May 23, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Writing and Rhetoric

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(248) 370-2746
Fax: (248) 370-2748

Department Website:


Chairperson: Lori Ostergaard

Professor emeriti: Ronald A. Sudol

Professor: Alice S. Horning

Associate professors: Wallis May Andersen, Dana Lynn Driscoll, Greg Giberson, Marshall W. Kitchens, Jim Nugent, Lori Ostergaard

Assistant professors: Elizabeth G. Allan, Felicia Chong, David Hammontree, Jim Nugent, Crystal VanKooten, Josephine Walwema

Special instructors: Bernadette Dickerson, Kasia G. Kietlinska

Special lecturers: Glen Armstrong, Benjamin Bennett-Carpenter, Allison Bohn, Marilyn Borner, Karen Brehmer, Timothy Briggs, Matthew Burkett, Jill Chroback, Jennifer Coon, LaWanda Dickens, Colleen Doyle, Matthew Ferguson, Emily Francis, Emily Freeman, John Freeman, Laura Gabrion,  , Charlie Gragg, Tara Hendin, Lisa Hine, Jenna Katz, Laura Klein, Amanda Laudig, Kathleen Lawson, Catherine Lieder, Catherine McQueen, Christina Moore, Cindy Mooty, Donatella Perfetto, Cornelia Pokrzywa, Colleen Potocki, Leba Rautbort, Lauren Rinke, Rebecca Rivard, Cathy Rorai, William Rouster, Sheryl Ruszkiewicz, Kathy Skomski, Craig Smith, Melissa St. Pierre, Pamela Todoroff, Jason Torrente, Carol Trupiano

Lecturer:  Laura Colbeck, Christina Hall, Shaun Moore, Sherry Wynn Perdue

Chief adviser: Greg Giberson


The study of writing and rhetoric prepares students to read, write and think critically in local, national, global and virtual communities. Students gain experience evaluating and analyzing information and cultural debates, and they learn to compose a variety of texts for multiple audiences, media, and purposes.

The department’s First-Year Program helps students develop fundamental skills in producing and understanding written texts, develop fluency and flexibility in writing for a variety of audiences and situations, and become critical readers and skilled writers of print, digital and visual texts that incorporate the work of others appropriately for audience, topic and purpose.

Students majoring in writing and rhetoric learn to perform the kinds of collaborative work in written communication that will be required of them for full participation in an increasingly global and high-tech society, whether they choose to focus on professional writing in business, industry and non-profits; or on production work in digital media; or on academic writing and research in preparation for graduate studies.

The department supports a larger culture of writing including the Oakland University Writing Center, the Meadow Brook Writing Project, and the Writing Excellence Awards.

Writing Foundations

Most students satisfy the university general education requirement in the writing foundations area by completing WRT 160  with a grade of 2.0 or higher. Please consult the Writing Requirements section in the general education area of the catalog for alternate ways of fulfilling this requirement.


The ACT English score is the main mechanism used to place students in the writing foundations course (WRT 160 ), and in any courses that students might need as a prerequisite to WRT 160  as follows:

ACT English scores of 28 or higher place students in WRT 160  Composition II.
ACT English scores of 16-27 place students in WRT 150  Composition I.
ACT English scores of 15 or below place students in WRT 102  Basic Writing.

Placement by ACT score does not yield any course credit regardless of where students are placed.

Students with questions about placement in first year writing should consult the Department of Writing and Rhetoric, 378 O’Dowd Hall, 248-370-2746, prior to the beginning of the semester in which they plan to enroll in first year writing. Students are responsible for knowing registration deadlines and understanding the implications of schedule changes for their financial aid.

Departmental Honors

Writing and Rhetoric majors with a combined GPA of 3.6 in courses taken within the major will qualify for departmental honors.

Schedule of classes

Specific offerings for each semester may be found in the Schedule of Classes:



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