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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.

Spring 2021 Courses

Lectures will be delivered synchronously or asynchronously, as noted below. If lectures are synchronous, recordings will be made available asynchronously. Sections will occur synchronously and attendance is expected. Please sign up for a discussion day and time that fits your schedule.


CAT 125: Mindful Rhetoric

Liz Gumm

Lecturer, CAT

Synchronous lectures held Monday/Wednesday 10:00-10:50 a.m.

In this public rhetoric and practical communication course, we will explore the intersection between attention and expression. In particular, we will examine how the quality of our attention impacts the quality of our expression, a practice in mindfulness. Mindfulness, broadly speaking, is "the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we're doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what's going on around us" (Kabat-Zinn). Mindfulness and other contemplative practices are often not taught in the classroom, but they are key components to making a fulfilling life path, whether towards a professional career, graduate school, or an unconventional journey. Some key questions considered are: What kind of attention have you paid to your presentation of self? How is opportunity impacted by your attention and self-expression? How might you develop a flexible self-narrative that allows you to blossom in a variety of spaces—from the classroom, to the hourly-wage job, to the corporate boardroom, to the community forum? In this course, you will use the strategies of mindfulness to inform your rhetorical practices of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Exercises and assignments are loosely structured so as to allow you to mindfully compose texts that will support your present and/or future life intentions.


CAT 125: Your Voice in a Globalized World

Bill Robertson Geibel

Lecturer, CAT

Synchronous lectures held Monday/Wednesday 2:00-2:50 p.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: 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.