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Patrick Thomas

Associate Professor; Director of Undergraduate Studies

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: English


Email: Patrick Thomas
Phone: 937-229-3463
HM 275


  • Ph.D., Literacy, Rhetoric, & Social Practice, Kent State University
  • M.A., Literacy, Rhetoric, & Social Practice, Kent State University
  • B.A., English Education, Mercyhurst University


Patrick Thomas joined the Department of English in 2011, teaching Digital Literacies and New Media. His research intersects literacy studies, writing technologies, empirical methodologies and computer-mediated communication.

His current research projects include a study of mobile technologies’ effects on students’ writing practices and an investigation of transcontextual writing practices – that is, how people write across time and space – among professional writers.  With Pamela Takayoshi, he has edited the collection Literacy in Practice: Writing in Private, Public, and Working Lives (Routledge Press). He has published in the journals Computers and Composition, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, and Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. Patrick also serves as the editor of the Ohio Journal of English Language Arts.

Patrick teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in digital writing, argumentation, composition theory, writing assessment, discourse analysis, business communication, report and proposal writing, writing for the web, style and composition.

Faculty perspective

"We live in a time of massive communicative change, one in which writing takes on increasingly significant roles in our everyday lives as students, teachers, researchers, employees, citizens, family members – virtually every facet of our lives. As a scholar and teacher, it’s very important to me to be able to document the nature of these new roles that writing plays and bring this work into my classroom."

"I love teaching writing. I especially love teaching writing that does something important for the people. At UD, I’m able to help students use writing to solve problems and to guide them in making connections between their writing in class and the communities to which they belong. We work together to study the number of ways people write, why they write and the function that writing serves in people’s lives – whether it’s to obtain a job, receive grant funding, engage in political action, navigate our healthcare system, record history, organize a community group or participate in social media. I especially enjoy partnering with our English majors as co-researchers – they are very bright and enthusiastic! And their interest and motivation help to shape a process of discovery in the classroom that cannot be replicated in any other way."

Courses taught

  • ENG 642: Literacy
  • ENG 627: Professional Writing
  • ENG 596: Composition Theory
  • ENG 545: Writing Assessment
  • ENG 507: New Media Writing
  • ENG 502: Research & Professionalization in English
  • ENG 497: Research Seminar in Writing
  • ENG 474: Argumentation
  • ENG 392: Writing for Grants & Non-Profits
  • ENG 391: introduction to Composition Theory
  • ENG 386: Genre in Writing
  • ENG 377: Writing in Social Contexts
  • ENG 375: Writing for the Web
  • ENG 372: Business & Professional Writing
  • ENG 370: Report & Proposal Writing
  • ENG 369: Writing in Organizations
  • ENG 359: Discourse Analysis
  • ENG 316: Elements of Style
  • ENG 200: Writing Seminar II
  • ENG 100: Writing Seminar I

Professional activities

  • Association of Teachers of Technical Writing
  • Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication
  • International Society for the Advancement of Writing Research
  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • National Writing Project
  • Ohio Council of Teachers of English

Research interests

  • Literacy Studies
  • Writing Technologies
  • Multimodal Composition
  • Empirical Methodologies
  • Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Writing Assessment

Selected publications

Thomas, P. (2017). Writers must develop a strong, original voice. In C. E. Ball & D. Loewe (Eds.) Bad ideas about writing. n.p. doi:

Thomas, P., & Takayoshi, P., (Eds.). (2016). Literacy in Practice: Writing in Private, Public, and Working Lives.  New York: Routledge.

Thomas, P. (2016). Reconfiguring the “patient” identity: Transcontextual writing practices of a person with Multiple Sclerosis. Literacy in practice: Writing in private, public, and working lives (71 – 86). New York: Routledge.

Thomas, P., Strain, M., & Adams, N. (2015). ‘There and back again:’ How DMAC shaped the professional growth of three departmental colleagues.” Showcasing the Best of CIWIC/DMAC: Approaches to Teaching and Learning in Digital Environments, 1. Retrieved from

Thomas, P., Cook, B., & Malloy, J. (2014). Imprints & Impressions: Milestones in Human Progress –  Highlights from the Rose Rare Book Collection. Multimedia curation of over 50 rare manuscripts developed in partnership with University of Dayton Libraries.

Thomas, P., Langhorne, A., & Kolaczkowski, L. (2013). Untangling the web  of e-Health: Multiple Sclerosis patients’ perceptions of online health information, information literacy, and the impact on treatment decision  making. Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Social Computing (pp. 304-312). Heidelberg: Springer.