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Bachelor of Arts

Writing offers a lifetime of challenge and reward. Whether its result is a novel or a technical proposal, the writer’s work is essential to informing and improving society. The “information revolution” insures that the writer’s skills will be increasingly in demand to create, shape, communicate, and translate knowledge.

Upon graduation, students majoring in writing will be able to write clearly and persuasively; research, organize and communicate information effectively; compose in standard journalistic, business, and creative literary forms; help others with their writing; appreciate well-crafted writing; communicate effectively to a live audience; use their writing skills to serve others in their communities; and explore career options and implement job search strategies.

The major offers three separate emphases:

  • The creative writing emphasis will typically include work on a campus publication, an independent study and study in a performing art or craft.
  • The business writing emphasis will typically include supporting coursework in business administration and quantitative and analytical skills.
  • The composition-linguistic-rhetoric emphasis is intended as preparation for graduate study. Students pursuing this emphasis will need supporting coursework in the humanities, and may choose relevant courses from computer science and psychology.

Core Writing Courses

ENGL 01 IS - Interpreting Poetry

Students will review techniques for analyzing poetry and reading poetry aloud. One written poetry analysis and one oral reading presentation will be required. A departmental review of each student's written analysis serves as the department's entering writing assessment and as a prerequisite for entry into WRTG 420. Read more »

ENGL 02 IS - Careers for Humanities Majors

Students evaluate their career goals, research jobs, prepare application materials, discuss graduate school, and examine pressing issues of the workplace: diversity, networking, office politics, and professionalism. Read more »

ENGL 16 IS - Briar Cliff Review: Proofing and Producing

(Also ENGL 80M) Students will read, select, compile, design, edit and proof a nationally- acclaimed literary magazine. Read more »

MCOM 200 - Beginning Newswriting

Instruction in basic skills for writing in print journalism. Includes news values, writing leads, rewrites and follow-ups, and writing simple, complex and special story types. Students may be expected to submit publishable stories to the campus newspaper or other campus publications. All first-year students are strongly advised to take WRTG 159 before beginning the print sequence. Read more »

MCOM 225 - Graphic Communications

An introduction to the process of graphic arts production with emphasis on the various methods and techniques translating ideas and information to print material. The primary focus will be on production, layout and typography as they apply to print media, advertising and public relations. Newspaper, magazine and newsletter formats are discussed. Read more »

MCOM 312 - Advanced Newswriting and Copyediting

Advance newswriting and copyediting for print media, covering local government, beats reporters, multipart in-depth stories, ethics and the law. Course includes intensive copyediting, headline writing, use of computer-assisted reporting techniques and news preparation. Read more »

WRTG 109 - Introduction to College Writing

Practice in essay planning, writing and revision; understanding of expository modes; and reconciliation with a personal sense of language. Prerequisite: WRTG 100 Read more »

WRTG 128 - Introduction to Creative Writing

Introduction to creative writing in a variety of literary genres. Prerequisite:WRTG 109 or equivalent skill Read more »

WRTG 159 - Contemporary Argument and Research

Current issues will be researched and discussed along with logic, analysis, persuasion and research methods. Prerequisite:WRTG 109 or equivalent skill Read more »

WRTG 19 IS - Advanced Briar Cliff Review

Upper-level students will read and evaluate manuscripts for a nationally-acclaimed literary magazine. Read more »

WRTG 225 - Organizational Communications

WRTG 225 Organizational Communications 3 sem. hrs. Practice and presentation of letters, reports, short speeches and other areas of functional communication. Not open to first-year students. Prerequisite:WRTG 109 or equivalent skill Read more »

WRTG 328 - Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry

Using the workshop approach, student writing becomes the text. The instructor is open to suggestions for assignments and other course content. Prerequisite:WRTG 128 Read more »

WRTG 420 - Composition Seminar/Practicum

Advanced essay writing, applied criticism and editing; recent composition and rhetoric theory. Students will also serve as tutors in writing courses and the Writing Lab. Prerequisite:WRTG 109 or equivalent skill, and ENGL 01IR Read more »

Additional Program Requirements

The writing major also requires an additional pair of 3- or 4-hour courses — one of which is at the 300-level or above — selected from all remaining WRTG courses, MCOM 307 or MCOM 331.

The major also requires two additional credit hours from any other appropriate courses in WRTG, ENGL, or MCOM.

Finally, the writing major will select any pair of 3-hour literature courses from the English program, one of which is at the 300 level or above.