Department of English

Teaching Assignments

During their time at UT, our students teach some combination of four different courses:  

  • E 316 (Teaching Assistantship)
  • RHE 306 (Assistant Instructorship)
  • RHE 309K (Assistant Instructorship)
  • E 314 (Assistant Instructorship)

E 316 is a required “masterworks” survey of literature that fulfills the State of Texas Humanities Core Requirement. (As a result, between 5,500 and 6,500 students take E 316 each academic year.) Usually taught in a large lecture format, the course emphasizes close reading and critical thinking and is distinguished by its weekly graduate student-led discussion sections. The curriculum for this course varies widely according to faculty instructor and variant (i.e., E 316L: British Literature, E 316M: American Literature, and E 316N: World Literature).

RHE 306 also fulfills a State of Texas Core Requirement, English Composition. Taught in small sections by graduate students who have earned a master’s degree, RHE 306 is an introductory writing course that includes instruction in practical reasoning and the principles of rhetoric. The curriculum for this course is relatively uniform across sections and often involves a single text, theme, or problem.

RHE 309K is a writing course focused on studying and practicing methods of rhetorical analysis within the contexts of disputed issues of academic, political, or cultural significance. Graduate students often propose topics related to their research and personal interests and develop the syllabus accordingly. Current topics include “The Rhetoric of Food,” “The Rhetoric of Oil,” and “The Rhetoric of American Exceptionalism.”

E 314 is a gateway course to the English major. An introduction to literary analysis, the course is taught in numerous variants: E 314J: Literature and Film, E 314L: Banned Books and Novel Ideas, 314L: Texts and Contexts, 314L: Reading Poetry, E 314L: Cult Classics, E 314L: GoodReads, E 314V: African American Literature and Culture, E 314V: Asian American Literature and Culture, E 314V: Mexican American Literature and Culture, E 314V: Gay and Lesbian Literature and Culture, E 314V: Native American Literature and Culture, E 314V: Women, Gender, Literature, and Culture. As the preceding list suggests, graduate students have great latitude with regard to topic and text selection.

Across all these assignments, we carefully manage graduate student teaching load. TAs are responsible for no more than two discussion sections and 50 students per term; AIs are responsible for one course and no more than 25 students.