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Dr. Mike Duncan

Dr. Michael Duncan

Dr. Michael Duncan

Professor of Technical CommunicationEnglish


Dr. Mike Duncan is a Professor of Technical and Professional Communication in the Department of English at the University of Houston-Downtown. His interdisciplinary scholarship can be found in over a dozen different journals in rhetoric, technical communication, composition studies, and argumentation, including College English, JAC, Rhetorica, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Philosophy & Rhetoric, Informal Logic, Technical Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, and Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, featuring seven different co-authors and recurring work in rhetorical theory and criticism, style, technical communication genres, early Christian rhetoric, and ethics. He has co-edited a collection on style, The Centrality of Style, written a monograph on rhetorical criticism, Rhetoric and the Synoptic Problem, and serves as the managing editor of the journal Technical Communication & Social Justice.

Degrees Earned

Doctorate degree: English (University of Memphis, 2009)

Courses Taught

  • 6350 Research Methods (Graduate, FTF)
  • 6330 Usability Research Methods (Graduate, FTF)
  • 6318 Stylistics and Editing (Graduate, FTF and online)
  • 5317 Rhetorical Theory & Criticism (Graduate, FTF and online)
  • 5304 Foundations of Professional and Technical Communication (Graduate, online)
  • 4322 Editing, Copyediting, and Rewriting (FTF and hybrid)
  • 3385 Studies in Religious Texts (FTF in 3 versions)
  • 3338 Introduction to Usability (FTF)
  • 3328 Documentation and Manuals (FTF and online)
  • 3318 Studies in English Grammar (FTF)
  • 3317 Studies in the Theory of Rhetoric (FTF and hybrid)
  • 3316 History of Rhetoric (FTF and hybrid)
  • 3305 Essay Writing (online)
  • 3302 Business and Technical Report Writing (FTF, hybrid, online, 3 summer formats)
  • 1301 Composition I (FTF)
  • 1300 Fundamentals of English (FTF)

Experience Qualifications

Dr. Duncan has a Ph.D. in English in Composition Studies and an M.A. in Professional Writing from the University of Memphis and wrote his dissertation on rhetorical criticism. Before his graduate work, he worked as a technical writer and editor.

More Information

Dr. Duncan has published work in style, early Christian rhetoric, rhetorical theory and history, informal logic, and professional writing genres.


Rhetoric and the Synoptic Problem. Fortress Press/Lexington, 2022.

The Centrality of Style. Eds. Duncan, Mike and Star M. Vanguri. West Lafayette, ID: Parlor Press, 2013.

Articles and Chapters

Duncan, Mike. "Personal Conferences with the Engineers: The Innovative Technical Communication Pedagogy of Sada Harbarger, 1884-1942," Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 2023, 1-24 (released online in February).

Duncan, Mike. "Expanding Ethical Pedagogy in Technical Communication: Learning from Killer Nanobots." Technical Communication Quarterly 31.2 (2022): 207-219.

Duncan, Mike. "The Danger of Using Style to Determine Authorship: The Case of Luke and Acts." In Style and the Future of Composition Studies, Eds. Paul Butler, Star Vanguri, and Brian Ray. Utah State UP, 2020.

Ozaki, Naoko, Jillian Hill and Mike Duncan. "The Rhetoric of a Kamikaze Manual." Technical Communication 67.3 (2020): 61-79.

Joswiak, Regan and Mike Duncan. "Inform or Persuade? An Analysis of Technical Communication Textbooks." Technical Communication 67.2 (2020): 29-41.

Duncan, Mike. "Knives in the Air: Argumentative Arrangement in Demosthenes's 330 BCE On The Crown and Donald Trump's October 10, 2019 Minnesota Rally Speech." Relevant Rhetoric 11 (2020): 1-33.

Sciullo, Nick J. and Mike Duncan. "Professionalizing Peer Review: A Suggestion for a More Ethical and Pedagogical Review Process." Journal of Scholarly Publishing 50.4 (2019): 248-264.

Duncan, Mike. "The Missing Rhetorical History Between Quintilian and Augustine." Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric 33.4 (2015): 349-376.

Duncan, Mike and Adam Ellwanger. "The Rhetoric of Moderation in Deliberative Discourse: Barack Obama's December 1, 2009 Speech at West Point." Cogency 6.1 (2014): 63-90.

Duncan, Mike and Jillian Hill. "Termination Documentation." Business and Professional Communication Quarterly 77.3 (2014) 297-311.

Duncan, Mike. "The New Christian Rhetoric of Origen." Philosophy & Rhetoric 46. 1 (2013): 88-104.

Duncan, Mike. "The Research Paper as Stylistic Exercise." In The Centrality of Style. Eds. Duncan, Mike and Star M. Vanguri. West Lafayette, ID: Parlor Press, 2013. 161-173.

Duncan, Mike. "The Curious Silence of the Dog and Paul of Tarsus: Revisiting the Argument from Silence." Informal Logic 32.1 (2012): 51-82.

Duncan, Mike. "Polemical Ambiguity and the Composite Audience: Bush's September 20, 2001 speech to Congress and the Epistle of 1 John." Rhetoric Society Quarterly 41.5 (2011): 455-471.

Duncan, Mike. "Questioning the Auditory Sublime: A Multisensory-Organic Approach to Prose Rhythm." JAC (Journal of Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture) 31.3-4 (2011): 579-608.

Duncan, Mike. "Whatever Happened to the Paragraph?" College English 69.5 (2007): 470-495. Rpt. in Style in Composition and Rhetoric: A Critical Sourcebook. Ed. Paul Butler. Bedford St. Martin's: Boston, 2009.

McCarthy, Phillip, and Adam Renner, Michael Duncan, Nicholas Duran, Erin Lightman, & Danielle McNamara. "Identifying Topic Sentencehood." Behavioral Research Methods 40.3 (2008): 647-664.

Essays & Book Reviews

Duncan, Mike. "Understanding The Paragraph and Paragraphing by Ian McGee." Composition Studies 48.3 (2020): 155-157.

Duncan, Mike. "The Three Types of Peer Reviewers." The Chronicle of Higher Education. 19 June 2018.