Welcome to the Rhetoric and Composition Program

The RC program mission statement regarding diversity and inclusion:               

The Appalachian State University General Education Rhetoric and Composition program utilizes current pedagogical practices that encourage students and faculty to undertake the serious work of critical thinking and reflection; research and evidenced interpretation; and knowledge production as we engage and create texts across multiple genres, disciplines, modes, and contexts. When grounded in rhetorical ethics, the study of literacies, rhetorics, and writing can empower students to be responsible and reflective local and global citizens. Recognizing that rhetorical awareness is essential to social justice, sustainability, and community engagement, we cultivate a spirit of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in the RC gen-ed program.

In November of 2011, Appalachian's writing programs were awarded The Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Writing Program Certificate of Excellence due to the structure of our program, the accomplishments of our faculty, and our dedication to extensive professional development. For more information about the award, please visit the following: CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence.

The Composition Program offers the first two courses of ASU's Vertical Writing Model (PDF): a first-year writing course (Rhetoric and Composition 1000: Expository Writing) and a second-year writing course (Rhetoric and Composition 2001: Introduction to Writing Across the Curriculum). After these two courses, students move on to a junior year writing-intensive course offered within their major, as well as a writing course their senior year with a significant capstone project.

We also offer Basic Writing (Rhetoric and Composition 0900) to help students familiarize themselves with the expectations of college-level writing; Writing Center Practice and Pedagogy (Rhetoric and Composition 3450) to prepare undergraduate students for work in the University Writing Center; and graduate courses related to our Rhetoric & Composition Graduate Certificate. Please see the course description pages for all of our courses listings and further information.

The Composition Program seeks to aid its students in becoming confident and authoritative writers, helping them to understand that writing is a combination of inventing and exploring new ideas, awareness of rhetorical situations, and effective communication. We emphasize process by teaching writing as a series of steps--invention, drafting, multiple revisions, and editing--that recur throughout the writing experience. We emphasize product by helping students consider the writing situation and audience concerns, creating quality drafts, and having them reflect on their writing experiences in the completion of a final portfolio at the end of the semester. We also seek to ensure the best possible education of our students by maintaining a strong focus on faculty development.

Both the administration and faculty of the Composition Program are proud of our collaborative role in the University and apply that value in every aspect of our instruction and assessment. In close collaboration with the University Writing Center, the Writing Across the Curriculum Program, and the University's General Education Program, we strive to help our students see that writing is accessible to everyone and that the abilities and experiences they gain in our classrooms can transfer into the writing situations they will find in the wider university and professional worlds.

Please contact us if you have questions about any of the information on this site. 

Recent News:

Morgan Pruitt: 

Congratulations to Morgan Pruitt, the recipient of a Staff Shout Out from the Staff Recognition Committee, a committee of the Staff Senate, in honor of her "positive attitude and generosity."

Aaron Ballance:

Congratulations to Aaron Ballance, the winner of the 2017 Linda Flowers Literary Award from the North Carolina Humanities Council.  The Council honored Aaron in November at the NC Writers' Network Conference.  Aaron was presented with a plaque, a $1,500 honorarium, and this June he'll have a week-long residency at Weymouth in Southern Pines.

Click here to see a great article from the Winston-Salem Journal about Aaron winning the 2017 Linda Flowers Literary Award!

Miles Britton, Julie Karaus and Brendan Hawkins:

The latest edition of AePR (the ePortfolio Review online journal) includes articles by three of our faculty. Brendan Hawkins (now in Florida State's PhD program in Rhetoric and Composition) and Julie Karaus have an article, "Isolating Rhetorical Challenges with Curation in ePortfolios: A Writing Faculty Workshop," and Miles Britton wrote the following article: "More than Words: Assessing Students' ePortfolio Design and Visual Literacy in the Composition Classroom."

Suzanne Samples:

(from Carl Eby)

"A big congratulations to Suzanne Samples! Suzanne has just won the 2017 Cardinal Sins Flash Fiction Competition, which is open to writers around the world. Suzanne's story "Predators" was selected from 250 finalists as the winner. In addition to a cash prize, Suzanne's story will be published in the print and online versions of Cardinal Sins, and Suzanne will be honored at a reception in Michigan this December."

Heather Custer:

At the College of Arts and Sciences Awards Luncheon (October 2017), it was announced our own Heather Custer won the Non-Tenure Track Teaching Excellence Award! Additionally, Heather's certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in the area of Early Adolescence/English Language Arts has just been renewed. Nice work, Heather!

We would like to congratulate Rhetoric and Composition Faculty who were selected by freshmen through the 2016-2017 MapWorks survey as "Most Helpful Faculty and Staff!"

Katie Adams

Kate Birgel

Dennis Bohr

Heather Custer

Benjamin Good

Kim Gunter

Lorraine Harris

Andy Hill

Morgan Pruitt

Georgia Rhoades

Tiffany Wilgar

Sarah Zurhellen