The Professional Writing Minor is an opportunity for undergraduates to expand their communication skills through two capstone courses and a writing internship during their senior year. Students considering the minor should think of it as an apprenticeship in the world of professional writing, not simply as a set of courses in which someone will tell you what to do.
The Professional Writing Minor is separated into distinct tracks: Professional Editing, Multimedia Communication, Business Communication, Writing and Civic Engagement, Science Communication, and Journalism. Each track includes two capstone courses and an internship. Students applying to the minor will indicate a first, second, and third choice and explain the reasons for their first choice selection.
Professional Writing Minors must be more than good students. They must be excellent writers and editors. They must be able and willing to function in a professional internship environment, to accept responsibility, to demonstrate initiative, to complete assignments, to meet deadlines, and to work collegially in group projects.
Students who wish to apply to the minor must take three courses from Writing 105AA-ZZ, Writing 107AA-ZZ, or Writing 109AA-ZZ. These courses are prerequisites to the minor and must be taken before the application is due at the beginning of Fall quarter of senior year.
What is the internship component of the Minor?
One of the requirements for completing the minor is that students do a relevant internship of approximately 10 weeks during Winter and/or Spring quarter and take Writing 150 during the Spring quarter for academic credit of 2-4 units, depending how many hours per week students work in the internship. Writing 150 meets 4-5 times during the quarter with minimal assignments and is taken P/NP. Students in the minor who can't secure an appropriate internship can earn the required units by taking a minor elective in the Spring, typically either Writing 161: Digital Storytelling or Writing 162: Advanced Public Speaking. Students who already have full year internships that are related to their minor track may seek approval from the track director to use that internship for Writing 150.
What are the tracks of the Professional Writing Minor?
Professional Editing (Writing 151 A-B):
Conceptual and technical editing of a wide range of documents for diverse audiences, with attention to genre, tone, and style. Students will learn the responsibilities of the professional editor, including interaction with authors, revision strategies, and the grammatical and mechanical requirements of The Chicago Manual of Style. The final portfolio will include the resume, edited assignments from the course, notes to the author, and edited documents from the internship.
Writing and Civic Engagement (Writing 153A-B):
Focuses on study of and practice with writing related to governance, citizenship, and civil society. Students study and practice communication that aims to influence public understanding of civic issues, such as op-ed pieces, policy briefs, and political campaigns and functions within a civic organization to meet its mission, such as grants, educational brochures, and marketing documents. Learn more at the Writing and Civic Engagement website.
Multimedia Communication (Writing 155 A-B):
Evaluation, design, and production of effective multimedia content for professional audiences. Advanced computer skills are not required, but willingness to learn new software is essential. The final portfolio will include individual and collaborative multimedia projects as well as traditional documents such as memos, proposals, progress reports, and a résumé. Check out the Multimedia Communication website for more information.
Business Communication (Writing 157A-B):
Development of written, visual, oral, and collaborative skills for the workplace (business, government, non-profit, or other organizations), with a focus on design, development, and re-purposing of hardcopy and new media documents. A final portfolio will include examples of a variety of professional genres--such as letters, e-mails, status reports, proposals, press releases, feasibility reports, policies and procedures, brochures--presented in both print and digital form.
Science Communication (Writing 159A-B)
Focuses on study of and practice with writing related to science communication in STEM fields and in other professions that engage with scientific information. All majors are welcome. Students will develop proficiency in reading and creating documents typical of scientific professions, as well as materials for nonspecialists and public audiences. Both traditional (e.g., scientific articles, proposals, news or feature articles) and digital (e.g., video; social media) forms of science communication will be showcased in a final portfolio.
Journalism (Writing 152A-B)
Students learn and apply key concepts, approaches and techniques found in the dynamic and quickly-changing field of journalism. Students identify stories, gather original material, verify facts, and present information clearly and effectively in a variety of media for print and screen. Journalism training equips students to produce text and multimedia for a mass audience—skills with professional applications to virtually every business, non-profit and government agency that maintains a website—-not only traditional journalism outlets. Students completing the Minor will create a professional website showcasing their best work.
Learning Outcomes of the Professional Writing Minor
- Genre: Research, analyze, and practice professional writing genres in print and digital formats.
- Audience: Identify, analyze, and target appropriate audiences in order to create effective professional documents.
- Research: Conduct credible independent research; understand how evidence and examples work in different genres of professional writing; and use and document primary and secondary sources.
- Design: Analyze and practice design and layout strategies appropriate for particular genres, audiences, and purposes.
- Ethics: Understand and practice ethical communication in all aspects of planning, composing, and designing professional documents.
- Style: Produce mature writing aware of the stylistic complexities required for professional genres and specialized audiences.
- Presentation: Effectively deliver information to expert and lay audiences via formal and informal oral presentations.
Professional Writing Minor Mailing List
Receive updates on information sessions, deadlines, and requirements by subscribing to the Professional Writing Minor Mailing List. Email our Undergraduate Advisor, Audrey Youngblood, at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list.
Email Audrey Youngblood at email@example.com.