MA in English – Rhetoric and Composition

Comprehensive Examination

The M.A. Exam in Rhetoric and Composition is designed to test your knowledge of major texts and issues in the following three areas: the History of Rhetoric, Composition Pedagogy, and Twentieth Century Rhetoric and Composition Studies. The exam is offered twice a year (November and May).

The exam texts for each area are drawn from rhetoric/composition courses taught over the past two years, and the lists are available in the EFL Graduate Program office and on the EFL Department website. For each area, you will have a choice between two or more questions; the exam is administered as a closed book test.

You are encouraged to review examination questions from previous Rhetoric/Composition exams; these questions are available in the department’s Graduate Program office (24-207, ext. 869-4459). You are also encouraged to enhance your preparation by joining a study group and by bringing any questions you may have to any member of the Rhetoric/Composition committee: Drs. Edlund, Kraemer, and Moss. Additional opportunities to discuss the exam and to ask questions about it will be available at the annual Graduate Orientation held each October.

Weight and Time for Each Area

History of Rhetoric
90 min.
Composition of Pedagogy
90 min.
Twentieth Century Rhetoric and Composition Studies
90 min.

Useful Documents for Study

The Annotated Reading List for Fall 2009 in MS Word format.

The Scoring Rubric for the comprehensive exam. What are the graders looking for? What do you need to do when answering the questions? Look at this to find out.

A sample exam.

Don Kraemer's Checklist for Rhetorical Analysis. This is designed for English 584 but may be useful for exam study.

John Edlund's "Checklist for Rhetorical Analysis." This one sticks to ethos, logos, and pathos, while Don Kraemer's, above, utilizes far more approaches.

John Edlund's Grammar of Motives handout.

John Edlund's "Stasis Theory" handout and the "Stasis Worksheet."

John Edlund's "Three Ways to Persuade" handout on ethos, logos, and pathos.

Rhetoric and Composition Courses

English 581"History of Rhetoric"-- Advertising Blurb, Syllabus Fall 2006

English 583 "Composition Theory"--Advertising Blurb