens of religious and, most prominently, medical discourses, locating disability within an individual's body and mind. Seeing disability as a problem to be solved has resulted in significant barriers to access and representation for people with disabilities within all areas of the public sphere. Students will develop their own written critical inquiries into concepts such as normalcy, disability, and barriers to access (including physical, social, attitudinal, legal barriers). This course will not only offer critical interrogations of disability as a construct, but also center the lives and experiences of those with disabilities, viewing disability as a locus of identity and culture. To that end, students will watch documentaries and television media, and read memoir, personal essays, and poetry that present the pride, struggles, and everyday experiences of people with disabilities. Students will also study the Disability Rights Movement and inquiries into identity politics as related to disability as an identity category. The course will invite students to use composition to increase accessibility for those with disabilities and to consider the potentials and limitations of universal design. 


ENGCMP 1130 Projects in Digital Composition

Projects in Digital Composition builds upon Composing Digital Media (ENGCMP 0610) by requiring students to compose original projects in a particular focal area digital media while exploring the rhetorical, poetic, and political implications of that focal area. Where students in Composing Digital Media typically learn how to compose a range of critical media objects using web-authoring languages, text, sound, images, and video, Projects in Digital Composition will give students the opportunity to focus closely on a particular theme or category of multimodal composition. As with Composing Digital Media, theories of writing, composing, design, critique, delivery, remediation, and revision are central to the coursework. The course also emphasizes the importance of self-guided skills acquisition. 


ENGCMP 1270 Projects in Black Rhetoric

Projects in Black Rhetoric centers the formal, purpose, and audience choices made by Black authors as they depict their pasts, presents, and futures. We will encounter Black art across different mediums, ­prose, music, visual and digital arts-that strives to depict Black temporalities and will interact with them in ways that position the students within the complex interplay between Black lived experience and its artistic representations of different understandings of time. Over the course of the semester, students will engage these depictions in a wide variety of ways across multiple writing assignments. 


ENG CMP 1402 Grant Writing for Research

Grant Writing for Research invites students to study practices related to researching and requesting federal funds for a specific project. This course is for those interested in learning: how funding supports projects and research in their aspirant discipline or area of study; the interest areas and differences amongst notable grant-making agencies; how to read requests for proposals; proposal formats; logic models; and how to write and collaborate within a team. Research experience is not needed to enroll, but students should be interested in federal grants, either for their own (future) work or to gain valuable writing knowledge to support others. By the end of the course, students will understand the nature of public-sector grants, their lifecycles, where to find them, and application requirements. Students will also practice writing parts of a proposal (individually and within teams), engage in peer review, and deliver pitches to other teams in the class.




Summer 2022

ENGCMP 0400 Written and Professional Communication 

Written Professional Communication explores the methods of inquiry, analysis and composition characteristic of written communication in professional settings. The course will examine such writing's specialized use of language, conventions and formats, premises, motives, and purposes. By preparing letters, resumes, proposals, reports, etc. Students will get a feel not only for what "professional" communication is, but also for how and why it does, or can, or should function. 


ENGCMP 0420 Writing for the Public

Writing for the Public explores the theory and practice of writing that serves the public interest, including writing for the nonprofit and the governmental sectors of American society. The course will explore the ethics of writing for the public, the impact of rhetorical contexts on writing, and the ways in which writing and revision can allow us to understand a problem or issue in a new way. Students can expect to read examples of writing for the public, conduct significant research, and write in different genres. 


ENGCMP 0560 Writing Arguments

Writing Arguments has two goals: to help students become more adept at understanding and critically analyzing arguments, and to help students become better arguers themselves. Students in "Writing Arguments" will practice composing arguments across a variety of forms, genres, and technologies (written, visual, oral, digital) in order to develop and hone their persuasive language skills. As part of this practice, students will have the opportunity to design and participate in written and oral debates on topics of present interest and to compose their own examples of public persuasive communication. Writing Arguments would be especially appropriate for students headed to law or graduate school.


ENGCMP 0610 Composing Digital Media

Composing Digital Media is a writing course that, through play and experimentation, engages with a wide variety of writing platforms, genres, and styles. We will use different forms of media throughout the writing process to take a close look at rhetorical choices in writing and the poetic, political, and sensory attributes of specific writing platforms. Classes will focus on theories of writing, composing, design, delivery, and accessibility as we each compose one multimodal project for the course.