Professional Writing

Earn Your Professional Writing Degree Online at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Your creativity. Our expertise.

You will enter the workforce with solid liberal arts fundamentals – critical thinking, problem solving and communication – as well as advanced skills in writing for diverse audiences, environments and disciplines. With these skills, you will have the competitive edge needed to excel in your professional writing career.

We have high expectations for you. Here’s what you can expect from us:

Support: Our professors are more than just teachers. They are advisors, cheerleaders and friends. We offer online academic support so you’re never alone and career services specifically tailored to individual student goals.

Dedication: Our faculty and staff have stood in your shoes before. We know about the homework, class projects and presentations. We’re here to help, advise and encourage you through all of your classes.

Convenience: We understand you’re busy—you’re a student, a parent and an employee. We know that you have many responsibilities to balance, so we work with you to ensure that you graduate with a professional writing degree that breaks down the barriers in your career.

The professional writing major at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is design to inspire you to develop your creativity and imagination to become a better writing and designer, able to work with a variety of media in the workplace.

For more information about the department visit the Department of Language and Literature.

Professional Writing Major - (43 credit hours)

The Professional Writing Major and Minor will provide the opportunity to develop writing, communication, and technical skills central to the successful pursuit of academic and professional endeavors. It is a combination of technical and creative writing and some journalism. Over the course of both major and minor, students will actively engage in the use and employment of web– and technology-based assets in a range of contexts. More than basic technology literacy, the coursework focuses on the development of competency and experience that will better equip students to succeed in their chosen field.

Prerequisite: Students wishing to enroll in Professional Writing must earn a minimum “B” grade in EN 111.

Required Courses

43 Credit Hours required; all courses listed

A study of how the media affects multiple aspects of our lives. Students will explore definitions of mass media, forms of mass communication, and societal, ethical, and legal issues that mass communication raises for the present and the future. Fall, every year.

Teaches foundations of verifying information and editing writers' copy for conciseness and accuracy. In addition to editing media copy using rules of grammar and journalistic style, students will learn effective methods of coaching writers and editing for all news platforms. Winter, even years.

Students participate in the production of the College's publication, the Aurora. Course may be taken more than once.

Professional Writing I is the foundation course for the Professional Writing major and minor. Presented in the context of tasks common to the professional workplace, students will produce writing in a range of rhetorical modes and formats supported by dedicated research. Individual and group work will provide the opportunity to hone writing and presentation skills while developing an understanding of print and web-based communication. Spring Odd Years

Introduces techniques in writing fiction, drama, poetry, and certain kinds of expository prose. Satisfies English Education, professional writing, and creative writing requirements.

Professional writing provides students with the opportunity to develop their ability as writers in a web-based context that directly reflects both professional and academic settings. Coursework will entail a unique combination of creative and

Offers students guided practice in writing essays in a flexible, contemporary genre familiar to readers of memoir and literary journalism. Students draw on personal experience to produce essays that are conversational in tone and non-traditional in structure and may also include factual report or research. As needed.

Provides an overview of the public relations function, plus an examination of the practice of public relations in business and industry, education, politics and government associations and professional societies, health care, voluntary agencies, churches and the arts. Winter, odd years. Prerequisite: JM100, JM101

Students participating in the Professional Writing major will have the opportunity to complete coursework formally identifying and developing their individual Senior Thesis/Capstone Project. Students will select and work closely with a faculty advisor as they perform research and develop supporting material for the Senior Thesis/Capstone Project. Text/materials will be specific to the individual student’s project. Fall.

This course focuses on the continued development and refinement of skills introduced in Professional Writing (EN 257). Coursework will include elements of academic, creative, and technical writing employed across a range of styles. Students will have the opportunity to develop coursework in a fashion that will best compliment their academic and future career goals. Spring semesters. Prerequisite: EN 257.

Students will read and discuss nonfiction literature covering a range of contemporary topics. In addition to study of technique and narrative style, students participating in the course will have the opportunity to write about and present their observations on how selected writers and journalists have expressed themselves along with the cultural impact of their writing. Spring, even years. Students must be junior or senior level of study.

Work experience with firm or agency directly related to the student’s major area of study. The learning experience is structured within the College approved guidelines for the internship program. Through close supervision by the director of interns, faculty advisor and the worksite supervisor, the student works toward achieving goals outlined in the individual learning contract. Normally reserved for third and fourth year students. May be repeated with different topics. As needed.

Students participating in the Professional Writing major will produce a Senior Thesis/Capstone Project of their own design. Having prepared for the project during the fall semester (EN 398), students will continue to work with their

Electives

6 credit hours required; Students must select and complete one lower– and one upper-division course for a total of six credit hours. Please note that these may include courses in English, Art, Graphic Design, Media Art, History, etc. in order to best develop the student’s individual course of study. Course selection must be approved by student’s advisor.

Professional Writing Minor - (24 credit hours)

The professional writing minor requires 24 credit hours of English related coursework.

Required Courses

24 credit hours required; all courses listed.

A study of how the media affects multiple aspects of our lives. Students will explore definitions of mass media, forms of mass communication, and societal, ethical, and legal issues that mass communication raises for the present and the future. Fall, every year.

Teaches foundations of verifying information and editing writers' copy for conciseness and accuracy. In addition to editing media copy using rules of grammar and journalistic style, students will learn effective methods of coaching writers and editing for all news platforms. Winter, even years.

Students participate in the production of the College's publication, the Aurora. Course may be taken more than once.

Introduces techniques in writing fiction, drama, poetry, and certain kinds of expository prose. Satisfies English Education, professional writing, and creative writing requirements.

Professional writing provides students with the opportunity to develop their ability as writers in a web-based context that directly reflects both professional and academic settings. Coursework will entail a unique combination of creative and

Offers students guided practice in writing essays in a flexible, contemporary genre familiar to readers of memoir and literary journalism. Students draw on personal experience to produce essays that are conversational in tone and non-traditional in structure and may also include factual report or research. As needed.

This course focuses on the continued development and refinement of skills introduced in Professional Writing (EN 257). Coursework will include elements of academic, creative, and technical writing employed across a range of styles. Students will have the opportunity to develop coursework in a fashion that will best compliment their academic and future career goals. Spring semesters. Prerequisite: EN 257.

Students will read and discuss nonfiction literature covering a range of contemporary topics. In addition to study of technique and narrative style, students participating in the course will have the opportunity to write about and present their observations on how selected writers and journalists have expressed themselves along with the cultural impact of their writing. Spring, even years. Students must be junior or senior level of study.

With a professional writing degree, you will be prepared for a variety of careers including:

  • public relations
  • grant writing
  • web design and development
  • marketing
  • technical writing
  • account management
  • editing
  • communication manager
  • publishing

For more information about the department visit the Department of Language and Literature.