Alexis Teagarden


Alexis Teagarden, PhD

Associate Professor / Writing Program Administrator

English & Communication




Liberal Arts 339


2014Carnegie Mellon UniversityPhD
2008Johns Hopkins UniversityMA
2005Georgetown UniversityBA


  • First-Year Writing
  • Rhetorical Theory and Methods
  • Teaching Methods
  • Composition Theory and Pedagogy





Argument-focused course that introduces students to scholarly reading and writing strategies. Students practice widely-applicable methods of reading, writing, and revising arguments. Students read college-level arguments from diverse popular, public, and academic genres in order to develop their academic skills of analyzing single arguments, synthesizing multiple perspectives, and composing informed responses to an ongoing conversation.

The study and contemporary application of ancient Greek and Roman rhetorical theory. Students will apply rhetorical theory in ongoing analyses of a wide range of communication media (written, spoken, visual) and in their own writing.

Non-traditional, modern, or emerging rhetorical theories. Building from Rhetoric I, students will apply post-Classical rhetorical approaches to study and practice public and professional forms of communication, across a range of media.


Research interests

  • First-Year Composition
  • Information Literacy/Research Skills
  • Intellectual Risk
  • Student Evaluations of Teaching
  • Faculty/Professional Development

Curious about rhetoric writ large and small, Alexis Teagarden’s research follows three questions: How do national and local publics interact, how does language shape public policy, and how do we negotiate US education’s many competing values? Her current work focuses on where these questions intersect: the lively, highly argumentative reform called charter schools. She also grounds her research in classroom practice, asking how college writing pedagogy, assessment, and program administration can better foster student development. To that end she is currently examining the role intellectual risk can and should play in the writing classroom. She teaches courses in the First Year English program, which she also directs.

She holds Ph.D. in Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University and a Masters of Teaching (Secondary English) from The Johns Hopkins University. She is an alumna of Teach for America and did her undergraduate work at Georgetown University.