Department of Writing

Distinction in Writing: Writing as a Professional

The goal of the major curriculum is to prepare you with the theory needed to eventually succeed as a practicing writer. The purpose of this component is to allow you to gain practical experience related to the field of writing. Ideally, you will apply skills acquired through the Writing Department’s curriculum to the kinds of work professionals in the field regularly engage in. This component is also designed to help you acquire new skills and a growing sense of yourself as professionals within the field of writing.

Preparation as a writer can lead to freelance work; teaching opportunities; jobs in the fields of grant writing, technical writing, medical writing, legal writing, editing, information design, user interface design, web design and development, interactive design, usability, and journalism; and lifelong engagement with other professionals.

Therefore, the activities in this component range from completing an internship to participating in a professional organization or society to completing ad hoc tasks within the department, university, or another organization.

Level A

Complete an internship as a professional writer (for types of work, please see the appendix).

  • Serve as an editor-in-chief or genre editor (for department publications such as Fishladder and “In Writing”) or section editor (for The Lanthorn).
  • Serve as a Web designer or a Web master for department publications such as Fishladder, for student societies such as the Writer’s society or the Sociology Club, and for nonprofit organizations such as the Adopt A Family Network.
  • Direct the Writing Department’s student reading series.
  • Serve as a reporter, a contributor, or a writer (e.g., for school newspapers or newsletters).
  • Serve as a design or usability consultant to provide for writing-related projects (e.g., guides, handbooks, brochures, posters, flyers, and multimedia writing) for non-profit or for-profit organizations.
  • Conduct a funded research project.
  •  Win an award or a scholarship from a professional organization in the field.
  •  Serve as a consultant in the Meijer Center for Writing.

Level B

  •  Attend or lead technology workshops.
  •  Attend a professional conference or workshop.
  •  Apply for research grant or national undergraduate scholarships (e.g. from STC or ACM SIGDOC).
  •  Participate in local or national design competitions (from local STC chapter).
  •  Maintain membership in local writing-related organizations such as Writers’ Society.
  •  Maintain membership in national writing-related organizations such as Society for Technical Communication or PEN.
  •  Produce broadsides for a public reading (such as the Student Reading Series).
  •  Serve as a submissions reader for Fishladder.

Page last modified August 17, 2014