The Writing Studies emphasis and minor provides expertise in the analysis and production of written texts in academic, professional, and civic contexts. In our current networked, digital, and global world, these skills are more important than ever as the very concept of “writing” has never been more complex. Writing Studies begins with the central tenet that writing is text, writing is code, and writing is design. Becoming a Writing Studies student will expose you to a variety of ways to communicate through composition and become a more critical, effective, and informed participant with the various audiences in your lives.

We also write for many different purposes: to inform, to persuade, to engage, to entertain, and to change the world around us. We also write to compose our very selves through our online presences on social networking sites, through our professional personas at work or on the web, and through the various ways we document and curate our play, passions, and explorations. Writing Studies focuses on how to produce and analyze texts with these diverse purposes through exposure to different writing genres and technologies that often engage your work with audiences and contexts outside the University walls.

We are now surrounded by more “texts” on a daily basis than ever before in human history. Writing Studies is your way to become a skilled navigator and active participant of the Information Age. You will be capable of analyzing and producing the various kinds of texts that now define our world, shape our identities, and structure our personal and professional interactions.

Motivating Questions

  • How can we become more successful and critical producers and consumers of cultural texts?
  • How can we use writing to become more informed, empowered, and responsible citizens within both local and global communities?
  • How can we employ specific genres to instigate or contribute to political and social change?
  • How does document design enhance or detract from the goals of a text’s written element?
  • How has the web and digital production of texts changed what it means to compose, to read, and to be persuasive?

Courses Overview

The required courses in Writing Studies establish a foundation in the rhetorical tradition to get you thinking about how writing takes place in complex situations where diverse audiences, needs, and contexts converge. Our Technical Writing course introduces you to a range of technical genres and digital design software. Our Visual Rhetoric course introduces you to the analysis and production of texts that integrate words, images, and design. Finally, our required internship connects you with professionals both inside and outside the university to give you real world experience.

From there, Writing Studies allows you to choose a mix of classes from two different tracks. The “Professional Writing” track exposes you to classes in editing, document design, and professional genres like grant writing. The “Language and Cultural Rhetorics” track offers courses in Popular Culture, Writing for Social Change, and other classes designed to get you thinking about writing’s place in larger cultural contexts.

What Can I Do with Writing Studies?

  • Copywriter
  • Cultural Critic & Commentator
  • Editor
  • Education & Training
  • Event Planner
  • Freelance Writer/Consultant
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Political Consultant/Activist
  • Pre-Professional Preparation for law school, business school, and other advanced degrees
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Technical Writer
  • Web Developer

Faculty Contacts

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