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Department of English 

 BS in Professional Writing 



Students in the Professional Writing track learn how to write business and technical documents - memos, business and technical reports, advertising and promotional copy, grants, online communication and web-based content production (wikis, blogs, CMS, and social media), instruction sets, and various organizational communications.

We focus on the rhetorical nature of professional and technical communication, so critical and case studies (more traditional English papers w/ objects of interpretation) also appear in our syllabuses; classes like Comp and Rhet and Advanced Research Writing are important components in our representation of disciplinary work. We emphasize collaborative projects and project management. I know Nancy Barta-Smith likes to focus on critical work in the field, using texts like _Spurious Coin_ and novels like _Nice Work_ by David Lodge. In my classes we look at well-known cases - the Challenger disaster, industrial memos in Nazi Germany - to consider rhetorical values and ethics in organizational communication. In other words, we try to make it more than a set of genre studies, and pay attention to the humanistic side.

Some Professional Writing classes have managed, developed, and produced real-world documents like the department newsletter; our intern helps with Rock Writing; and each PW student produces a portfolio of their work by graduation.

Specifics for BS in Professional Writing:

Program Requirements and Course Descriptions

Professional Writing BS Curriculum Guide

Students who complete their degree in Professional Writing will be prepared to do the following:

  • Produce texts while demonstrating: an awareness of various theoretical  approaches and proficiency in document design and hypertextuality
  • Produce texts that demonstrate successful acquisition, integration and documentation of material obtained from various sources
  • Produce texts that solve problems and carry on activities similar to those in professional contexts, such as business, science, technology, and non-profit institutions
  • Gain knowledge of the English language, including language varieties, structures, and contexts o usage
  • Produce documents demonstrating an awareness of genre conventions, stylistic techniques, and aesthetic traditions
  • Demonstrate strategies for responding to interpreting, evaluating, and appreciating text
  • Display knowledge of writing processes and a variety of written documents


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