Skip to main content

Richard M Ness

Richard Ness
Teaching Faculty III | General Business
3253 Grainger Hall


Richard Ness teaches Business Communication in the BBA Program in the Wisconsin School of Business and has taught college-level writing and speaking since 2011.

After a 14-year career in the music industry, Dr. Ness earned his master’s in English at the University of Chicago and later earned his PhD in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has also held positions as a lecturer and a postdoctoral fellow. As an instructor at UW-Madison, Dr. Ness has taught six semesters of first-year composition, two semesters of intermediate-level composition, and seven semesters of writing-focused literature courses.

Dr. Ness also taught at UW-Madison’s Writing Center for seven years, serving for one year as TA Coordinator and earning the Writing Center’s award for Advanced Teaching Excellence. At the Writing Center, Dr. Ness not only developed and led instructional workshops on Inclusivity, PowerPoint presentations, dissertating, and undergraduate research, but he also led several graduate writing groups and co-taught the Mellon-Wisconsin Dissertation Writing Camp.

Bringing his private sector experience together with his training in literature, rhetoric, and composition, Dr. Ness teaches students to write and speak persuasively in a broad range of contexts, cultivating what Carol Dweck calls a “growth mindset” that aims to make student more confident writers. His student-centered approach acknowledges that there are multiple forms of literacy, helping students develop their own unique voice so they can speak meaningfully about issues and topics they care about.


Editor-Reviewed Publication

2014 “Toxic Talk: Breast Cancer Rhetoric, Toxicity, and ‘The Tyranny of Cheerfulness.’” Colloquium 4. University of Chicago (2014).

Pedagogy-Focused Web Publications

2017 “Cultivating a Growth Mindset: Changing Students’ Beliefs about Learning.” Another Word: From the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. University of Wisconsin-Madison. December 2017. Essay.

2016 “The Rhetoric of Composition: How We Talk When We Talk About Dissertations.” Another Word: From the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. University of Wisconsin-Madison. March 2016. Essay.

2014 “Digital Lesson: Twitter and Storify.” Digital Rhetoric Collaborative. University of Michigan. May 2014. Interview.