Department of Writing

Writing Major

New Writing Major (for catalog year beginning Fall 2012)

The modular curriculum allows students to determine their own course of study, balancing creative and professional writing interests with coursework that leads to a graduate program, freelance writing, editing and publishing, or corporate workplace writing.

Those students primarily interested in creative writing can take courses where they create original works of poetry, drama, fiction, and literary nonfiction. These students 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 their own developing personal aesthetic. These students will also have opportunities to develop their editing and professional writing abilities in other coursework and extracurricular activities.

Students whose primary interest is in developing their creative writing abilities may also have a desire to pursue graduate education, to enhance a love and appreciation of literature, to write independently, or to improve their 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.

Those students primarily interested in professional writing can take courses where they 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, students who have taken these kinds of courses 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.

All Writing majors are encouraged to combine 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. Students are encouraged to create a major-minor combination that suits their own interests and career plans. Writing majors typically find careers as editors, grant writers, program administrators, technical writers, freelance writers, teachers, and authors.

View a flowchart diagram of the major requirements.

Core Requirements (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)

Module Requirement (6 courses): 2 courses from 3 groups (18 credits)

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

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

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

Drama Workshops
WRT 340 (Intermediate Drama Workshop)
WRT 440 (Advanced Drama Workshop)

Writing for the Web
WRT 351 (Writing for the Web)
WRT 451 (Advanced Writing for the Web)
Emphasizes writing and designing websites using web content management systems (CMS). Students will learn to configure the CMS for drafting, revising, managing, and organizing documents, and they will use the CMS to create websites for various types of communities and different organizational needs. Prerequisites: WRT 351

Style and Technique
WRT 310 (Intermediate Style and Technique)
Students will study the rhetorical and artistic dimension of writing techniques in two or more of the following genres: drama, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. This class focuses particular attention on forms and techniques on the micro-level of: the line, paragraph, chapter, scene, section. Prerequisites: WRT 210 and WRT 219

WRT 410 (Advanced Style and Technique)
Students will study the rhetorical and artistic dimension of writing techniques in multiple genres from: drama, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. This class focuses particular attention on forms and techniques on the macro-level of: book-length works by notable contemporary writers, genre conventions, and cultural and commercial concerns related to publishing. Prerequisites: WRT 310 (Intermediate Style and Technique)

Writing with Technologies
WRT 353 (Visual Rhetoric and Document Design)
Visual Rhetoric and Document Design enhances the basic principles of writing learned in WRT 253. Drawing upon aesthetics, practical methods, and research in visual rhetoric, the course examines document design as an audience-oriented form of writing. This course also introduces students to cross-cultural iconography and the quantitative display of information. Prerequisites: WRT 200 and WRT 253

WRT 455 (Multimodal Composing)
Multimodal Composing prepares writers to make informed choices regarding the mixing of modes in their composing processes. This course explores how media influence what texts accomplish and how they are received. Students analyze and produce texts that integrate words with other modes using a variety of software programs. Prerequisites: WRT 200 and WRT 253

Magazine Writing
WRT 365 (Intermediate Magazine Writing)
This course will introduce students to common forms of magazine and long-form nonfiction. Students will pitch and develop article ideas and replicate magazine page layouts for their writing. Prerequisites: WRT 210 and WRT 219

WRT 465 (Advanced Magazine Writing)
This course expands on students' knowledge of magazine and long-form periodical writing and focuses on tailoring their writing and designs to specific markets and magazine styles. Prerequisites: WRT 365

Working with Writers
WRT 307 (Consulting with Writers)
Examines the role consultants play in the development of writers and writing. Students will observe and analyze situations in which writers work together as well as practice response techniques. Readings and assignments focus on different kinds of work associated with assisting writers: consulting, responding, collaborating, and ghostwriting. Prerequisites: WRT 200: Introduction to Professional Writing and WRT 219: Introduction to Creative Writing; or by permission of instructor.

WRT 308 (Working with Manuscripts)
This course helps students work with unpublished manuscripts intended for publication in several venues. Students will assess manuscripts' potential and make editorial recommendations about the content, structure, length, style, and techniques appropriate to a manuscript's genre and potential audience. Students will also learn copy-editing techniques and conventions. Prerequisites: WRT 200 or WRT 219; and WRT 210


Writing Electives (6 credits)

In addition to the Core courses and Module courses above, students should take any two Writing electives from the modules above (including WRT 350 or WRT 381), or instead, a student make take any two pre-approved or advisor-approved interdisciplinary electives (see your advisor).

The following list are pre-approved writing-related electives:
CAP 220, Fundamentals of Public Relations; CAP 321, Media Relations Writing; CAP 315 Advertising Copywriting; LS 324 Legal Research and Writing; CFV 261, Scriptwriting; CFV 362, Scriptwriting II; CJR 236, News and Society; CJR 364, Article Writing; CJR 256, News Reporting I; CJR 270, News Reporting II; CTH 310, Story Making; COM 203, Argument and Analysis; ENG 225, 226 American Literature; ENG 320, Studies in Poetry; ENG 330, Studies in Fiction; ENG 340, Studies in Drama; ENG 360, Studies in Nonfiction; PA 335, Grant Writing

Take both the Internship and Capstone Course (6 credits)
WRT 490 Internship
WRT 495 Writing and Genre

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

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, nonfiction, and drama. All writing students are encouraged to consider working toward the "Graduation with Distinction" award for writing majors.

Professional Writing
Creative Writing

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

Page last modified April 20, 2014