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CAT 125 and CAT 125R

CAT 125 and CAT 125R courses (four units, every quarter) are upper-division writing and communication classes in which students focus on translating skills developed in lower-division writing courses into writing after college and public rhetoric. CAT 125R is the online version of CAT 125 and is restricted to Sixth College students. Only one of these two courses must be taken to fulfill the upper-division writing requirement. Students must have completed the lower-division writing sequence—CAT 1, CAT 2, and CAT 3—in order to enroll in CAT 125 or CAT 125R.

Course Goals

Professional Preparation

  • Develop increased experience and proficiency in public presentation, documentation, and curation.

  • Direct written, spoken, or digital compositions to multiple audiences.

  • Examine their own authority as writers and understand how different genres and citation conventions are appropriate for establishing credibility in different contexts.

Winter 2021 Courses

Lectures will be delivered synchronously or asynchronously, as noted below. If lectures are synchronous, recordings will be made available asynchronously if you can’t attend. Sections will occur synchronously and attendance is expected. Please sign up for a discussion day and time that fits your schedule.


CAT 125: Your Voice in a Globalized World

Bill Robertson Geibel

Lecturer, CAT

Synchronous lectures held Monday/Wednesday 11:00-11:50 a.m.

In this course, we will explore how concepts such as identity, power, and agency influence the way we see the world, and in turn, the way we present ourselves to the world. Through exploring these concepts, students will engage in self-reflection to better understand their identity and refine their communication styles. The assignments of the course will develop students' communication skills in diverse rhetorical mediums and empower students to use their unique voices in both professional and public spheres. Given the increasingly global nature of our everyday lives, special attention will be paid to the ways in which globalization has influenced communication. Thus, this course will prepare students to be successful in their future careers and personal lives by developing skills and strategies to engage effectively across various cultural, geographic, and rhetorical contexts.


CAT 125R: To Tell Your Story: Public Rhetoric, Media, and Autobiography

Phoebe Bronstein

Assistant Teaching Professor, CAT

Asynchronous lectures

In this public rhetoric and practical communication course, we will use media narratives from stand-up to documentary film and television episodes to explore how we tell our personal, professional, and political stories. The narratives we'll engage with, from Nanette to Homecoming and Chef's Table, will situate personal stories, research, and expertise within broader histories and geopolitics, mobilizing rhetorical devices from humor and emotion to lighting and costuming. The texts we watch will serve as (fun, hopefully) springboards to discuss different topics and rhetorical strategies and how to use those same strategies in our own self-presentation. This course will be part lecture, part discussion, and part workshop, driving towards helping you think through your future plans from graduation to life after college, from graduate school to getting a job you want and like. Part of this will entail using reflective strategies (in writing), developing strategic plans, turning our goals into actions, and discussing and developing a work-life balance. Exercises and assignments are loosely structured so as to allow you to compose texts that will support your present and/or future life hopes and goals, while also meeting course goals.


CAT 125R: Public Rhetoric and Practical Communication Online

Joe Bigham

Lecturer, CAT

Asynchronous lectures

This course in public rhetoric and practical communication in digital environments covers a wide range of potential genres, media, and audiences. We will study everything from Facebook profiles to video sharing-sites as rhetorical spaces for public persuasion, commemoration, and comment. Students will do most of their graded writing to prepare for communication to public audiences beyond their undergraduate careers, which will include a personal statement, an oral presentation with timed slides, an online video essay, and an undergraduate research portfolio demonstrating expertise.