Description of the Designated Emphasis
The Designated Emphasis (DE) in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies (WRaCS) offers PhD students in affiliated programs the opportunity to prepare for leadership roles in writing research, teaching, and program administration. In the last two decades, Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC), Writing in the Disciplines (WID), and Professional and Technical Writing have emerged as distinctive fields of inquiry that draw on methods and expertise from composition studies, cultural studies, education, linguistics, literary studies, psychology, and rhetoric. PhD graduates in affiliated programs will find that a designated emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies opens up positions at universities, colleges and community colleges, research foundations, and international corporations that are looking for researchers, faculty, and administrators with an expertise in writing and the teaching of writing.
designated emphasis provides doctoral students with both a theoretical
and practical knowledge of writing instruction, program administration,
and research. The study of how social, technological, and cognitive
factors impact writers’ composing processes is vital for improving
instructional techniques. Developing pedagogical strategies and
assessment programs which respond to local needs have applications for
graduate students interested in researching student writing in both
secondary and postsecondary environments. Training graduate students
to research professional, technical, and scientific writing builds on U.S.
News and World Report’s
recognition of UC Davis and the University Writing Program as one of
twenty-two outstanding Writing in the Disciplines (WID) programs. The
designated emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies
(WRaCS) encourages graduate students to make connections among writing
practices and products in secondary education, universities, and
The basic requirements of the designated emphasis are four courses in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies in specific topic areas. Requirements must be completed before the students take their qualifying exams.
The Designated Emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies (WRaCS) prepares PhD students to work in the field by introducing them to four major areas of research:
- research methods and practices,
- rhetorics and/or literacies,
- writing pedagogy, and
- writing program design and administration.
Extending this course work, the dissertation topic chosen must substantially develop an issue related to the designated emphasis.