Rhetoric and
Public Writing Minor

Strengthening Professional Writing Skills

The Rhetoric and Public Writing minor strengthens the professional writing skills of students of any major by teaching them how to use the analytical tools of a liberal arts education in non-academic settings. The core courses explore both the concepts involved in effective writing and the practice of those concepts in community and work-place settings. Electives allow students to deepen and enrich their knowledge base with related courses in other programs. Along the way, class projects and internships allow students to gain résumé-building experience. Students who complete this minor will be equipped with timeless skills that are more essential than ever in a rapidly changing world.

Core course descriptions (12 credits):

  • ENG 277: Rhetoric and Political Engagement. This course surveys the field of rhetoric (the study of argumentation), observing how these long-revered concepts come to life in political rhetoric of the twenty-first century.
  • ENG 278: Grant and Proposal Writing. In this course students explore and learn the complex process of securing funding for non-profit organizations. Students gain actual experience in grant writing through partnerships with community organizations.
  • ENG279: Writing for New Media. This course focuses on concepts of effective online writing. Although specific writing platforms (websites, blogs, social media, etc.) change constantly, these concepts prepare students to adapt to these changes thoughtfully, ethically, and strategically.
  • ENG390: Writing as Social Action. In this course students learn how to apply rhetorical concepts to community needs by partnering with local organizations on projects related to social justice, civic engagement, and public dialogue.

Additional requirements:

  • Six elective credits chosen from a selection of English, communication studies, social justice, and politics courses.
  • A three-credit internship where students apply the concepts learned in their coursework to meet the needs of the broader community.