Professional and Technical Writing (PTW) Program Courses

The Program provides students with three options:

  1. The Professional Writing Emphasis for English Majors
    English majors may select the Professional Writing Option by completing 27 credits in professional writing courses and 21 credits in literature courses (ENGL 190, 251, 252, 253, 254, 338, 339, Chaucer [395] or Shakespeare I [397] or Shakespeare II [398], and Senior Seminar). 

  2. The Professional Writing Minor for All Other Majors
    Other students in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and students in the College of Business and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences may select a Minor in Professional Writing by completing 24 credits in professional writing courses. Students may also include Professional Writing as part of a Distributed Studiesdegree.

  3. The Professional Writing Certificate for Unclassified Students
    Unclassified students and students with a baccalaureate degree may select a Certificate in Professional Writing by completing 27 credits in professional writing courses. The Program therefore makes available to those already involved in writing for business and industry the opportunity to further develop professional skills important to their careers.

    NOTE: All options require students to complete the Senior PTW Portfolio Assessment. See PTW Director for details.

Course Descriptions
All courses are three (3) credits unless noted otherwise.

ENGL 2080 Business & Administrative Writing
For all students and especially business and science majors. Focus is on developing writing, reading, and thinking skills through class discussion, analysis of business and administrative texts, and creating documents such as proposals, reports, letters and memos, and presentations. Prer., ENGL 1310 or equivalent. 

ENGL 2090 Technical Writing & Presentation 
Familiarizes students with the field of technical writing and teaches them to compose technical information effectively. Taught in a networked classroom with access to software tools for the design of written and visual texts. Prer., ENGL 1310 or ENGL 1410.

ENGL 3080 Advanced Business & Technical Writing
Writing workshop where students work on advanced business and administrative writing projects. Focus is on rhetorical strategies, document design principles, developing an understanding of ethics,and evaluating and synthesizing a variety of texts into students' own research and writing. Prer., ENGL 2080 or ENGL 2090.

ENGL 3110 Advanced Grammar
Provides a theoretical, historical, and practical study of grammar and the rules governing language use, particularly as they apply to professional writing.The emphasis is on the standard conventions of grammar, usage, mechanics, and syntax. Students will practice a variety of techniques for applying these skills to their own writing. Prer., ENGL 1310.

ENGL 3120 Technical Editing and Styles
Focuses on editing strategies for improving the stylistic features of professional writing. In particular, it is concerned with a document’s organization, clarity, conciseness, consistency, completeness, and accuracy. Students will practice a variety of techniques for applying these skills to their own writing. Prer., ENGL 1310 and ENGL 3110. 

ENGL 3130 Designing Documents for Business & Industry
Examines print and web-based design strategies in specific types of documents for a variety of professional audiences. Each project requires a proposal, a progress report, and a preliminary draft for peer review before submission of the final copy. Prer., ENGL 2080 or ENGL 2090.

ENGL 3140 Managing Writing Projects in Business & Industry
Provides a theoretical framework for managing writing projects and practice in working collaboratively in self-managed teams. Each team completes major writing projects collaboratively produced. Prer., ENGL 2080 or ENGL 2090.

ENGL 3150 Professional Writing Internship
Gives students an opportunity to apply writing theory to a work environment and to gain practical experience in writing on the job. Working for an organization participating in the Internship Program, students perform 40 hours of writing-related duties over the course of the semester for 1 credit, 80 hours for 2 credits, and 120 hours for 3 credits. Interns are evaluated by a supervisor at the host organization, keep a weekly log of their experiences, and write a final report to the instructor, summarizing and evaluating their internship experience. Prer., ENGL 3120.

ENGL 3160 Tools for Technical Writers
Students will learn to use the standard software tools critical to technical writers in print and online documentation, for example, Framemaker, Adobe Acrobat, MS Word, MS Powerpoint, Frontpage, and Paintshop Pro among others. Prer., ENGL 2080 or ENGL 2090.

ENGL 3750 Grant & Proposal Writing
Introduces students to the rhetorical process of grant and proposal writing: identifying a problem, generating ideas to solve the problem, finding potential sponsors, analyzing requests for proposals, and planning, developing, and submitting the grant proposal. Prer., ENGL 2080 or ENGL 2090. 

ENGL 3850 Advanced Topics in Professional Writing
In this course, students intensively study selected topics in professional writing. Topics and instructors vary from semester to semester. Prer., ENGL 2080 or ENGL 2090

ENGL 4080 Special Topics in Professional and Technical Writing
Advanced, in-depth study of the theoretical and practical aspects shaping the discipline of professional and technical writing, including the diverse historical and cultural contributions and accomplishments of theorists, and practitioners. Theorists, practitioners, and historical contexts shift with topics. Prer., ENGL 3080 or equivalent courses. Meets with ENGL 5870.

ENGL 4800 Peer Tutoring
Study of writing center theory and practice in the tutoring of writing. Students will participate in two hours of supervised tutoring in the Excel Writing Center, weekly. Required for employment as writing center tutors. All majors and master’s candidates encouraged to enroll. Prer., ENGL 1310 and ENGL 1410. Meets with ENGL 5800. 

ENGL 4810 Special Topics in the Teaching of Writing
In-depth inquiry into theoretical topics in the teaching of writing in the public schools, with practical applications via the production of a theory-into-practice portfolio suitable to the topic. Topics vary. Prer., ENGL 3010. Meets with ENGL 5810.

ENGL 4820 Classical Rhetoric
Introduces the theories, practices, and cultural power of rhetoric in ancient Greece and Rome. Also includes the debates surrounding the relevance of classical rhetoric to the teaching of writing today. Prer., ENGL 3010, ENGL 3110, and senior standing, or instructor permission. Meets with ENGL 5820. 

ENGL 4830 Rhetoric and Writing: Survey in Contemporary Approaches to Teaching Writing
Theoretical and practical study of writing processes across diverse contexts. Explores the rhetorical nature of writing, and applies rhetorical theory and research to the teaching and practice of writing. See the Schedule of Courses for the topic in any given semester. Prer., Upper-division standing or permission of instructor, and ENGL 1310 and ENGL 1410 or course equivalents. Meets with ENGL 5830. 

ENGL 4860 Diversity Topics in Rhetoric/Writing
Advanced, in-depth study of the theoretical and practical accomplishments of writers and rhetors across diverse historical contexts. Rhetors, theorists, and historical contexts shift with topics. Prer., ENGL 1310 and ENGL 1410 or equivalent courses. Meets with ENGL 5860.