Course Catalog Master of Arts in Writing Courses

Course Catalog Master of Arts in Writing Courses

Course Catalog Master of Arts in Writing Courses

See the Rowan University Graduate Course Catalog for the most recent information about program requirements and course descriptions. This is a complete list of courses offered in the past. An asterisk * indicates that the course has not be offered in some time, and so you should check with the MA Coordinator to see if the course may be offered in the near future.

Required courses

MAWR 01554: Core I: Theories and Techniques of Writing 3 s.h. Core I offers an in-depth examination of theories of composing, focusing on the interdisciplinary nature of writing through inquiry into rhetorical elements common to all writers, for example, genre, tone, audience, point of view, and voice. It also considers basic principles and techniques of writing, including narration, dialogue, exposition and style. Students will examine many genres of writing and compare and contrast the application of techniques to the differing genres.

MAWR 01559: Core II: Research Methods for Writers 3 s.h. Prerequisite: Core I MAWR 01554. Core II surveys non-quantitative research methods writers use. This class examines techniques of print and on-line research, interviewing, and case studies to develop the ability to weigh and assess the reliability and relevance of information. Students will learn to identify and present problems in writing using different perspectives and learn how these research styles guide a writer's interpretation of information. The course prepares students to develop their own descriptive research projects.

MAWR 01561: Seminar I 3 s.h. Prerequisites: Core I MAWR 01554 and Core II MAWR 01559. In Seminar I, students will demonstrate what they have learned in the MA in Writing program by proposing and completing the initial stages of a major project in a genre of their choosing. This project, which will be completed in Seminar II, may have a creative emphasis (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction) or a scholarly or research-based emphasis. Working with peers, under the mentorship of two faculty readers, students will develop their skills in writing, project management, and the personal and professional strategies necessary to sustain a writerly life. [Pending curriculum approval]

MAWR 01571: Seminar II 3 s.h. Prerequisite: Seminar I MAWR 01561. In Seminar II, students will complete the Master’s Project they began in Seminar I. In this process, they will continue to work with faculty readers and their peers to refine their writing, apply the advice given, and develop strategies for self-editing. As they continue to apply strategies of project management and the personal and professional strategies necessary to sustain a writerly life, students will reflect on their work through regular presentations, which will culminate in the public presentation of their work in the yearly MA in Writing Symposium. [Pending curriculum approval]

Elective Courses

MAWR 01618: Special Topics 3 to 6 s.h. This course has a changing focus that permits faculty to offer specialized seminars focusing on current trends in the field, areas of faculty creative work and scholarship, or student requests. Students may take this course for credit more than once, provided the subtitle is different. This course may not be offered annually.

MAWR 03520: Master of Arts in Writing Internship 3 s.h. Prerequisite(s): Approval of Graduate Advisor Under professional supervision in the field, students put into practice theories and skills learned in the classroom. Students' primary duties invlolve writing, though types and modes of writing (including electronic modes) may vary. Internship experience totals 120 hours of work. Students maintain a detailed log of working hours, prepare a portfolio of work completed in the internship, write an analysis of the internship experience and are evaluated by their site supervisor.

MAWR 01615: Independent Study 3 s.h. By arrangement. See Coordinator MA in Writing. Please note that students have to propose a project that is not offered within the regular curriculum and is in a demonstrative way essential to their MA project. The proposal must be approved by the Dean.

Elective Courses: Creative Writing

MAWR 01570: Experimenting with the Major Work-in-Progress 3 s.h. Prerequisite: MAWR 01559 or Permission of the Instructor. When writers come up with an idea for a book or a major creative project, they often need to go through a period of incubation, testing, experimentation, and play. What style or voice will give energy to the story? What structure should it have? How will the narration be paced? What events will frame the book? The purpose and method of this class will be to encourage experimentation as students work to answer these questions. Student may advance their ideas for the MA in Writing project for Seminar I and II or create a new project. Students will explore theories of creativity, bricolage, process, genre, leitmotif, pattern recognition, and narrative design, using the familiar elements of craft (setting, character, narration, etc.) with emphasis upon advanced strategies represented by model texts.

MAWR 01623: Writing Stories for Children and Young Adults 3 s.h. Students in this course will study the rich variety of fiction and nonfiction narrative published for audiences ranging in age from juvenile to young adult. Students will learn to recognize the elements of a good story for children, to evaluate children's literature based on a knowledge of these elements, and to write stories for this audience. Students will read outstanding examples in the genre and write their own stories, working methodically from story idea through revision to completed manuscript. (Students may choose to write fiction or nonfiction and may focus on short or long form narrative.) Students will critique each other's stories in workshop sessions. Students will also study the contemporary scene in children's publishing and will learn how to submit their stories to magazine and book publishers.

MAWR 02505: Poetry Workshop 3 s.h. This class will provide a forum for students to explore the strategies poets use in creative expression. The students will develop an analytical vocabulary that allows them to read, interpret, and evaluate the work of other poets. A major portion of the class will be given over to workshop sessions, where students can share and evaluate each other's work. Students will also become familiar with a body of published poetry that illustrates techniques of expression, especially those that can be applied, not only to poetry, but to other genres of creative writing.

MAWR 02515: Creative Nonfiction Workshop 3 s.h. Teaching students the form, structure and techniques of creative nonfiction, this workshop-style course addresses the issues of style, point of view, narrative and dramatic coherence as it applies to personal essay, the treatment of memory data, the use of detail in scene-setting and the connection between fictional and poetic strategies in nonfiction writing. In addition to their own work, students read and analyze contemporary creative nonfiction and classics in the genre; these texts serve as models for students to help them locate themselves within the large framework of creative nonfiction. Students will write several major pieces of varying lengths and types.

MAWR 02520: Writing the Novel 3 s.h. Writing the Novel teaches students the structure, technique, and apparatus of the literary novel, and provides feedback and guidance through extensive instructor critique and workshop-style evaluation. It is recommended that students enrolling in this course have some prior practice in literary novel-writing or at least a strong background in reading the literary novel. Students are required to submit four consecutive novel chapters with synopsis by the end of the course.

*MAWR 02522: Nonfiction Workshop 3 s.h. The Nonfiction Workshop provides an in-depth examination of nonfiction genres, including news reporting, features, opinion, immersion journalism, biography, criticism, and social commentary and analysis. Lectures cover the methods, techniques, and ethics of nonfiction. Various nonfiction markets and market requirements are discussed. Students read model selections in various nonfiction genres and experiment with writing their own similar selections, which are discussed and critiqued. Students complete substantial published articles and/or book selections in their chosen nonfiction genres.

MAWR 02523: Writing the Memoir 3 s.h. Students receive in-depth instruction in writing the memoir, one of the most engaging and popular literary forms today. Students will read widely from selected memoirs, write three short memoirs that may stand alone or be interrelated, and experience the workshop method of critiquing manuscripts. Students will focus on characterization, conflict, point-of-view, and other literary elements traditionally associated with the narrative form as they develop their memoirs.

MAWR 02524: Writing the Graphic Novel: Theory and Practice 3 s.h. This course explores the graphic novel genre and its incarnations through readings, writings, and discussion. An original script for a graphic short story or beginning of a novel will be developed in a series of assignments, and discussed and critiqued in a workshop environment. This course may not be offered annually.

MAWR 07500: The Essay: Art and Craft 3 s.h. This course introduces students to the essay as genre, its evolution, and current status. Emphasis is on esthetics, craft, and technique. Students will engage in both analysis and essay writing as means toward achieving a theoretical understanding of the form.

MAWR 01558: Fiction Workshop 3 s.h. Students will complete, through the composition of a first draft and revision, works of literary fiction with emphasis upon the short story. In addition, students will read a body of published stories that illustrates such elements of fiction as setting, point of view, characterization and dialogue. Students will develop an analytical vocabulary that enables them to read, interpret, and evaluate the work of other fiction writers. A major portion of this class will be given over to workshop sessions during which students share and evaluate each other's work.

MAWR 02525 Writing Genre Fiction: Whether it involves walking through the woods speaking Elvish, visiting a distant planet, solving a crime, or staying the night in a haunted house, genre writing captures audiences and transports them into the land of “what if.” In this class, students will write long or short fiction in the genres of mystery, horror, fantasy, and sci-fi, exploring the conventions and tropes each genre employs. Students will also study the ways in which published authors have used these genres to dig into the human experience, and they will learn about the thriving publishing industry business that promotes these genres.

Teaching Experience Program and Composition and Rhetoric

MAWR 01575in Teaching Composition. 3 s.h. The Practicum in Teaching Composition supports first-time instructors by introducing foundational concepts in Writing Studies and select theories in Composition/Rhetoric, and by exploring and modeling best pedagogical practices. The Practicum develops a strong community of instructors through seminar-style discussions, collaborative projects, and reciprocal classroom observations. Assignments directly relate to students' professionalization as instructors and members of the field of Writing Studies. Students develop reflective teaching practices that prepare them to teach subsequent composition courses.

[Note: Practicum is only available to students in the Teaching Experience Program. Either Issues in Composition or Assessment in Writing is required for Teaching Experience Program students, depending which one runs in the first year, second semester.]

MAWR 01549: Issues in Composition Studies 3 s.h. Issues in Composition Studies examines the dominant theories, texts and ways of knowing that are fundamental to the discipline of composition/rhetoric. Topics include current and historical perspectives on the composing process, the formation and functions of discourse communities, writing as a social process and methods of assessment. The course will demonstrate various avenues for research and teaching in composition and rhetorical studies, will provide students with knowledge necessary to construct a theoretical model for the everyday teaching of writing and will assist students in applying and refining that model. [Available to all MA students.]

MAWR 01556: Assessment of Writing 3 s.h. Assessment of Writing examines the dominant methods, issues and concerns that are central to the discussion and evaluation of students' written work. Topics include current and historical perspectives on writing assessment, the use of various models of writing assessment, the political and legal issues connected to writing assessment, and the validity and reliability of assessment models. The course will introduce students to the types of assessment models used in the field of composition, will explore the effectiveness of comments on papers, and will examine how to assess errors in writing. This class will also provide students with knowledge necessary to apply a range of assessment models in the application of writing across multiple workplace situations, and will assist students in applying and refining those models to new developments in computer-assisted writing. [Available to all MA students.]

MAWR 01630: Writing Difference 3 s.h. This course contrasts writing in academic genres against a variety of other forms, such as personal, imaginative, and popular writing. Students examine perspectives on language difference from sociolinguistic, literacy, feminist and composition studies perspectives, and produce writing in hybrid, multigenre or mixed-genre styles.

*MAWR 01555: Writing for Electronic Communities 3 s.h. This course presents the rhetorical, social, and practical dimensions of writing in electronic (cyber) contexts. Students focus both on the various roles an individual creates and maintains when writing for different cybermedia formats and the kinds of conventions, concerns and grammars that exist in discrete electronic systems like the World Wide Web, listservs, distribution lists, the Intranet, e-mail, and hypertext. Seminar presentations and a semester-long project in a concentrated area of writing for a particular electronic community demonstrate students' ability to communicate on-line.

Publishing and Professional Writing

MAWR 03520: Master of Arts in Writing Internship 3 s.h. Prerequisite(s): Approval of Graduate Advisor Under professional supervision in the field, students put into practice theories and skills learned in the classroom. Students' primary duties invlolve writing, though types and modes of writing (including electronic modes) may vary. Internship experience totals 120 hours of work. Students maintain a detailed log of working hours, prepare a portfolio of work completed in the internship, write an analysis of the internship experience and are evaluated by their site supervisor.

MAWR 01567: Professions in Publishing 3 s.h. In this Master’s level course, students will be introduced to the vast and complicated world of publishing, and will acquire a basic understanding of the different roles, terms, and current issues within the industry, especially as it pertains to trade industry publishing. Students will explore the variety of publishing structures in the industry today, emphasizing developmental editing and the role of the acquisitions editor. Students will also learn about marketing, production, sales, agenting, contract negotiation, and the process of developmentally editing manuscripts. Through working hands-on with materials and speaking with industry professionals, students will leave the course empowered to engage in the publishing industry and what such work will entail.

MAWR 01566: Editing the Literary Journal 3 s.h. This course provides hands on experience with  the editorial and managerial processes involved in publishing Glassworks, a literary  journal in print and electronic formats. Students will study both successful and struggling journals and basic reference guides  to determine criteria for success. Working with the instructor and various section editors, students will solicit, evaluate, and select submissions, communicate with contributors  about editorial decisions, determine the layout and design of the journal, and distribute the journal. They will also evaluate and produce editorial content in various genres, including book reviews, author interviews, and opinion  editorials, for potential publication in the magazine.

*MAWR 01622: Publishing for Creative Writers 3 s.h. In this course, students aspiring to become published authors will explore many facets of literary publishing, from submitting work to agents and editors to editing a manuscript in production and marketing a completed book. Students will examine the many complex processes by which a literary manuscript (novel, story collection, memoir, etc.) becomes a book. Students will learn how to submit creative work to literary magazines, to agents, and to publishers. They will submit at least one completed work (an essay, a story, or a poem) to an appropriate journal or magazine. They will write a query letter and a synopsis for one of their own book-length projects and develop a marketing plan for the projected work. They will learn the most common reasons that writing is rejected and how to avoid them. They will learn about the varied roles of agents and editors from the editorial process through the design, production and promotion of the book. They will learn about the importance of applying for grants and fellowships, of submitting to literary competitions, and of "networking" in the development of a writing career. Students with completed or nearly completed books may use their own manuscripts for all of the above assignments.

*MAWR 01560: Managerial Communication 3 s.h. [online] Managerial Communication introduces students to the theoretical and practical insights of corporate communication. The course helps students develop leadership communication skills and is designed to improve communication skills for managers, information workers, and other professional writers. Students will learn about rhetorical theories and rhetorical strategies for responding to communication situations, current forms of corporate communication, effects of technology and globalization on corporate communication, and guidelines for ethical communication. Students will prepare a variety of professional quality documents in response to real world, case-based assignments.

MAWR 01565: Technical Writing 3 s.h. Technical Writing introduces students to the rhetorical, ethical, and professional issues associated with technical communication. It focuses on the rhetorical principles behind standard formats and styles of technical documents. It explores topics such as, document design; ethics (including issues of product liability); editing, style, and mechanical correctness; the role of technology; and the impact of the global marketplace.

*MAWR 01557: Writing Freelance Features 3 s.h. Students in this graduate level writing course will learn how to develop ideas for feature-length stories (such as profiles, trend pieces and human interest pieces) and how to research and write features on a variety of topics. They will learn how to structure feature stories, including longer (8,000-plus words) stories; how to write feature leads and "nut grafs;" and how to edit their own work to prepare it for submission. Finally, they will learn how to develop and present stories and story ideas to editors at both print and digital publications and how to submit their completed work for publication.

*MAWR 02521: Writing and Publishing the Nonfiction Book 3 s.h. Writing and Publishing the Nonfiction book is about the culture and commerce of publishing, as well as the process of writing a nonfiction book. Students finish a proposal for a nonfiction book by the end of this semester and submit it to a commercial publisher. They receive guidance and criticism from the instructor throughout the entire process, submitting and re-submitting the proposals and sample chapters several times during the semester. In addition, students analyze book markets, prepare detailed proposals for their book idea, and present their idea to a mock editiorial board making decisions about the publishing promise of the book. During lecture, students develop a clear understanding of the symbiotic relationships among ideas, authors, agents, publishers, and the buying public.

*New Media

[Note that the following courses are not currently being supported by the MA in Writing but this may change in the future.]

*MAWR 01620: Internet and Writing Studies 3 s.h. This is a theory driven seminar course with a practical component wherein students will learn HTML, CSS, and how to compose web sites according to the latest theories on web design. Students will read scholarly texts that introduce them to the evolution of written communication and writing technologies, Internet studies, and hypertext theory. Students will use these texts and theories to both analyze and compose various web sites, including an online portfolio of work they would like to showcase for future employers or graduate schools.

*MAWR 01621: Visual Rhetoric and Multimodal Composition 3 s.h. This is a theory driven seminar course with a pracitcal component. Students will read scholarly texts that introduce them to theories on multimodality, semiotics, visual rhetoric, copyright, and remix. Students will use these theories to both analyze and compose visual texts using multiple modes of communication.

*MAWR 01564: Information Architecture 3 s.h. Information Architecture explores the connections among web site usability, interactivity, design, and navigation principles as each relate to the written content. Students investigate how written content influences the look and user-friendliness of web sites. Specific issues addressed in the course include presenting content for audiences with disabilities or for non-English speakers; privacy and security concerns; and the rise of information anxiety in the general public.