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Writing Program

Bachelor of Arts — Program Overview

Writing offers a lifetime of challenge and reward. Whether you’re crafting a blog, a novel or a technical proposal, your work will be essential to informing and improving society. And thanks to the information revolution, good writers are in high demand — now more than ever!

Students with Review

Develop your craft.

Hone your writing skill under teacher/mentors — real, working writers — in the classroom and beyond. Embark on literary tours of the United Kingdom, Europe, or Latin America. Join the Writing & English Club (WREN), and spearhead poetry, fiction, and non-fiction readings where you'll rub shoulders with and bounce your ideas off of well-known regional, national and international authors.

Personalize your degree.

Choose an emphasis, and we'll make sure your degree is tailor-made to fit your career goals:

Creative writing emphasis

Join a campus publication (The Briar Cliff Review, Cliff News), master a performing art or sign up for independent study as you develop your craft.

Business writing emphasis

Take supporting courses in business administration, and build your quantitative and analytical skills.

Composition-linguistic-rhetoric emphasis

Choose this track if you plan on graduate study. You’ll take supporting coursework in the humanities, and choose relevant courses from other majors depending on what type of graduate degree you’ll pursue (psychology, law, etc.).

Join a campus publication.

Are you interested in publishing? Help produce The Briar Cliff Review, an internationally acclaimed literary magazine created right here on The Cliff. For nearly 30 years, The Review has nurtured emerging writers and featured established authors from across the world.

Or, jump on board with The Cliff News, Briar Cliff’s online student newspaper. It’s a great way to build your portfolio, boost your resume and learn from veteran journalists who have worked in the field.

Introduce Yourself →   Schedule a Visit →

Core Writing Program 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

Introduction to College Writing offers students multiple opportunities to practice essay planning, writing, and revision on a variety of topics. Read more »

WRTG 128 - Introduction to Creative Writing

Do you write poetry, essays, or short stories in your spare time? This course introduces students to the craft of creative written expression in a variety of literary genres, providing students ample guidance and practice in developing their artistic interests. Read more »

WRTG 159 - Contemporary Argument and Research

Our world is full of dialogue and debate, and those who want to make their voices heard must choose their words carefully. In this class, students will explore current events and discuss their own reasoned perspectives on contemporary issues. 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

Newspaper headlines and bestseller titles continue to emphasize the importance in business of effective communication. 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

This seminar introduces students to the history of composition theory and the latest, most cutting-edge ideas in the field. Read more »

Additional Program Requirements

 For additional requirements and curriculum information, download the latest University academic catalog.