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Writing Center

01/27/2017 5:14 pm

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Virtual writing center


The Writing Center is a place to talk about writing. We believe that we become better writers when we seek feedback and reflect on our writing at all stages of the writing process.

Our peer writing consultants aid that reflection by asking questions and making suggestions that guide writers toward making effective choices, not just in pieces they discuss in the Writing Center, but also in their future writing.

Consultants are readers and responders, not graders or evaluators, and they’re not experts in every genre of writing. Yes, they provide the crucial feedback of a real reader, but they don’t have all the answers. This basic assumption should help everyone involved with the Writing Center:

  • consultants shouldn’t feel that they have to know all conventions of writing in all genres
  • writers visiting the Writing Center shouldn’t feel that they are being judged, that their writing will be magically fixed by a consultation, or that they are losing any of their authority over their work
  • classroom instructors shouldn’t worry that consultants will give their students advice at odds with their values or assumptions about writing

For more about who we are and to see where we’re located, watch our welcome video.

What to Expect

  1. The big picture: With one of our peer writing consultants, you’ll discuss the writing project (including the assignment itself and any notes from your professor), your goals for the session, and your strengths and weaknesses in approaching this kind of assignment.
  2. The text: If you have a draft of your writing, you’ll then discuss it with the consultant, focusing on the goals you discussed together. (If you don’t have a draft yet, that’s okay; we can help you discover ways to get started.) Many consultants will ask you to read your work aloud with a pen in your hand.
  3. Question and answer: Don’t be surprised if the consultant asks you a lot of questions–that’s what they’ve been trained to do! You might be asked to explain big-picture and sentence-level choices you made in your draft. For example, you might be asked, “Can you help me understand how these two paragraphs relate to each other?” or “How would you rephrase this sentence if you were explaining it to a friend?”
  4. A report: Together with the consultant, you’ll write a report of your visit, including brief notes on what you discussed and what some of your next steps could be. The consultant will then email a copy of the report to you and, with your permission, your instructor.
  5. Optional follow-up: If you’d like another visit to continue your conversation with this consultant later, be sure to set up an appointment. We encourage you to visit often, at various stages of your writing process.

Apply to be a Consultant

Students: are you a stellar communicator, both in writing and out loud? Professors: who are the best communicators in your classes?

We accept informal nominations (including self-nominations) for new Writing Center Consultants throughout the year. Send nominations or questions to Dr. Kyle Stedman at

For more details, including a position description and primary responsibilities, visit our full job description.

To Apply:

If you’re ready to apply, follow these steps:

  1. Select two pieces of writing you completed for college-level classes.

  2. Attach these two pieces to an email to Dr. Kyle Stedman ( In the body of your email, explain why you chose those two pieces of writing, why you’d like to be a consultant, and what particular qualities you can bring to the position.

  3. Successful students will then be contacted for an interview, at which point they’ll need to have a current Student Employment Work Authorization Card, available from the SAS office on campus.

In Fall 2018, we open on Tuesday, September 4.

Hours and Location

  • Mon-Thurs: 12-5 p.m.
  • Friday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Location: Howard Colman Library, Main Level

Contact:, 815-226-4043

If you can’t visit our physical location when we’re open: The Virtual Writing Center is designed as a digital version of our face-to-face Writing Center.

While we recommend the rich communication of face-to-face consultations, we realize that some writers find it inconvenient to travel to campus. Therefore, you may fill out an online form, attach a draft of your writing, and receive response from our consultants with ideas for revision. Please allow up to 48 hours for us to read and respond to your draft. When we are overwhelmed with face-to-face consultations, we may not be able to respond to requests immediately.

Meet our consultants

PDF showing which consultant is working at which times in Fall 2018

Annie Daab, Writing Center Consultant
Annie Daab
Major: marketing
Fact: My favorite movie is Interstellar!

Photo of Victoria Rodgers, Writing Center consultant
Victoria Rodgers
Major: English
Fact: I was nearly a published author as a freshman in high school.

Photo of Siyarath
Sindy Siyarath
Double-major: Anthropology/Sociology and English
Fact: I had a sweet bearded dragon named Pumpkin!

Photo of Laube
Erica Laube
Major: Accounting
Fact: I trained my cat Simba to do dog tricks!

An anime eye, representing consultant Jaci Borgen

Jaci Borgen
Major: English
Fact: I can crochet!

Teaching Writing

11/17/2016 1:23 pm

Periodically, Rockford University faculty host interactive workshops designed to help faculty across the curriculum teach writing.

This page is designed as an easy place to find the links, resources, and notes shared at each of these meetings. Often, those resources take the form of a single Google Doc, an online document that houses notes and resources for a meeting. If you’re unable to attend a meeting, or if you want to read more about the topics discussed, click the links below to access the Google Doc for that meeting.

What topics should we cover in future workshops? What would help you be a better teacher of writing? Contact Kyle Stedman with suggestions!

Spring 2015

Spring 2016

Fall 2016

Spring 2017

Fall 2017

Spring 2018

Fall 2018

Forum Series

11/03/2016 1:35 pm


The Forum Series’ central programming focus is geared toward students. Lectures and performances are concerned with intellectual, social, and cultural matters of general interest to deepen and broaden students’ education at Rockford University. Participation is required for all full-time undergraduate students.

Fall 2018 Events

A full listing of Fall 2018 Forum events will soon be posted in 3 places: the Forum page on, the list posted in the Forum class on Canvas (not yet active), and a PDF flyer available here

How Forum Works

Thumbnail image of an infographic explaining how attendance is taken at Forum events.
Do you know the basics of how Forum works? Click the image to find out.

Forum Series FAQs

View printable PDF: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Forum Series?
A: The Rockford University Forum series presents speakers from a variety of disciplines and performers of stature in the arts. The series is designed to provide a shared experience for students while broadening their education at the University. The Forum Committee, comprised of faculty and student representatives, selects the events.

Q: Are all students required to attend all the Forum series events?
A: All full-time undergraduate students are required to attend a minimum of two Forum series events each semester. (Exceptions: student teachers and participants in off-campus programs.) In most cases, students who reduce their course load below 12 credits at any point in the semester must still meet the Forum series requirement. Consult with SAS for further information on exceptions to this rule.

Q: Is a ticket required for Forum events?
A: Yes. A ticket is required for all Forum events. Student tickets are free with a Rockford University ID card; one free ticket per student. Tickets must be obtained at the university Box Office, located in Clark Arts Center and by email at

Q: How is Forum series attendance taken?
A: In order to receive credit for attendance, students must fill out a Forum card at each event. Forum cards can only be obtained from the faculty member(s) at the door of the event (not other faculty, staff or student workers, etc.). The faculty member(s) will be wearing a badge to identify him/herself. Only one card will be given to each student. Students need to bring a pen to fill out the card, which they should fill out legibly and accurately.

No Forum cards will be distributed after the event has begun. If students arrive late, they will not receive a Forum card. Forum cards can only be returned to the faculty member(s) at the door of the event (not other faculty, staff or student workers). Only one card will be collected from each student. No cards will be accepted until the end of the performance—including any question and answer period—or the end of an academic procession. (All students are expected to remain seated until the entire event has concluded.)

Use of cell phones and electronic devices or other inappropriate behavior during any Forum event could result in the loss of Forum credit at the discretion of the Committee.

Q: What happens if the requirement to attend two events a semester is not met?
A: Students who fail to fulfill the Forum requirement by the end of any semester will receive an “F” for that semester.

If a student fails the Forum requirement for any semester, the only way to make up the requirement is to submit an essay via e-mail to the Forum Committee based on event recordings (available in the library) from the semester failed (and only from an event you did not attend).

If students have any existing failed Forum grades, essays are due no later than 11:59 p.m., Monday, November 5, 2018 to the Forum Committee at

Make-up essays will only be accepted via e-mail. They can be submitted at any time, but will not necessarily be reviewed at the time of submission. Essays are not reviewed over the summer.

Beware: You must make up all failed Forum grades before you can graduate. If you plan to graduate in fall, your make-up essays are due by the first Monday of November; if you plan to graduate in spring, they are due by the first Monday of April. Because essays are not reviewed over the summer, summer graduates must also submit essays by the first Monday of April.

Essay Submission Guidelines:
Copies of the Forum essays must be submitted to the Forum Committee via e-mail. The Forum Committee will only accept and pass essays that meet the following minimum requirements:

1. A minimum of two full pages, double spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, 1” margins, word processed. Headers are not part of the page count.

2. It must be based on viewing or listening to a recording of a Forum event that the student did not attend from the semester in which the “F” was received. Recordings are available in the Howard Colman Library and are for in-library use only.

3. The heading of the essay must include the following: student’s full name, the semester being made up and the name of the event/speaker listened to or watched.

4. The essay must clearly show the student has listened to or viewed the entire recording. In the essays, the committee is looking for a balance of summary and critical thought. That is, the essay must both summarize the entire event and respond to it, perhaps with explanation, reflection, or commentary on the content/meaning/message of the event.

5. If your essay is not written professionally, following the rules of standard written English, it may not pass. Therefore, please carefully edit your sentences for style, grammar, and punctuation.

If the Forum Committee receives an essay with writing quality issues, the essay may be returned to you asking you to visit the Writing Center. If you are concerned about the quality of your writing, please visit the Writing Center before turning in your Forum essay. The Writing Center consultant will provide you with a report that you can attach to the electronic submission of your essay to the Forum Committee.

The essay-writing option is intended to remove only failed Forum grades from past semesters, not the current semester. The Forum Committee reserves the right to deem an essay acceptable or unacceptable. If the essay is not accepted, it must be rewritten and resubmitted (by a deadline set by the committee) in order to remove the Forum failure. Save a copy of the essay until any grade changes are finalized.

If there are any questions about the Forum policies, please contact the current Forum Administrator, Prof. Kyle Stedman at

Notice: Failure to complete the Forum Series requirement bars a student from the dean’s list or distinguished scholars list and from receiving their degree.

For a quick, incomplete version of how to make up past Forum events, you can also watch this video:

Forum Series logo

How to get tickets

Tickets are required for all Forum events. Student tickets are always free. To get tickets:

  1. Email
  2. Call the box office at 815-226-4100.
  3. Drop by the box office (Clark Arts Center lobby) M-F, 1-5 p.m.

How to suggest an event

Want to suggest an event for the Forum series? You can do so by filling out the Forum Event Suggestions form at any time; just click here.

Each spring semester, the Forum committee makes selections for the following school year. Suggestions for the following year are most likely to be reviewed and accepted prior to March 1.

Rhetoric Courses FAQ

08/05/2016 4:01 pm



Frequently Asked Questions: All-University, General Education Rhetoric Sequence

Note: These FAQs are answered here for your convenience.  The answers are not provided to replace or supersede the Rockford University academic catalog. 

Q. What is the all-university rhetoric sequence?
A. The rhetoric sequence comprises three courses:  two 100-level courses, and one 300-level course. The two 100-level, three-credit courses of the sequence are:

  • RHET 101, Introductory Rhetoric
  • RHET 102, Intermediate Rhetoric 

The 300-level, three-credit course of the sequence can be satisfied by:

  • RHET 351, Applied Rhetoric. 

Q. Can I graduate from Rockford University if I do not fulfill the rhetoric sequence?
A. No. The rhetoric sequence is an all-university, general education graduation requirement. To earn the B.A., B.F.A, B.S., or B.S.N. degree, all-university general education requirements must be fulfilled. 

Q. May I waive the all-university rhetoric sequence requirement?
A. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for instructions on seeking a waiver of any degree requirement. 

Q. What is the ‘Upper-Division Rhetoric Requirement’? 
A. The ‘Upper-Division Rhetoric Requirement’ is another phrase that refers to the 300-level rhetoric course (RHET35x) in the all-university rhetoric sequence. 

Q. What are the prerequisites for RHET 101?
A. RHET 101 has no prerequisites. 

Q. What are the prerequisites for RHET 102?
A. To enroll in RHET 102, the prerequisite is completion of RHET 101 with a final grade of ‘C’ or above or by departmental approval of transfer credit.

Q. What are the prerequisites for RHET 351?
ARHET 351 has two prerequisites, both of which must be met in order to enroll: A grade of ‘C’ or above in RHET 102 or equivalent and forty-five (45) hours of college course work.

Q. How do I know which Rockford University courses can satisfy a rhetoric requirement? 
A. Rhetoric courses are identified in two ways. First, their four-letter course designator is ‘RHET.’

Second, the course description includes the course listing code ‘Rh’ (fulfills rhetoric sequence requirement). 

Q. Is there a test I can take to place out of any rhetoric classes? 
A. Yes. If you received a 4 or 5 in the Advanced Placement (AP) English Language and Composition exam, you will place out of RHET 101.

Q. May I use transfer courses to fulfill the 100-level rhetoric courses?
A. Yes. If you are a new transfer student, registering for the first time at Rockford University, your transcript will be reviewed to determine whether or not you have fulfilled the requirements for RHET 101 and/or RHET 102.

If you are a continuing student at Rockford University and want to transfer a course to satisfy the RHET 101 or 102 requirement, you must have approval on file with SAS before you take the course. To secure approval, pick up a “Transfer of Credit” form at SAS and return the completed form with the appropriate authorizing signatures to SAS before you take the course. 

Q. Can transfer courses fulfill the 300-level rhetoric course?
A. No. Transfer credit is not accepted to satisfy the 300-level course.   

Q. When is the best time to take the rhetoric courses?
A. For most students, two options seem to work equally well. Most students take RHET 101 and RHET 102 in their freshman year and RHET 351 at the end of their sophomore or in their junior year. Some students take one course per year: RHET 101 in freshman year, RHET 102 in sophomore year, and RHET 351 in junior year.

Q. What if I am not a very good writer? 
A.  At Rockford University, we set high standards and work with you to achieve them. To complete RHET 101 and RHET 102, you have to earn a ‘C’ or above in each course, but should you happen to fall short in either, you can repeat the course. If you think you might need to take advantage of this repeat opportunity, do not put off taking these courses. In other words, especially when you are not confident about your writing skills, take these courses as early and as soon after each other as possible. As any smart coach knows, steady and focused practice works. 

How do I get help with writing outside of class?
A. Three great resources are available:  

  • Take advantage of one-on-one discussions with your professor about your writing. Your 
    professors hold office hours that they set aside to work with their students.
  • Check out free peer tutoring available in the Writing Center.  
  • Visit the Center for Learning Strategies in Starr Science, which provides yet another approach to individualized instruction.

Q. Are all the sections of a rhetoric course the same?
A. Yes and no. Every rhetoric course has a core syllabus that explains the shared descriptions, policies, goals, requirements, or assignments that students taking any section of that course may expect. These core syllabi are posted on the portal. Uniformity is greater in RHET 101 and 102 than in RHET 351 courses. For example, RHET 101 and 102 use the same texts across their respective sections. 

While all the RHET 351 courses share core goals, types of assignment, and policy, they deliver this core through different content. The RHET 351 courses provide an interesting menu from which students may choose the topic in rhetoric that they will be investigating over the course of the term. Click on the section to read the section content description.

Q. Why do all the rhetoric classes have the same attendance policy?
A. Students called attention to the potential unfairness in having different attendance policies in the rhetoric courses. Attendance is important because one key to academic success in the rhetoric courses is student participation in workshops, presentations, peer review, and in-class writing exercises. The English Department agreed that concerns about fairness across sections would best be addressed by establishing a uniform attendance policy for all.

Q. How do I take a rhetoric course that includes community-based learning (CBL)?
A. Refer to the individual section description of RHET 351 to determine if it contains a CBL component. 

Q. Which 300-level course fulfills the all-university, general education rhetoric requirement? 
A. All RHET 351 courses fulfill the 300-level, all-university, general education requirement. 

Q. When are RHET courses offered?
A. RHET 101 and 102 are offered during fall and spring semesters. RHET 351 is offered in fall and spring semesters, and in the summer when staffing allows.

Q. What if I want to take a rhetoric class that is closed?
A. The course instructor cannot add you to the waitlist or to the roster of a class; you need to add your name to the waitlist through Self-Service. Once you are waitlisted, plan to attend class as if you were enrolled, otherwise you risk being dropped for non-attendance. When spots open in a section, students are enrolled in accordance with their position on the waitlist (first on the waitlist, first off the waitlist). The English Department discourages over enrollment in rhetoric classes.

Q. What can I do if I am dissatisfied with the content, grading, or teaching in a RHET course?
A. We hope that speaking to the course instructor will address your concerns, but when it does not, you are strongly encouraged to speak to the English Department Chair or to the Arts and Humanities College Dean. 

Q. What if I have more questions about the rhetoric sequence?
A. Please contact any full-time faculty member of the English department with your questions and suggestions.

Department Information

Scarborough Hall
5050 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108

William Gahan, Ph.D.

Rhetoric Core Syllabi

08/05/2016 4:00 pm



RHET 101: Introductory Rhetoric

Course content
The first of a three-course sequence, Rhetoric 101 introduces rhetorical principles and their use in persuasive academic writing. Required papers will emphasize argument and focus on strategies such as literacy narratives, comparison and contrast, and cause and effect. In addition to journaling/blogging, students can expect at least four writing assignments. Required course: student must achieve a grade of “C” or above to meet this requirement. PRQ (Pre-requisites): None. Required unless entering with an Advanced Placement score of 4-5 or departmental approval of transfer credit. Scheduled: Fall/Spring, yearly. Meets: Rh 

Student goals

  • Develop Rhetorical Knowledge
  • Develop Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing Abilities
  • Cultivate Process Approaches to Composition
  • Develop Knowledge of Conventions
  • Develop Skills in Argumentation

To pass RHET101, students must complete all required assignments as stated on the course syllabus. Students will be expected to participate in workshopping and conferencing activities.

RHET 102: Intermediate Rhetoric

Course content
The second course of the rhetoric sequence, RHET 102 Intermediate Rhetoric, reinforces the rhetorical principles of argument introduced in RHET 101 Introductory Rhetoric. The focus of RHET 102 is on research-based writing, offered in three units: rhetorical analysis, research literacy, and applied rhetoric. Assignments include rhetorical analyses, descriptive and evaluative research review, and a substantive research project. Required course: student must achieve a grade of “C” or above to meet this requirement. PRQ (Pre-requisites): Grade of “C” or above in RHET 101 or departmental approval of transfer credit. Scheduled: Fall/Spring, yearly Meets: Rh 

Student goals

  • Develop Rhetorical Knowledge
  • Develop Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing Abilities
  • Cultivate Process Approaches to Composition
  • Develop Knowledge of Conventions
  • Develop Skills in Argumentation

To pass RHET 102, students must complete all required assignments as stated on the course syllabus. Students will be expected to participate in workshopping and conferencing activities.

RHET 351: Applied Rhetoric

Course content
RHET 351 Applied Rhetoric is the third course of the rhetoric sequence. Students demonstrate their skills in rhetoric by applying rhetorical principles of argument to a focused topic, which varies by section. RHET 351 builds on RHET 102 by assigning rhetorical analyses, research reviews, and a research project; however, these assignments are completed in the context of the section’s focus and with an emphasis on both oral and written arguments. Required course. PRQ: Grade of “C” or above in RHET 102 or equivalent and 45 hours of college course work. Transfer credit will not be accepted to meet the RHET 351 requirement. Scheduled: fall and spring, yearly. Meets: Rh.

Section description
The course and section descriptions are posted/published in the course schedule. A sampling of offerings follows:

“Rhetorics of the Body”: In this course we will take up the “body” as a site for rhetorical analysis, investigating such topics as the cyborg body, the sexed and/or gendered body, the disabled body, body modification, and medicalized bodies. Students will be asked to examine the ways in which rhetorical theory enables us to understand and respond to the variant meanings ascribed to bodies, to unveil the potentially discriminatory or unjust means through which bodies are labeled, and to increase awareness of the power (or lack of power) that bodies have in a given context. Course readings will explore the nexus of embodiment theory and rhetorical practice, reading benchmark works alongside contemporary texts and cultural artifacts. Over the course of the semester, students will be required to create a portfolio of work that employs rhetorical principles in examining the body. Specific assignments will include rhetorical analyses, research review, and the development of a large-scale, student-directed research project focused on an issue related to the rhetorical body.

“Environmental Rhetoric”: This course offers students an opportunity to study rhetoric on a variety of topics related to the environment, including conservation, animal rights, environmental justice, and the local foods movement. Readings for the class will range broadly from creative non-fiction and advertisements to film and poetry. With a grounding in these texts, students will then move on to develop their own research projects related to environmental rhetoric. This section of Rhet 351 should be a good match for students in the sciences and those concerned with the challenging environmental issues that we are faced with today. This course includes a CBL component. 

“Rhetoric of Professional Communication”: This course addresses the high-stakes world of professional communication by giving students practice in many professional genres, both written (in emails, memos, reports, and resumes) and spoken (in presentations). Our work in these genres will be shaped by an emphasis on design (including the effective use of colors, fonts, and other visual elements), both in print and online. We’ll approach these genres through the lens of rhetoric, the classical art of communicating effectively through attention to purpose, audience, context, and genre. Students will compose rhetorical analyses, redesign flyers, research effective professional communication strategies, and work with a group to create documents for a local nonprofit organization. 

“Dystopia: The Rhetoric of Dark Futures”: The twentieth-century has produced many dreadful visions of the future. These visions, whether dystopian or apocalyptic, create a powerful discourse of dehumanization brought about by loss of privacy, restricted civil rights, uncontrolled technology, human bio-engineering, and in some cases, nuclear or environmental annihilation. This course examines the genre of dystopia with a view to understanding its rhetoric, common traits, ideological modes, and historical specificity, including the new culture of “alternative facts”. Although the term “dystopia” predates 1900, dystopia became a recognizable literary and cultural genre during the twentieth century and has not lost its hold on our imagination in the twenty-first, as evidenced by recent films, novels, and animation. This rhetorical discourse consists of cautionary tales, social and political criticism, and thought experiments about scary futures that tell us more about the conditions in which they are made than about any anticipated future. While hopefully not prophetic, the rhetoric of dystopia deserves our attention as a primary register of current social fears and anxieties. 

“Gender and Rhetoric” This course offers students an opportunity to study Rhetoric on a variety of topics related to gender, including gendered media, gender in the workplace, gendered communication, and gender in the socialization process. The course will also examine the role of Rhetoric in the development of women’s and men’s movements in the United States. Readings for the class will range broadly from speeches and advertisements to essays and film. With a grounding in these texts, students will then move on to develop their own research projects related to Gender and Rhetoric. This course includes a CBL component.

“The Rhetoric of Sports” Consider: Michael Jordan’s tongue; Monica Seles’s grunt; John Madden’s bus; Tiger Woods’s apology. The evolution of sports rhetoric over the past two decades, with 24 hour cable and Internet coverage, permeates a good deal of the current cultural lexicon. Whether or not one considers him/herself a sports fan, the aforementioned names invoke some mix of verbal and visual cues. This class, within the context of classic rhetorical theory, and along with an anthology of Sports writing from the past century, will examine the visual and verbal arguments present throughout the 20th century as Sports solidified its hold on American culture. Students will read, analyze, the write on the arguments inherent in selected examples of sports writing and iconic sports images throughout the 20th century; in so doing, the class will consider the language of the sports themselves, including terminology, slang, and phrases employed both on and off the field; we will also consider the larger implications of the evolution of sports to broader issues of American identity as it pertains to issues of morality, gender, race, and class.

“Rhetoric of Change” Leaders strive to think locally and globally about the world, and they take action to change it. “Change” is one of the most popular campaign pitches for politicians. In this course, we will approach the rhetorical persuasiveness of such calls to action. Eric Fromm distinguishes the rebel from the revolutionary precisely to the degree to which the rebel has an agenda that can be understood as a cogent rhetorical argument. Calls for change can come in many forms, including films, essays, slogans, Op-Ed pieces, and protest art. While working with primary sources from the Library of Congress and also various secondary sources, we will apply classical rhetorical theory to study various calls to action. Students will collaborate on a presentation wherein they use primary sources from the Library of Congress to investigate targeted texts about civil rights. The final project includes an extended research essay that analyzes rhetorical arguments used in achieving a particular societal change in recent history. If they prefer, students may demonstrate their abilities to effectively wield rhetorical strategies in other ways. They may put forth an argument for how a particular change occurred, or they may produce an extended, researched argument that calls for societal transformation.

Student goals

  • Use the components of arguments (including claims, evidence, and proofs) in multiple rhetorical situations and genres
  • Analyze the effectiveness of arguments in their contexts
  • Apply sound rhetorical principles to build arguments in multiple genres and modalities
  • Demonstrate information literacy skills

To pass RHET 351, students must complete all required assignments as stated on the course syllabus. Students will be expected to participate in workshopping and conferencing activities.

Department Information

Scarborough Hall
5050 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108

William Gahan, Ph.D.

Rhetoric Courses

08/05/2016 4:00 pm



The rhetoric sequence at Rockford University consists of three classes:

  • Rhetoric 101 – Introductory Rhetoric
  • Rhetoric 102 – Intermediate Rhetoric
  • Rhetoric 351 – Applied Rhetoric

The applied rhetoric classes provide students with opportunities to refine their skills in critical thinking and practice developing oral and written arguments that respond to the complex situations they will face after graduation, both in the context of the workplace and in the wider public sphere.

Some rhetoric classes include community-based learning projects that contribute to an environment in which students consider how their skills may be applied to resolving issues arising within the context of the workplace and to problems affecting their communities.

Interdisciplinary reading, writing, and speaking assignments will help students discover connections among disciplines and will encourage them to develop strategies for synthesizing the knowledge they have acquired during their study at Rockford University.


Additional Resources

Department Information

Scarborough Hall
5050 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108

William Gahan, Ph.D.


08/05/2016 3:59 pm


Department Information

Scarborough Hall
5050 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108

William Gahan, Ph.D.

Scholarships and Awards

08/05/2016 3:59 pm


Colleen Holmbeck Poetry Prize 
The Colleen Holmbeck Poetry Prize is sponsored by the English Department of Rockford University and the Academy of American Poets. Named in recognition of a 1956 RC graduate and advocate of the arts on our campus, the prize offers a monetary award of up to $100. Winners are also listed in the Academy’s Annual Report.

Senior Seminar Award  

A yearly award voted upon by the English Department given to the best Senior Seminar project.  Includes recognition and English Luncheon and a small gift.
Jeremy Ingalls Memorial Scholarship
Established in 2013 by Colleen Kitzmiller Holmbeck, Class of 1956, and her husband, John. The scholarship is given to an outstanding student with junior standing who is majoring in English. 
 For more information on scholarships relevant to this department, please visit the Academic Catalog (pdf).

Department Information

Scarborough Hall
5050 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108

William Gahan, Ph.D.

Careers and Internships

08/05/2016 3:58 pm


English continues to be one of the premier majors for graduate programs in law, medicine, business administration, international relations, library science, education and journalism. English is a respected major in the business and professional community for entry-level management. We also enjoy a strong partnership with the education department as we jointly prepare students for teaching English at the secondary level. And our internship program offers English majors opportunities to consider different career options.

Department Information

Scarborough Hall
5050 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108

William Gahan, Ph.D.

Programs of Study

08/05/2016 3:58 pm



Degree Requirements

All students majoring in English are required to take the core and supporting courses plus credits from among literature, creative writing, and rhetorical studies seminar courses. To graduate with a degree in English, students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the major’s required courses.

Secondary Education Licensure (Grades 6-12)

Students interested in becoming licensed to teach English at the secondary level must complete all English major degree requirements, Education 363, a minor in secondary education, and additional General Education requirements for state licensure. For further information, see the Education department section of the Academic Catalog.

English Major, B.A. (42 credits)

Note: A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required in the major’s required courses.

Required Courses (21 credits)

ENGL 240 Introduction to Critical Theory  3
ENGL 280-283 Survey in Literature I-IV  12
ENGL 342 Seminar in Critical Theory  3
ENGL 495 Senior Seminar  3

Senior Seminar is offered in both the fall and spring semesters. Students will prepare a prospectus for the Senior Seminar project in English 342 prior to taking the seminar. Once English department faculty members have approved the prospectus, the student will be allowed to enroll in Senior Seminar and will complete the project during that semester.

Seminar-level Coursework
(15 credits)

ENGL 381 Seminar in Literature  6-15
ENGL 371 Seminar in Rhetorical Studies  0-9
ENGL 364 Seminar in Creative Writing  0-9

Students may choose to pair literature-focused seminars with either (or both) creative writing and rhetorical studies-focused seminars. Total credits must equal 15 (6 of which must be literature)

Supporting Course Requirements 
(6 credits)
Any 300-400 level courses that are neither ‘ENGL’ nor cross-listed with ‘ENGL’

English Minor
 (21 credits)

As with the major, the analytical and communication skills that minors in English acquire provide career flexibility, which is crucial in an age that rewards adaptability to rapid changes in the workplace.

Required Courses (21 credits)

Note: A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required in the minor’s required courses.

ENGL 240 Introduction to Critical Theory  3
ENGL 280-283 Survey in Literature I-IV, choice of 2 out of 4  6
ENGL 364/371/381 Seminar in Creative Writing/Rhetorical Studies/Literature  12


Additional Information

Department Information

Scarborough Hall
5050 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108

William Gahan, Ph.D.