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. At its heart, composition and rhetoric is about the intersections of language and power and the impact that language practices have on both personal and structural levels. Composition & Rhetoric at Kansas State therefore 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, language and power, rhetorical theory, current trends in composition and rhetoric, linguistics, and technical communication. The program is constituted by these following classes:

ENGL 753. Theories in Composition and Rhetoric

ENGL 755. Topics 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 online. For more information, you can contact the Director of Graduate Studies:

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

Online Application:

What financial support is available?
Most students accepted to the program 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

Cydney Alexis (Ph.D., Wisconsin). Interests include the material culture of writing, writing identity, writing center administration, visual rhetoric & digital technologies. Her work appears in the edited collections Rhetoric, through Everyday Things and Rhetorics of Names and Naming.

Abby Knoblauch (Ph.D., New Hampshire). Interests include feminist rhetorical theories, and embodied rhetorics, fat rhetorics, SRTOL and linguistic equality, and pedagogy. Her work has appeared in CCC, Composition Studies, and edited collections.

Mary Kohn (Ph.D., North Carolina-Chapel Hill). Interests include sociophonetics with a focus on language variation, adolescence, and ethnicity. Her book on adolescent life-span change was published in 2015 through Duke University Press.

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). 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.

Han Yu (Ph.D., Illinois State). Interests include scientific and technical communication, intercultural/international technical communication, and writing assessment. 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 go on to:

  • Teach Writing, Literature, and/or Technical Communication
  • Ph.D. programs in English or Linguistics
  • Work as technical and professional writers
  • Work in publishing or editing
  • Work at non-profit organizations

As a student of Composition and Rhetoric, I gained the knowledge and experience necessadry to help me become a teacher-scholar. The faculty challenged me to do my best work while supporting me in my specific career goals. Furthermore, the coursework impacted important issues I faced as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and made my teaching and tutoring experiences richer and more intellectually complex.

--Kelsey Hixson-Bowles (2012-2014)


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