Department of Rhetoric & Writing

SUB 100, (501) 569-3160, (501) 569-8279 (fax), Website

Carter, Joyce L., ProfessorProfessors:
Jensen, George H.
Kleine, Michael W.
L’Eplattenier, Barbara E.
Matson, Joanne L.
Nahrwold, Cynthia A.

Associate Professors:
Cox, Earnest L.
Kuralt, Karen M.
Robertson, Sherry
Williams, Joseph J.

Assistant Professor
Harris, Heidi
Martin, Londie
Ray, Brian

Senior Instructors:
Holland, Allison D.

Beavers, Melvin
Bowling, Susan
Graham, Greg
Scaife, Tammy

Director of the University
Writing Center:

Holland, Allison D.

Director of First-Year

Ray, Brian

Graduate Coordinator:
Kuralt, Karen M.

Anderson, Charles M.
Barr, Suzann W.
Chadwick, Frankie L.
Crisp, Huey D.
Crisp, Sally
Freeland, Betty
Harris, Cheryl L.
Herrmann, Andrea W.
Isom, Toran E.
Lankford, Gale
Smith, Marcia M.

General Information

The department offers students first-year composition, a variety of specialized courses to help improve writing skills, a bachelor’s in professional and technical writing, and a master’s degree in professional and technical writing.

The department also maintains the University Writing Center, where all students who wish to work on specific writing needs are welcome.

First-Year Composition

The first-year composition sequence consists of RHET 1311 Composition I and RHET 1312 Composition II. These courses fulfill the UALR core curriculum requirements. Students must complete RHET 1311 with a grade of C or greater before enrolling in RHET 1312. Together, these courses help students develop the writing skills needed to pursue a college degree. In addition, RHET 0310 Composition Fundamentals is offered for students who are not prepared for RHET 1311.

Honors composition

Students with an ACT English score of 27 or greater who have an A or B in high school English are invited to enroll in RHET 1320 Honors Composition. Students who feel they qualify for Honors Composition but who do not receive invitations should contact the Department of Rhetoric and Writing office at (501) 569-3160. RHET 1320 satisfies the core curriculum requirement in written literacy.

Exempting RHET 1311

Students with an ACT English score of 29 or greater or a COMPASS score of 99 or greater are automatically exempted. They may enroll either in RHET 1320 or in RHET 1312 to complete the core curriculum composition requirement.

Testing out of composition

Students who feel they already have the requisite skills of either RHET 1311 or 1312 may attempt to complete these requirements by examination. For information about test dates, required fees, and test content, students should contact the Office of Testing Services. The tests parallel the contents of RHET 1311 and 1312. A student who successfully tests out of a course will receive no grade but will receive three credit hours toward graduation.

Transfer students

Students transferring 60 or more hours to UALR who have met the first-year composition requirement at the college previously attended may be exempted from UALR’s first-year composition requirement. The decision to exempt a student is made by the student’s major department chairperson when the student files a degree plan.


Major in Professional and Technical Writing

After admission to UALR, any student may declare a major in Professional and Technical Writing. To discuss the major, students are encouraged to visit the Chair of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing in SUB 100. Appointments may be arranged by calling (501) 569-3160.

The Department of Rhetoric and Writing seeks to develop written and rhetorical literacy among its majors, UALR students, and the larger communities of which it is a part. Its alumni work as technical writers, grant writers, freelance writers, teachers, non-fiction writers, ghost writers, web developers, and editors.

Minor in Writing

A minor in writing requires 18 hours beyond the core curriculum requirements, selected from the following rhetoric and writing courses.

Course Sequencing

The Department of Rhetoric and Writing strongly advises that, as much as possible, majors take required courses in the following sequence immediately after declaring the major:
RHET 3222 Introduction to Professional and Technical Writing
RHET 3301 Editing for Usage, Style, and Clarity

Note that RHET 3315 Persuasive Writing, RHET 3317 Nonfiction, and RHET 3326 Technical Writing are prerequisites for most 4000-level courses, so they should be taken as soon as possible after the introductory courses. RHET 4305 Document Design applies to all types of professional writing and should also be taken early in the major.

Students should take RHET 4301 Theories of Rhetoric in their first semester as a senior, and take RHET 4190 Colloquium in Rhetoric and Writing in their last semester before graduation. Departmental advisors will assist majors in sequencing the courses to fit their schedules.

Bachelor of Arts in Professional and Technical Writing

General: 120 minimum total hours, including 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), and 30 hours in residence

First-Year Colloquium (0-3 hours)

Required of full-time freshmen entering college for the first time and transfer students with less than 12 hours of credit

Core (35 hours)

PTW majors are encouraged to take MCOM 2330 Mass Media and Society as part of their Social Sciences requirement in the Core.

Second Language Proficiency (0-6 hours)

Students completing a Professional and Technical Writing degree must complete a minimum of 5 hours of language courses (linguistics, second language, or programming language) to satisfy the language requirement or demonstrate equivalent proficiency as measured by a competency test.

Choose from one of the following categories:

ENGL 3313 Intro to the Study of Language
ENGL 3311 History of the English Language
ENGL 3312 Grammatical Analysis

ANTH 4316 Linguistic Anthropology

World Language

Any foreign language offered by UALR  (see “Department of World Languages”)

Or INTR 1320 and 1321 American Sign Language

Computer Programming Language

IFSC 1202 Introduction to Object-Oriented Technology
IFSC 2300 Object-Oriented Technology
CPSC 1375 Programming I CPSC
2376 Programming II

Major (36 hours)
College and/or Program Foundation Courses (21 hours)

RHET 3220 Introduction to Professional and Technical Writing
RHET 3301 Editing for Usage, Style and Clarity
RHET 3315 Persuasive Writing
RHET 3326 Technical Writing
RHET 3317 Nonfiction
RHET 4305 Document Design
RHET 4301 Theories of Rhetoric and Writing
RHET 4190 Colloquium in Rhetoric and Writing

Electives (15 hours)

The electives may not include RHET 3316, not more than 6 hours total in the following: internships, independent writing projects, and/or upper-level MCOM courses. We recommend students take RHET 3300 Introduction to Research.

RHET 3300 Introduction to Research
RHET 3320 Contemporary Issues in Language and Rhetoric
RHET 4100, 4200 Independent Study
RHET 4191, 4192 Writing Internship
RHET 4304 Technical Style and Editing
RHET 4306 Writing for Business and Government
RHET 4307 Writing Software Documentation
RHET 4315 Advanced Persuasive Writing
RHET 4317 Advanced Nonfiction Writing
RHET 4318 Auto/biography
RHET 4321 Editing for Publication
RHET 4322 Advanced Editing
RHET 4323 Production for Editors
RHET 4324 Publishing Inside Out
RHET 4325 Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Argument
RHET 4326 Technology of the Book
RHET 4345 Topics in Persuasive Writing (may be repeated)
RHET 4346 Topics in Technical Communication (may be repeated)
RHET 4347 Topics in Nonfiction Writing (may be repeated)
RHET 4371 Writing on the Web
RHET 4372 Usability Testing and Design
RHET 4375 Grant Writing
RHET 4395, 4396 Cooperative Education
RHET 4398, 4399 Senior Writing Project

Minor (none required)
Unrestricted General Electives

Remaining hours, if any, to reach 120 minimum total hours, 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), and/or 30 hours in residence.

Joanne Matson, Coordinator
SUB 108 | (501) 569-8386 |

The legal studies minor provides the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of law and legal institutions. The program is broadly humanistic, giving students a general knowledge of the institutional, philosophical, and historical character of the legal system. Course work in the program is designed to help students understand and use written and spoken language, to foster a critical understanding of the human institutions and values with which the law deals, and to stimulate creative thinking.

A minor in legal studies is not designed specifically to prepare a student for law school. There is no recommended major or minor for law school. If you are interested in attending law school, the best preparation is an undergraduate curriculum that requires you to investigate information, analyze it, and explain your conclusions clearly. Most often a broad liberal arts background is the best preparation for these tasks. See “Prelaw Studies” for further information about preparation for law school.

The minor requires 18 hours, which must be approved by the coordinator. No more than nine hours may be chosen from any one discipline. The student’s individual needs and interests are important considerations in the course selection process. This minor may also be chosen as one of the concentrations in the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies curriculum. Before beginning the program, students should get a list of approved courses for the minor by contacting the coordinator.

For more information contact the coordinator, Joanne Liebman Matson, in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing, SUB 108, (501) 569-8386, or

Courses in the Department of Rhetoric Writing