Department of Writing

The Writing Major

The Writing Major is a modular curriculum that allows you to determine your own course of study, while balancing your creative and professional writing interests. By carefully designing your course of study, your coursework can lead to a graduate program, freelance writing, editing and publishing, or corporate workplace writing. The modular curriculum allows you the flexibility to develop your writing skills to become a grant writer, program administrator, technical writer, freelance writer, teacher, or author, to name a few.

If you are primarily interested in creative writing, you can take courses where you will create original works of poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction. You will learn to recognize and describe various poetic and prose forms, to analyze the creative work of others, including both professional writers and fellow students, and to reflect on your own developing personal aesthetic. You will also have opportunities to develop your editing and professional writing abilities in other coursework and extracurricular activities. If you have a desire to pursue graduate education in creative writing, to enhance a love and appreciation of literature, to write independently, or to improve your writing skills for any career in which writing may play a part, many students combine their study of creative writing with a minor in another academic area, such as art, English, history, liberal studies, philosophy, or theater. Students who focus on creative writing typically find careers as teachers, editors, grant writers, program administrators, freelance journalists, or authors.

If you are interested in technical writing, workplace writing, or working in publishing, you can take courses where you will generate a wide range of nonfiction prose appropriate for a wide range of rhetorical situations. Writing majors who focus their study on professional writing, multimedia writing, document design, and writing for the web will become sophisticated analysts of communication situations and self-reflective about their own rhetorical skills. By graduation, you will feel confident writing and designing pamphlets, newsletters, magazines, web pages, presentations, and a variety of other forms and genres. Students that are primarily interested in professional writing courses typically seek careers in writing, publishing, or other fields in which specialized skills in written communication are required.

While not required for the major, we encourage all writing majors to consider combining their interest in writing with a minor in a professional area such as advertising and public relations, business, computer science, English, information systems, or international relations. You can work with your advisor to create a major-minor combination that suits your own interests and career plans.

Writing Major Requirements (42 credits)

To understand the requirements, it may help you to view a visual diagram of the major requirements and look at the WRT course catalog descriptions

Core Requirements (4 courses = 12 credits)

WRT 200 (Introduction to Professional Writing)
WRT 210 (Writing with Style)
WRT 219 (Introduction to Creative Writing)
WRT 253 (Document Production and Design)

You should do your best to complete all four core requirements during your first two semesters as a major because

  1. The advanced WRT courses you will take after this generally require some of the core as prerequisites.
  2. The core courses will introduce you to a wide range of areas that could help you to better chose your path as a major.
  3. You cannot complete your internship or take the capstone without first completing these four courses.

Module Requirement (choose 3 modules and complete 2 courses in each = 18 credits)

In selecting which modules to take, think about which modules might help best to shape you as the writer you need to be for your future career. If you are uncertain as to which modules might best support your career goals, consult with your advisor. If you are uncertain what your career goals are, it would also be a good idea to talk with your advisor.

While you must complete three separate modules by taking both courses for the module requirement, if you take a course in a module and decide the module is not for you, or perhaps change your career goals, you can always use the single course to count toward the elective requirement (see below).

Working with Writers

WRT 307 (Consulting with Writers)
WRT 308 (Working with Manuscripts)

Style and Technique

WRT 310 (Intermediate Style and Technique)
WRT 410 (Advanced Style and Technique)

Poetry Workshops

WRT 320 (Intermediate Poetry Workshop)
WRT 420 (Advanced Poetry Workshop)

Fiction Workshops

WRT 330 (Intermediate Fiction Workshop)
WRT 430 (Advanced Fiction Workshop)

Writing for the Web

WRT 351 (Writing for the Web)
WRT 451 (Advanced Writing for the Web)

Writing with Technologies

WRT 353 (Visual Rhetoric and Document Design)
WRT 455 (Multimodal Composing)

Nonfiction Workshops

WRT 360 (Intermediate Creative Nonfiction)
WRT 460 (Advanced Creative Nonfiction)

Magazine Writing

WRT 365 (Intermediate Magazine Writing)
WRT 465 (Advanced Magazine Writing)
 

Writing Electives (2 courses = 6 credits)

The writing electives offer you further flexibility to design your curriculum to suit your future career. For example, you can choose WRT courses that are not part of the modules above. In some instances, you may be able to choose elective courses that also count towards completion of another major or minor (be sure to verify this by talking to advisors in both disciplines).

Choose any two from the following:

Any WRT Module course other than those you are using to satisfy the module requirement
WRT 350 (Business Communication)
WRT 354 (Writing in the Global Context)
WRT 380 (Special Topics Course)
WRT 381 (Sports and Writing)

OR

Any two pre-approved writing electives (see the approved list)
Any two advisor-approved interdisciplinary electives (talk to your advisor before taking)

Internship and Capstone Courses (2 courses = 6 credits)

You must have senior standing and complete all the core classes before you can take the capstone course.

An internship is something that you need to plan well in advance. Be sure to review the WRT Internship Guide to learn more.

WRT 490 Internship
WRT 495 Writing and Genre


Old Writing Major (for catalog year prior to Fall 2012)

If you are just now staring the Writing Major, even if you began attending GVSU prior to Fall 2012, you should strongly consider pursuing the current Writing Major requirements listed above.

The undergraduate major in writing comprises two emphases: professional writing and creative writing. The B.A. in writing offers students a 42-credit major that focuses on rhetoric, document production, and workplace writing as well as creative writing experience in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. All writing students are encouraged to consider working toward the "Distinction in Writing" honor.

All Writing majors will need 42 credits:
12 from the core + 27 from the track + 3 from the capstone

Core Requirements (12 credits):
WRT 200 Introduction to Professional Writing
WRT 210 Writing with Style
WRT 219 Introduction to Creative Writing
ENG 226 American Literature II

Creative Writing Emphasis (for catalog years prior to Fall 2012)

Creative writing students learn to create original works of poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. Students in the creative writing track learn to recognize and describe various poetic and prose forms, to analyze the creative work of others, including both professional writers and fellow students, and to reflect on their own developing personal aesthetic.

This emphasis is designed for students seeking to improve their creative writing skills, with a desire to pursue graduate education, to enhance a love and appreciation of literature, to write independently, or to improve their writing skills for a teaching career of which creative writing may be a part.

Students practice several genres of creative writing at the undergraduate level, namely fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry. Students typically find careers as teachers, editors, grant writers, program administrators, freelance journalists, or authors.

All Writing majors will need 42 credits:
12 from the core + 27 from the track + 3 from the capstone

Core Requirements (12 credits):
WRT 200 Introduction to Professional Writing
WRT 210 Writing with Style
WRT 219 Introduction to Creative Writing
ENG 226 American Literature II

Literature (9 credits):
Any 200-level lit courses

Take the Three Courses in Two of the Three Genre Groups:
1. Poetry
WRT 320 Intermediate Poetry Workshop
ENG 320 Studies in Poetry
WRT 420 Advanced Poetry Workshop

2. Fiction
WRT 330 Intermediate Fiction Workshop
ENG 330 Studies in Fiction
WRT 430 Advanced Fiction Workshop

3. Nonfiction
WRT 360 Intermediate Nonfiction
ENG 360 Studies in Nonfiction
WRT 460 Advanced Nonfiction Workshop

WRT 495 Genre and Writing (Capstone)
Explores the historical and ideological boundaries that define conventional writing genrespoetry and prose; fiction and non-fiction; literary fiction and genre fiction; academic writing and professional writing; text and hypertext; and so on. The course considers disciplinary and professional influences on genre definition as well as various ethnic, gender, and economic conceptualizations of genre.

Professional Writing Emphasis (for catalog years prior to Fall 2012)

Professional writing students are taught to generate a wide range of nonfiction prose appropriate for a wide range of rhetorical situations. Writing majors in the professional writing track gain practice in literary writing, persuasive writing, and informational writing. Students become sophisticated analysts of communication situations and self-reflective about their own rhetorical skills. By graduation, professional writing students will feel condent writing and designing pamphlets, newsletters, magazines, Web pages, presentations, and a variety of other forms and genres.

This emphasis is designed for students seeking careers in writing, publishing, or other fields in which specialized skills in written communication are required. many students combine the professional writing emphasis with a minor in a professional area such as advertising and public relations, business, computer science, English, information systems, or international relations. Students are encouraged to create major-minor combination that suits their own interests and career plans. Graduates typically find careers as editors, grant writers, program administrators, technical writers, freelance writers, teachers, and authors.

All Writing majors will need 42 credits:
12 from the core + 27 from the track + 3 from the capstone

Core Requirements (12 credits):
WRT 200 Introduction to Professional Writing
WRT 210 Writing with Style
WRT 219 Introduction to Creative Writing
ENG 226 American Literature II

Rhetoric and Design (6 credits):
COM 203 Argument & Analysis
WRT 251 Document Production and Design

Internship (3 credits):
WRT 490

Professional Writing (9 credits):
WRT 350 Business Communication
WRT 351 Writing for the World Wide Web
WRT 360 Intermediate Nonfiction

Professional Emphasis (9 credits): choose one triplet
1. English (ENG 225, ENG 261, ENG 313)
or 2. Journalism (CJR 236, CJR 256, CJR 270)
or 3. Public Relations (CAP 220 & 321, CJR 256)

WRT 495 Genre and Writing (Capstone)
Explores the historical and ideological boundaries that define conventional writing genrespoetry and prose; fiction and non-fiction; literary fiction and genre fiction; academic writing and professional writing; text and hypertext; and so on. The course considers disciplinary and professional influences on genre definition as well as various ethnic, gender, and economic conceptualizations of genre.

Page last modified August 21, 2014