Writing and Rhetoric at Mason

About Writing and Rhetoric at Mason

Mason’s writing and rhetoric degree programs offer students an immersive writing experience, in which they conduct research, study with thought leaders in writing and rhetoric fields, and collaborate on projects that engage community partners. Faculty expertise covers digital and online writing and research, health and medical communication, ethnography and feminist research methods, social justice, community-engaged writing, and workplace writing.

Students from our program move into a wide range of fields and careers, including communications and teaching positions in IT, government, higher ed, nonprofit organizations, and federal contracting. 

We offer a range of writing and rhetoric curricula at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels.

What is Writing?

The philosophy of all of our programs is founded on the premise that writing is not merely a skill: Writing functions in different ways depending on disciplinary context, genre, medium, and the relationship between writer and reader or designer and user. In short, writing is a rhetorical activity.

What is Rhetoric?

Our programs use a definition of rhetoric that encompasses much more than simply argumentation or persuasion. For us, rhetoric intersects the construction of knowledge and the communication of knowledge. What we communicate, including what we write, speak, and gesture, reflects and influences what we know, understand, or assume about any given topic.

What is Writing and Rhetoric Research?

In our writing and rhetoric programs, students engage and research writing as:

  • an object of study
  • a network of processes and activities
  • a communication practice grounded in rhetorical theories and methods
  • a system representing thought, speech, and action through multiple genres and forms
  • an occupation