A growing area of specialization at both the undergraduate and graduate levels nationally,
Composition and Rhetoric offers students an opportunity to study language and textual
practices within and beyond the academy. The undergraduate major is a good place to start
thinking about and working with the theories and practices of reading and writing. If you
have an interest in the writing process, the teaching of English, law, advertising, or technical
and business writing, then specializing in Composition and Rhetoric may be a good option for you.
Rhetoric and composition share an interest in forms of communication in personal, academic, and
social contexts. Rhetoric historically is defined as the art of persuasion. Currently, the study
of rhetoric involves the production and analysis of argumentation in print and electronic media
and verbal and visual forms. Sites of study may include civic, political, and legal discourse,
advertisements, and hypertexts, among others. Composition studies the theories and practices
associated with the writing process and with the teaching of writing. As an interdisciplinary
field of inquiry, it draws upon research and methodologies from linguistics, education, women's
studies, cultural studies, and anthropology. Sites of study may include social and cultural
dimensions of writing, writing in the academy, community writing projects, and literacy.
Composition and Rhetoric at UHM
For a broader overview of Composition and Rhetoric at both undergraduate and graduate levels,
as well as an introduction to relevant faculty members, please visit the Composition and
Rhetoric at UHM page. Below are the undergraduate courses currently offered for this field of study:
ENG 300: The Rhetorical Tradition. A course that surveys major concepts and thinkers in the
history of rhetoric from ancient Greece and Rome to the present. Prerequisite: two ENG 250-57 courses,
the second of which may be taken concurrently.
ENG 302: Introduction to the English Language. A course that considers not only the recent
history of the language but also issues of language diversity, standards, and multiculturalism.
Prerequisite: two ENG 250-57 courses, the second of which may be taken concurrently.
ENG 306: Argument I. A prerequisite for several of the 400-level writing courses, and a good
place to begin focusing your writing talents on challenging assignments and projects. Prerequisite:
one ENG 250-57 course.
ENG 307: Rhetoric, Composition and Computers. A course in various forms of on-line
communication that also explores rhetorical strategies appropriate to these new media and their
social implications. Prerequisite: one ENG 250-57 course.
ENG 308: Technical Writing. Combined lecture/lab course preparing students to write about
technical subjects for specialists and laypersons. Introduces theory of technical communication
and document design and teaches students to make use of relevant technology. Prerequisite: ENG 100.
ENG 311: Autobiographical Writing. This course gives serious writing students the opportunity
to work within a major literary form, the autobiographical essay. Writing in and out of class is
based on the student’s own experience, and readings are drawn from autobiographical texts that offer
a variety of approaches to writing about one’s self. Prerequisite: ENG 100 and one ENG 250-57 course.
ENG 402: History of the English Language. A course in the early and later development of the
English language to about 1800, with particular emphasis on the analysis of literary texts. Prerequisite:
two ENG 250-57 courses.
ENG 403: Modern English Grammar. An excellent introduction to grammatical analysis and issues of
teaching and style for English and Education majors. Prerequisite: two ENG 250-57 courses.
ENG 404: English in Hawai‘i. This course studies the English-speaking culture of Hawai‘i from
the viewpoint of the state’s multilingual history and culture. Prerequisite: two ENG 250-57 courses.
ENG 405: Teaching Composition. A course that combines the study of methods and issues in the
teaching of writing with teaching or tutoring assignments outside of the classroom. Prerequisite:
two ENG 250-57 courses.
ENG 406: Argumentative Writing II. A course designed to concentrate on principles of argument
and persuasion, and a good introduction to advanced work in rhetorical principles. Prerequisite: ENG 306 or consent.
ENG 407: Writing for Electronic Media. A lecture/lab course in computer mediated communication,
including on-line technical writing, courseware developments, hypertext fiction, etc. Prerequisite:
two ENG 250-57 courses, ENG 307.
ENG 408: Professional Editing. A course of practice in the professional editing of a variety of
texts, and supplemented by readings and discussions on the science and art of editing. Prerequisite:
ENG 306 or consent.
ENG 409: Studies in Composition/Rhetoric/Language. The content of this course varies by semester.
See the Department’s course descriptions for specific information. Prerequisite: ENG 320 and two other
300-level ENG courses.