Program Overview

The Master of Arts in professional and technical writing offers a wide variety of courses in workplace and technical communication, nonfiction writing and publishing, and the teaching of writing from elementary school through college. The program welcomes applicants from all disciplinary backgrounds. Students may choose to complete a 36-hour degree that culminates in a traditional academic thesis or a 42-hour degree that culminates in an online portfolio.

Required Courses (9-15 hours)

Core requirements apply to both THESIS and PORTFOLIO options;
THESIS option requires additional 6 hours of thesis courses.

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Core Requirements

Choose 9 hours

Applies to THESIS and PORTFOLIO options.
RHET 7300 & 7311 are required;
Student may choose either RHET 7310 or RHET 7313

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. An introductory course in research methods used to study writing in the classroom and workplace; quantitative and qualitative design; ethics of human subject research.

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RHET 7300 Introduction to Research Methods

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Nature, extent, practice of rhetoric; emphasis on necessity of integrating a solid understanding of rhetorical theory with extensive writing in a variety of modes for a variety of audienc...

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RHET 7311 Rhetorical Theory

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Contemporary research and theory on composing processes; includes the text itself, writing behavior, relationship between cognition and writing, writing contexts and communities, developm...

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RHET 7310 Composition Theory

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Research and theory concerning writing in professional settings; includes study of processes and products of writing in the workplace, theories informing technical communication, influenc...

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RHET 7313 Theory of Technical Communication

3 credit hours

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Thesis Requirements

Choose 6 hours

Applies to THESIS option only;
must be completed in addition to core requirements

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Prerequisite: consent of the graduate coordinator. This seminar course prepares students who have chosen the thesis option for the MA in Professional and Technical Writing for the process of researching a thesis topic, w...

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RHET 7390 Thesis Proposal Seminar

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: RHET 7390 and consent of instructor. Students register for the section assigned to their thesis chairperson, working independently under the supervision of their chair and committee members to complete and ...

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RHET 7391 Thesis Hours

3 credit hours

Elective Courses (6-18 hours)

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Cognate Courses

Choose 6 hours

Applies to both THESIS and PORTFOLIO options;
May be chosen from the following:
• writing courses outside the student’s concentration area
• independent study or internship courses
• graduate-level courses in other departments

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Portfolio Electives

Choose 12 hours

Applies to PORTFOLIO option only; must be completed in addition to cognate courses.
Student may choose 12 hours of electives from any concentration within the MA program with the approval of the student’s portfolio supervisor.

Program Concentration Courses (15 hours)

Applies to both THESIS and PORTFOLIO options;
Students must choose 15 hours of electives in either the NONFICTION concentration or the TECHNICAL concentration.

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Nonfiction Concentration

Choose 15 hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. An introduction to the formal study of classical and contemporary theories of rhetoric and writing. Emphasis on the practical understanding and application of techniques of rhetorical ana...

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RHET 5301 Theories of Rhetoric and Writing

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Intensive study of classical and new rhetorics. Emphasis on solving rhetorical problems and producing a variety of persuasive texts.

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RHET 5315 Advanced Persuasive Writing

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Writing to explore, investigate, explain; includes writing a variety of professional, scholarly, and popular essays.

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RHET 5317 Advanced Nonfiction Writing

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Designed for all majors, particularly for pre-law students and writers interested in the discourse of the law. Students will read a variety of judicial decisions on current issues such as...

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RHET 5325 Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Argument

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Theory and practice of persuasion with topics varying each semester. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

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RHET 5345 Topics in Persuasive Writing

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Theory and practice of nonfiction writing with topics varying each semester. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

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RHET 5347 Topics in Nonfiction Writing

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Contemporary research and theory on composing processes; includes the text itself, writing behavior, relationship between cognition and writing, writing contexts and communities, developm...

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RHET 7310 Composition Theory

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Study of a variety of writing processes, strategies, skills for writers. Emphasis on practical applications for writers and writing teachers in academic, work, and other settings.

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RHET 7320 Working with Writers

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Advanced study of theoretical, practical, or pedagogical topics related to nonfiction writing. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

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RHET 7330 Topics in Nonfiction Writing

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: requires consent of graduate program coordinator.

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RHET 7350 Independent Study

3 credit hours

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Prerequisites: graduate standing, recommendation of the departmental internship/practicum coordinator. Hands-on writing experience in a professional workplace. Work hours, activities, and responsibilities must be specifi...

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RHET 7360 Practicum

3 credit hours

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Provides instruction in the functional applications related to basic design principles for online writing courses, instructional technology, and online writing pedagogy. Students in this course will study the principles ...

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RHET 7371 Introduction to Online Writing Instruction

3 credit hours

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Provides instruction in multimedia design to enhance online writing instruction. The course includes an analysis of effective instructional technologies to promote active learning and how to assess multimedia projects. S...

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RHET 7372 Multimedia for Online Writing Instruction

3 credit hours

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Provides theory and practice in topics related to online writing instruction, including accessibility in online writing instruction, advanced multimedia design, online writing assessment, collaboration, and administratio...

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RHET 7373 Special Topics in Online Writing Instruction

3 credit hours

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Technical Concentration

Choose 15 hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Study and practice of the use of visual elements in technical communication. Emphasis on typography, page layout, data displays, pictorial communication, and usability testing for both pr...

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RHET 5305 Document Design

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Theory of and practice in writing for business and government organizations; includes writing strategies, appropriate diction, report formats.

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RHET 5306 Writing for Business and Government

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Designed for all majors, particularly for pre-law students and writers interested in the discourse of the law. Students will read a variety of judicial decisions on current issues such as...

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RHET 5325 Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Argument

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Theory and practice of technical communication; topics vary each semester. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

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RHET 5346 Topics in Technical Communication

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. An introduction to the rhetorical aspects of web design and construction that emphasizes audience(s), purpose(s), and accessibility issues such as website navigation, readability, visual ...

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RHET 5371 Writing on the Web

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Research and theory concerning writing in professional settings; includes study of processes and products of writing in the workplace, theories informing technical communication, influenc...

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RHET 7313 Theory of Technical Communication

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Study of a variety of writing processes, strategies, skills for writers. Emphasis on practical applications for writers and writing teachers in academic, work, and other settings.

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RHET 7320 Working with Writers

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: graduate standing. Advanced study of theoretical, practical, or pedagogical topics related to technical communication. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

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RHET 7340 Topics in Technical, Business, and Government Writing

3 credit hours

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Prerequisite: requires consent of graduate program coordinator.

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RHET 7350 Independent Study

3 credit hours

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Prerequisites: graduate standing, recommendation of the departmental internship/practicum coordinator. Hands-on writing experience in a professional workplace. Work hours, activities, and responsibilities must be specifi...

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RHET 7360 Practicum

3 credit hours

Program Details

Admission Requirements

Students who wish to pursue this program must meet the following requirements:
• Regular admission: Hold baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or greater (4.0 scale) or 3.0 or greater in the last 60 hours.
• Conditional admission: Hold baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or greater (4.0 scale)
• Along with their online application to the Graduate School, applicant must submit: statement of purpose, explaining applicant’s interest and background in writing and outlining the applicant’s expectations and goals with regard to the program; current résumé; three-four writing samples indicative of applicant’s range, ability, interests, and style (may contain work completed in college courses, writing from the workplace, and/or freelance work); and three letters of recommendation.

More details about the program may be found in the program’s academic catalog entry.

Read more about the UALR Graduate School’s admissions process here.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements for this program include:
• GPA of 3.0 or better for all required coursework
• Successful defense of master’s thesis or master’s portfolio

Program Advisor

Dr. Karen Kuralt | 501.569.8334 | kmkuralt@ualr.edu
Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing

Accreditation

UALR is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, affiliated with the Electronic Campus of the Southern Regional Education Board, and designated as “doctoral/research intensive” by the Carnegie Foundation.

Disabilities

UALR makes every effort to meet special accommodation and access needs. For information on specific accommodations for individuals with disabilities, you may contact the department sponsoring the class you wish to attend, call eLearning at 501.569.3003 or the Office of Disability Support Services at 501.569.3143. The Disability Support Services website, ualr.edu/disability/, provides information about the accommodation process and online forms to apply for services.

  • Cost per credit hour: $383