College of Arts and Sciences

Professional Writing Minor

Professional Writing Minor

The professional writing minor prepares students for careers in professional writing: technical writers, content editors, blog and website designers, and grant writers among others. The writing and rhetorical theory emphasized in the minor also complements writing learned in the major, helping students better understand and master how writing organizes the work of their discipline. The minor also teaches forms of writing applicable to a wide variety of professional writing contexts, such as instructional sets, technical reports, websites, and grants. Students who will find the professional writing minor especially suited to assisting them in achieving their professional goals are those majoring in business, LEJA, pre-professional fields, merchandising and management, education, public administration and public health, and social work.

Courses (18 Total Credits):

  1. Core Courses (6 Credits):
    • ENG 380: Introduction to Professional Writing (Focus on the roles disciplinary structures play in reading and writing. Topics will include rhetorical genre theory, writing research, audience analysis, and the craft of writing.)
    • ENG 481: Topics in Writing Studies (Semester-long study of a topic in the theory, practice, or history of writing studies.)
  2. Three of the Following Directed Electives (9 Credits):
    • ENG 281: Digital Writing and Multimedia Texts (General Education) (This course explores writing as social action and engages students in writing persuasively for public settings. Students analyze and produce collaborative print and digital texts created for social action.)
    • ENG 381: Technical Communication (Developing informative, reader-centered technical communication. Writing, testing, and revising common genres and styles.)
    • ENG 387: Writing Workshop—Nonfiction (Work in the writing of literary nonfiction.)
    • ENG 388: Writing for the Web (Theory and practice in writing for the demands of the web: brief, modular, visually oriented, and accessible.)
    • ENG 480: Writing and Social Networks (Writing unique to the collaborative, social environment of the contemporary web: groups, conversations, distributed work. In-depth work with electronic writing tools.)
    • ENG 483: Editing and Reviewing (Theory and practice of editing and reviewing documents.)
    • ENG 484: Writing Center Studies (Theory and practice of writing center studies. Issues relevant to consulting, research, & administration.)
    • ENG 487: Advanced Nonfiction Workshop (An advanced course in writing nonfiction for students already experienced in the genre.)
    • ENG 489: Grant and Proposal Writing (Best practices for finding, researching, planning, and writing proposals and grant applications.)
    • ENG 495: Internship (Actual work assignments and on-the-job experiences in businesses and public agencies which value the skills of intellect, imagination, research, reading, and writing of the English major.)
  3. Any Writing Instruction in the Disciplines Course (3 Credits)


  • The minor requires 18 credits.
  • The minor can be completed fully online
  • ENG 281 is a Gen Ed course, and your WID course counts—the minor requires only 4 additional courses.
  • Courses emphasize how writing functions and organizes activity in a variety of professional contexts.
  • Students produce real-world writing that can have practical, immediate impact outside the classroom.
  • Coursework highlights the importance of project management and collaboration in the writing process.
  • Courses focus on digital writing and how computers impact the craft of writing.
  • Students leave the minor with a writing portfolio that can be showcased on the job market.
  • The minor offers great potential for service-learning, internships, and other work-to-learn experiences.
  • Coursework offers opportunities to acquire grant-writing skills to win money for nonprofit organizations or individual research projects.
  • The minor offers small classes and lots of individual attention from faculty.

Emphasis Areas

The professional writing minor allows students to concentrate course work in several different areas: writing for the web (choose 388 and 480 as electives), grant writing (choose 281 and 489 as electives), creative nonfiction (choose 387 and 487 as electives), writing for nonprofits (choose 281 and 480 as electives), technical writing (choose 381 and 495 as electives), and editing/publishing (choose 388 and 483 as electives).

Interested in Declaring Professional Writing Your Minor?

Contact your major advisor or the advisor for the Department of English. Her name is Ellen Poulter, and she can be reached at 309-298-1103 or Check out the professional writing faculty.


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