Professional Writing Course Descriptions

PwR 295: Introduction to Professional Writing

Introduces students to the principles of writing in a range of professional genres and presents options that they may pursue in future course work and careers. (3 cr. hr.)

Pwr 212: Writing Fiction
pwr 213: writing Poetry

You’re a college student, right? Don’t leave college without taking a creative writing class. Creative writing is one of the great traditions of a liberal arts education. Whether you choose fiction or poetry, a creative writing workshop is a unique college experience, and a chance to stretch yourself, to take some chances, and give voice to your individual perspective. And for those of you who decide to take on creative writing as a more serious endeavor, these courses are the gateway to our series of courses on fiction and poetics through the professional writing major or minor.

pwr 209: Writing in Cyberspace I

Cyberspace is more than just web-surfing! It’s more than the latest DVD or video game or MP3 download. It’s a whole new way of looking at the world that will dramatically change the ways we communicate with one another. Cyberspace is opening entirely new ways to work and exciting new professions from multimedia and game design to distance education and e-commerce. Find out how these technologies will affect you in your personal and professional life as we investigate the social implications of cyberspace.


pwr 309: Writing in Cyberspace II

Are you interested in learning to use the latest applications for web and multimedia design? Regardless of your major, you can improve your job market value by becoming a proficient user of the latest electronic communication and design tools. And we’ll do more than just show you how these applications work; this course will also teach you how to write effectively and persuasively in these new media. 

Pwr 315: Writing Creative Nonfiction

Writing Creative Nonfiction emphasizes the practice of writing and revising the nebulous, amorphous form of "the essay."  Students will read and respond to essays that take as their impetus the natural world, travel, personalities, personal expePrience, physical objects, and the like.  The first half of the semester will consist of blog responses to the frequent readings; the second half of the semester will be devoted to drafts of essays, using focused workshops and blogging.  Students will submit work to a nonfiction journal at the end of their final project.

Pwr 323: Writing Children’s Literature

Nowadays, everyone wants to create the next Harry Potter. A day doesn't go by without another celebrity publishing another children's book. If you have small children, you know that the quality of children's books can vary greatly (much like books for the rest of us!). Writing books for children and young adults is an acquired skill. Start acquiring it.

pwr 324: Grantwriting

A significant avenue for careers in writing lies in the public sector. All varieties of schools, local and national charities, cultural institutions, non-profits, and non-goverment organizations (NGOs) rely upon grant money to accomplish their good works. In addition, grants can be an important form of support for individual artists and even starting businesses. A successful grantwriter is a often sought-after individual for such organizations. This course will get you started. Even if you aren't interested in grantwriting as a career, if you see yourself working in the public sector (as a teacher, at a public park or museum, or as an activist of some kind), learning to write grants will be a valuable skill.

Pwr 340: Writing Sports Literature

This course asks you to develop creative nonfiction essays using sports as a subject. Sports, in this context, might include chess, ballroom dancing, belly dancing, boxing, beer pong and RPG's. It's not your daddy's football game any more.

Pwr 399: Rhetoric

This upper-level Professional Writing course studies the theory and practice of Western rhetoric; that is, the way that now-ancient practice of writing, reading and speaking is implicated in some basic human questions: Where do my opinions come from?  Do I have good reasons for holding them?  How should one influence others?  What is good writing?  How should I learn and teach writing?  These issues will be studied in light of the strong swing to the right in recent American politics and culture.  Students will study discussions of rhetoric from ancient Greek and Roman writing, medieval and early modern writing, and ending with an emphasis on modern rhetorical theory: Freud, Foucault, Nietzsche, Burke, Mallioux.  The final section of the course will turn to the study of rhetoric and composition studies: Phelps, Booth, North, Miller.  Students will write weekly response papers, keep a commonplace book, take a midterm and write a final paper. 

Pwr 393: Technical Writing

Technical writing may sound like a dry course, but it’s really far from it. Technical writing is an expanding and well-paid profession that stretches across a variety of fields from medicine and science to computers and corporate communications. In this course we will introduce you to professional techniques, the many genres of technical communication, and persuasive strategies for addressing a variety of audiences. This course will enhance your writing skills and prepare you for success in the written aspects of your future profession.

pwr 395: Revising and Editing 

Many of our students aspire to be careers in the publishing industry as editors. Of course, to be an editor you need to know the practices of standard American English (you know, "grammar rules"), but you need to know far more than that. You need to understand how edit and revise a text for a purpose, for style, for clarity, for a particular audience, and so on. Sure, when you take College Composition you'll learn about "revising" and "editing" your papers, but this course is about far more than that. It's about you stepping into a new, professional way of understanding writing.

pwr 398: Business Writing

From resumes and application letters to business proposals and corporate reports, your writing ability will play a crucial part in presenting your best possible image in the professional world. Business writing covers all the fundamental rhetorical issues and writing techniques that separate the fast-track professional from the rest of the pack. If you are thinking about moving upward in your career (and you should be), you should be thinking about taking this course.

Professional Writing 409: The Evolution of Writing

This course looks closely at the ways changes in writing are done--the rooms, processes, publication and media--and how they produce changes in how we think and write. This course studies three major "crises" in literacy: the Greek panic over writing, the Renaissance panic over writing, and our present panic over computers. Readings often include such diverse texts as Eisenstein (no, not Einstein), Walter Ong, Socrates, Neil Postman and the like. It sounds hard. It is. It also rox.

Professional Writing 413: Contemporary Poetics

Writers write, but they also think about writing, talk about writing, and write about writing. Poetics is more than a “theory” about poetry; it’s more than the literary analysis of poetry; it’s the study of how texts are made and what they do in the world. It’s a study as old as Western civilization, going back to Aristotle, and is as vibrant and relevant today as it was then. Anyone whose serious about writing needs to understand poetics.

Professional Writing 415: Experiments in Creative Writing 

Creative writing isn't just about short stories, novels and poems. Or screenplays and stageplays either. Creative writers work in a wide range of media nowadays from graphic novels to video games to hypertext fiction. But we'd be way off mark to imagine that experimentation with media and form hasn't always been an integral part of creative, art, and poetics. This course deals with experimentation in writing from the theory to the practical matters of working with new technologies.

Professional Writing 495: Internship in Professional Writing 

(O) Supervised experience in the professional work force in areas such as publishing, multi media, public relations, advertising and management. Prerequisite: 2.75 GPA, computer literacy, nine credit hours of writing courses (300 level or higher), permission of English Department internship coordinator. (3-15 cr. hr.)

Professional Writing 497: Senior Seminar in Professional Writing 

(B) Students will produce a Senior Writer’s Project that provides evidence of writing and editing skills through publication of a finished work and compile a portfolio of works. Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission of instructor. (3 cr. hr.)

Planned courses under development: PWR 100: Introduction to Creative Writing, PWR 401: Advanced Creative Writing Workshop, PWR 325: Writing for Community Development, PWR 397: NeoVox Production.