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Department of English

Master of Arts in English Program in Composition and Rhetoric

The Program

The Composition, Rhetoric and Literature Program welcomes you to explore the many issues, approaches, and theories that constitute the study of language as it exists in social, cultural, educational, professional, and literary contexts. Composition & Rhetoric at Kansas State values interdisciplinary approaches and encourages graduate students to promote action and change. This program is designed to  provide students with a broad background in rhetoric and composition theory, professional and technical writing, and literature. Students can also design an individual program with special emphasis in technical writing, rhetorical theory, or teaching.

Course Offerings

Classes in the Composition, Rhetoric and Literature Program focus on language and culture, rhetorical theory, women's writing and Feminist rhetoric, and technical communication. The program is constituted by these following classes: 

ENGL 685. Topics in Composition and Rhetoric

ENGL 755. Studies in Composition and Rhetoric

ENGL 757. Studies in Language and Linguistics

ENGL 759. Studies in Technical Communication

ENGL 840. Seminar in Composition and Rhetoric

Graduate Certificate in Technical Writing and Professional Communication

How do I apply?

Prospective students may apply on-line or download the application forms from the Graduate School. If you are more comfortable with a paper application, you may request all the necessary application materials and program information from:

Director of Graduate Studies
Department of English
108 E/CS Building
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-6501

Office Telephone: (785) 532-6716
FAX: (785) 532-2192
Email: gradeng@ksu.edu
Website: http://www.ksu.edu/english/programs/graduatestudies

Online Application: http://www.k-state.edu/grad/gsprospective/apply/
Download Application Forms: https://www.ksu.edu/grad/application/forms/informdm.htm
Request Application Forms by Email: gradeng@ksu.edu

What financial support is available?
Most students in the Program in Cultural Studies are eligible to receive financial assistance in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistantships. For more information about financial aid, go to the Graduate Studies page.

Graduate Faculty

Abby Knoblauch (Ph.D., New Hampshire). Her primary interests include feminist rhetorical theory and alternative rhetorics; pedagogy, especially popular culture and the teaching of writing; and persuasion and argument. She has written an article on rhetorical identification and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, co-written an article on composition history, and co-edited a book on first-time teaching experiences.

Phillip P. Marzluf (Ph.D., Oklahoma). Interests include composition and rhetoric as well as literacy studies. His research has appeared in the Community Literacy Journal, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, College Composition and Communication, Rhetoric Review, and other journals.

Kara Northway (Ph.D., Kansas). Research interests include writing center theory, administration, and pedagogy, as well as Shakespeare and early modern manuscript culture. She has published essays on the relationship between tutoring and teaching, violence in early modern drama, and amateur Renaissance dramatists. She is currently at work on an article on the effect of writing center sessions on a student's writerly identity.

David Smit (Ph.D., Iowa). Interests include composition and rhetoric, style, and biography and autobiography. His work has appeared in many journals, including JAC: The Journal of Advanced Composition, Rhetoric Review, and Rhetoric Society Quarterly. He is the author of The End of Composition Studies (2004) and The Language of a Master: Theories of Style and the Late Writing of Henry James (1988).

Han Yu (Ph.D., Illinois State). Han’s research focuses on writing assessment, intercultural/international technical communication, and more specifically, technical communication in China. Her work has appeared in Technical Communication, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, and Business Communication Quarterly. Han has worked as an editor for State Farm Insurance, as a technical writer for the Laboratory for Integrated Learning and Technologies at Illinois State University, and as an editor and translator for New Oriental Publishing Group in Beijing. She has received a number of grants and awards for her research and teaching.

After the M.A.

Graduates of the Language, Composition, and Rhetoric track often move on to careers in:

  • Teaching Writing, Literature and Technical Communication
  • Ph.D. Study in English or Linguistics
  • Technical and Professional Writing
  • Publishing and Editing

With the variety of courses offered in the Composition and Rhetoric track, I was fully prepared to enter a Ph.D. program in composition and rhetoric because I had studied the major composition scholars and theories in the field.  Also, I developed a more effective pedagogy while working with knowledgeable and supportive faculty in this M.A. track.

--Kedra James (2005-2007)

As a student of the Composition and Rhetoric track at K-State, I acquired a diverse set of skills that has enabled me to be successful in both the academic and corporate venues. As a corporate trainer, I am able to use my technical writing, editing, and analytical abilities to perform multiple tasks including drafting, editing, and teaching training curricula; writing company communications; creating eLearning tutorials; and designing the company’s intranet.

--Christina Grimsley (2004-2006)


Director, Program in Language, Rhetoric and Composition
Department of English
English/Counseling Services Building
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-6501