Writing Intensive Courses
A number of courses offered by the Department of Writing, Linguistics, and Creative Process fulfill the general education writing requirement. These courses are marked in the semester brochure with a “W.” These courses have as their minimum prerequisite WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement.
WRT 098 Written Communication 3 SH
This course focuses on sentences as building blocks of paragraphs and paragraphs as building blocks of essays. By the end of the semester, students should be writing sentences that are free of most of the basic grammar errors, paragraphs that are unified and coherent, and short essays with a clear central idea. Prerequisite: appropriate placement.
WRT 101 Composition I: The Habit of Writing 3 SH
This course will instill in students the habit of writing. They will use writing to master challenging subject matter and discover their own legitimate and powerful relationship to that material. Students will learn how to convey their own ideas persuasively. Students will also learn the fundamentals of writing a fully documented research essay. Prerequisite: A “C” or better in WRT 098 or appropriate placement.
WRT 101P Composition I Plus: The Habit of Writing 4 SH
This four credit-hour course is designed to instill in students the habit of writing as a tool for learning and a medium for communication. With guided practice in the writing process, students work to master competencies needed for success in university study. Special emphasis is placed upon drafting and revising college essays and research papers, sentence variety and correctness, and editing and proofreading. In addition to three hours of classroom instruction each week, students have weekly laboratory hours in a computerized classroom. Prerequisite: Placement by SAT or ACT score or placement exam.
WRT 102W Intro to the Creative Process 3 SH
This course serves as an introduction to the creative process that goes into any kind of writing: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays, and even technical writing. Writing projects in different genres will help students develop their own working methods and discover how to match these methods to the specific requirements of a writing task. Every semester. Prerequisite: WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement. General Education: Humanities/Communications.
WRT 103W Composition II: Research and Writing 3 SH
Intensive semester-long work on a major research project on a particular subject with emphasis on methods of research. Students will be required to perform traditional library research and will demonstrate the ability to use more recent electronic research tools. The course emphasizes the critical thinking necessary to evaluate sources and arguments by requiring students to learn and recognize logical fallacies. Students will learn and use standard methods of documentation of sources. Prerequisite: successful completion of WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement.
WRT 119 First-Year Seminar for Professional Writing Majors 1 SH
This course introduces first-year students to the various career options offered within the Professional Writing major and to the university overall. Every fall.
WRT 132W Introduction to Professional Writing 3 SH
An introduction to the skills of the professional writer through a number of different writing assignments. The course emphasizes the integration of research, critical analysis and writing process as applied to technical and specialized subjects. This project-oriented course offers training applicable to writing in many disciplines. Every semester. Prerequisite: WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement. General Education: Humanities/Communication.
WRT 133W Introduction to Writing Fiction 3 SH
This course provides a thorough overview of the fiction writing process; exposes students to great writers of fiction and their works as models, prompts, and inspirations; provides students with the vocabulary and analytical skills necessary to critique the writing of others; and helps students analyze and revise their own fiction in a workshop setting. Prerequisite: completion of WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement.
WRT 134W Introduction to Writing Poetry 3 SH
This course 1) provides a thorough overview of a variety of poetry writing processes, 2) exposes students to classics of the genre and work being done now in the genre as models, prompts, and inspirations, 3) provides students with the vocabulary and analytical skills necessary to critique the writing of others, and 4) introduces students to the processes of analyzing and revising their own poetry. Prerequisite: WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement.
WRT 171W Craft of Writing I: Conversations with Predecessors 3 SH
This writing workshop focuses on examination of influence in the works of major writers, artists, and filmmakers for the purpose of showing how writers have imitated and appropriated the works of their predecessors. Students also will create their own texts that imitate or appropriate the texts under examination. Required for Professional Writing majors. Prerequisite: WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement. General Education: Humanities/Communication.
WRT 172W Craft of Writing II: Conversations with Contemporaries 3 SH
This writing workshop examines competition, imitation, influence, and appropriation among 20th- and 21st-century writers. Students will come to understand how contemporary writers have responded to one another and how they, too, must find ways of responding to their contemporaries. Students will imitate and appropriate the texts under examination. Required for Professional Writing majors. This course does not presume knowledge of material covered in WRT 171W. Prerequisite: WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement. General Education: Humanities/Communication.
WRT 201 Academic Resources and Citation 1 SH
This course—which can be taught as classroom lecture, an online module or a hybrid—will be an introduction to academic research in the disciplines. It emphasizes electronic resources available through the library and proper citation in the style appropriate to the student’s major. Prerequisite: WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement.
WRT 210W Managerial Writing 3 SH
This course is geared toward the needs of business majors. Students will learn how to write effective letters, memos, reports, handouts, emails and PowerPoint presentations. They will also learn the basics of document design and apply these principles to their writing assignments. Special emphasis will be placed on ethical communication, audience considerations, word choice and tone. General Education: Humanities/Communication.
WRT 219W Writer’s Toolbox 1-2 SH
The Writer’s Toolbox course focuses students on a topic of interest to professional writers. This course may be repeated for credit provided that the topic is not the same. Prerequisite: WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement.
WRT 242W Poetry Workshop I 3 SH
This class will be a workshop where students will be introduced to the writing of poetry. Each student will gather appropriate information/data/perceptions (including but not limited to encounters with the natural world). Each student will be encouraged to develop his/her poetic talents as fully as possible. Emphasis will be placed on the actual language of the poems, the extent to which students succeed in incorporating their research into their poetry, and the extent to which students succeed in saying what they set out to say. Prerequisite: successful completion of WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement. WRT 134 is highly recommended but not required.
WRT 243W Fiction Workshop I 3 SH
An introductory workshop in writing short fiction. Students will engage in a thorough study of the elements of fiction. Studies in this class may include the following: reading texts about the fiction writing process; reading established writers’ fiction as models, prompts, and inspirations; engaging in various fiction writing exercises; writing short stories; and having short stories critiqued in a workshop setting. Prerequisite: successful completion of WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement. WRT 133W is highly recommended but not required.
WRT/THR 244W Playwriting Workshop 3 SH
The purpose of this course is to afford students the opportunity to write a one-act play. In the process, students will become familiar with the nuts and bolts of the playwriting process: selection of story, creating characters, development of dialogue, plotting, scene by scene play-building, critical editing and script polishing. The workshop structure requires active participation as each play provides a “case in point” to discuss the specifics of stagecraft. The course culminates in “cold readings” of the student plays. Prerequisite: successful completion of WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement. Recommended: THR 163, THR 181 or THR 182.
WRT 245W Technical Writing: Topic 3 SH
The course is a “topics” course, so it can be adjusted to focus on particular areas of technical writing such as reports, user documentation, online help, technical marketing, or software documentation. Students will become acquainted with technical writing by studying the conventions of various technical discourses and environments (such as user documentation, software documentation, product requirements and specifications), and writing a variety of document forms (such as white papers, memoranda, reports, brochures and manuals). Students learn the shorter paragraph and shorter sentence style of the technical writer and will learn conventions specific to particular document types and audiences. This course may be taken more than once as long as the topic changes. Prerequisite: Successful completion of WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement; WRT 132W is highly recommended but not required.
WRT 246 Science Writing 3 SH
Description: This is a workshop on the basics of writing about science and technology, based on rhetorical strategies for reaching specific audiences. It will include aspects of science writing from genres as diverse as technical writing, journalism, creative non-fiction and visual/academic writing. This includes the fundamentals of proposal writing, with an emphasis on NSF and NIH grants; journalistic coverage of science topics, including interviewing; in-depth creative non-fiction writing on a particular science topic, with an emphasis on magazine or journal articles; and the creation of an academic poster based on a specific science topic. This course will require a significant student time commitment outside of the class. Prerequisite: completion of WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement.
WRT 255W Advertising, Copywriting and Promotion 3 SH
An introduction to the skills necessary for preparing advertising copy, media spots, Internet ads, brochures, fliers and direct mail copy. Students will study techniques applicable to radio, television, newspaper, magazine and internet advertising and writing. Prerequisite: successful completion of WRT 101-101P or appropriate placement. WRT 132W is highly recommended but not required.
WRT 270W News Writing 3 SH
A workshop teaching the 5-W news story as a model for the writing process. Required for most professional writing options. Every semester. Prerequisite: successful completion of WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement.
WRT 271W Human Interest Writing 3 SH
A workshop on the basics of writing about people, including techniques for bringing observation, setting and emotion into the story. Prerequisite: WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement.
WRT 272W Campus Writers’ Workshop 1-6 SH
A workshop concentrating on work at a campus publication. Open to reporters, editors and staff of campus newspapers, journals, newsletters, or public information centers. The workshop meets one hour per week, requires seven to 10 hours per week of work at the publication and is usually taken for one credit each semester. May be repeated for up to six credits. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
WRT 273W Craft of Writing III: Writing Identity 3 SH
A writing workshop that examines expression or exploration of identity. Through a variety of writing assignments, students will participate in cross-cultural discussions about such identity issues as race, class, and gender. The course will culminate in a final semester project in a creative genre. As part of this course, students will imitate, appropriate, parody and/or adapt the texts under examination, as well as create a semester project in a creative genre. Required for professional writing majors. This course does not presume knowledge of material covered in WRT 171W and WRT 172W. Prerequisite: WRT 101 or appropriate placement. General Education: Humanities/Communication.
WRT 274W Craft of Writing IV: Form and Inspiration 3 SH
The writing workshop will examine the relationship between form and inspiration/creative insight and the traditions that underlie the particular forms for study and imitation. The course will cover matters such as prosody, form and structure, and characterization. Required for professional writing majors. This course does not presume knowledge of material covered in WRT 171W, WRT 172W or WRT 273W. Prerequisite: WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement. General Education: Humanities/Communication.
WRT 275W Topics in Professional Writing 3 SH
A writing workshop course on a hot topic, new trend or special subject in the writing profession. Prerequisite: successful completion of a writing intensive course or permission of the instructor.
WRT 276W Writing about Human Tragedy 3 SH
Since the beginning of time, individuals have been compelled to write about tragic, traumatic or life-altering situations such as war, crime, and violence. This course will encourage writers to focus on the ways in which human suffering has the power to transform individuals and allow for insights, enlightenment and transcendence. Coursework will include craft analysis of highly-regarded fiction, nonfiction and other genres containing accounts of human suffering. Students will write short creative or creative nonfiction pieces, in addition to the final project. Prerequisite: WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement.
WRT 279 Sports Writing 3 SH
This course is a workshop on the basics of writing about sports and covering sporting events, including previews, game day and post-game analyses. Students learn the fundamentals of creating compelling profiles of athletes, analyzing issues surrounding the sporting world, understanding sports as entertainment and business, and writing columns. Emphasis will be placed on interviewing and in-person sports coverage, which will require students to devote large blocks of time outside of the class sessions. Prerequisite: WRT 101/101P or appropriate placement.
WRT 303W Composition III: Advanced Research Writing 3 SH
This course builds on the composing skills and rhetorical strategies learned in WRT 101 and “W” courses. The focus of this course will be on the mastery of the principles and style of advanced expository writing. It will prepare students for writing thesis projects in their senior year. Students taking this course will be required to write a substantive research project in their major field of study. They will learn strategies to compose scholarly discourse and perform critical analysis and inquiry. Recommended for professional writing majors as well as students in other disciplines. Prerequisite: successful completion of one “W” course.
WRT/JLA 321W Legal Writing, Research and Analysis 3 SH
Legal research, interpreting and analyzing laws, rules, and legal decisions; applying statutory and case law to particular fact situations; preparation of legal memoranda, case briefs and other forms of legal writing. Extensive library time will be required. Prerequisite: successful completion of one “W” course or permission of the instructor.
WRT 333W Editorial Environment 3 SH
This workshop will concentrate primarily on four major professional writing issues: 1) understanding libel and copyright law; 2) working with others in the editorial setting; 3) negotiating the tensions between the creative and “business” sides of professional writing; and 4) navigating complex ethical considerations as writers and editors. Prerequisite: one 200-level “W” course or permission of the instructor.
WRT 335W Fact-Based Opinion Writing 3 SH
A workshop introducing students to the process of writing fact-based opinion such as is found on television, the Web, in magazines and newspapers. Prerequisite: one 200-level “W” course or permission of the instructor.
WRT 337W Teaching Writing in the Schools – Elementary and Middle Schools 3 SH
A practical orientation to the composing process for potential and already-practicing elementary and middle school teachers. The course provides a theoretical and practical approach to the knowledge about rhetoric, composition, and developing learners that has recently come out of leading graduate schools. Prerequisite: completion of at least two “W” courses above the 100-level or permission of the instructor. This course is highly recommended for elementary education majors across the curriculum.
WRT 339W Creative Essay 3 SH
This workshop focuses on the kind of essay that combines factual incident and autobiography with a “story” approach that seeks epiphanies and the kind of emotion and characterization usually associated with fiction. Prerequisite: successful completion of a “W” course or permission of the instructor. WRT 271W highly recommended but not required.
WRT 340W Public Relations Writing, Concepts, and Practices 3 SH
An introduction to public relations writing at the corporate, governmental, and institutional level. Students will prepare press releases and develop public relations campaigns. Emphasis will be placed on the role of ethics and social responsibility among public relations practitioners. Prerequisite: successful completion of WRT 270W or permission of the instructor.
WRT 343W Fiction Workshop II 3 SH
A course that 1) provides a rigorous overview of one specific genre, 2) asks that students study and critique writers and writings in the specific genre from the perspective of craft, 3) asks students to write their own stories in the specific genre, and 4) asks that students critique each other’s work in workshop settings. This course may be taken more than once so long as the topic is different. Prerequisite: WRT 243W or permission of the instructor.
WRT/THR 346W Advanced Playwriting Workshop 3 SH
This advanced workshop provides students with the opportunity to write a full-length play. Complexity of plot and multiple subplots, creation of characters with unique voices and strong motivation will be emphasized. Integration of direction, technical direction and special effects will be considered. Students will present their scenes weekly thereby honing critical and editing skills. The course culminates in “cold readings” of student plays. Prerequisite: successful completion of THR/WRT 244W or permission of the instructor or department. General Education: Humanities/Fine Arts.
WRT 347W Teaching Writing in the Schools-High School 3 SH
A practical orientation to the composing process for potential and already-practicing high school teachers. The course provides a theoretical and practical approach to the knowledge about rhetoric and composition that has recently come out of leading graduate schools. Prerequisite: two “W” courses above the 100-level or permission of the instructor. This course is especially recommended for secondary education majors.
WRT 371W Writing the Weird: Conspiracy Theories 3 SH
This course will study both classic and emerging conspiracy theories. Writings from a number of sources will be considered as models and scrutinized for their accuracy and rigor. Students will also study and write about various theories behind the popularity of conspiracy theories. Note: students may take this course more than once as long as the semester topics are different. Prerequisite: successful completion of two “W” courses or permission of the instructor.
WRT 373W Editing and Copyediting 3 SH
A workshop focusing on both substantive editing where the editor reworks a piece to improve its structure and copyediting which affects style, grammar, and spelling. Students will gain hands-on experience working with raw copy and will be immersed in the coaching method of working with writers. Prerequisite: WRT 270W or WRT 271W or permission of the instructor.
WRT 375 Book, Performance, and Restaurant Reviewing 3 SH
This course will require students to survey reviews by prominent book, performance, and restaurant reviewers and to write their own reviews of restaurants, books, movies, plays, concerts, and art exhibits. Emphasis will be placed on developing sufficient expertise in the field under review so as to be able to write knowledgeably and review authoritatively. Prerequisite: completion of WRT 101/101P or its equivalent, or placement into a writing-intensive course.
WRT 377W The Writing Life: Topic 3 SH
A workshop in which students explore authors’ backgrounds and cultural roots. How does a writer become a literary icon? Why do some writers gain popularity only after their deaths? Why do others end up writing books that are labeled popular fiction while others end up being cherished as artists? This course will focus on two or more writers per semester and trace their roots as models, prompts and inspirations for students’ explorations of their own artistic roots. It will examine the writers’ cultural backgrounds, activities and concerns before and after becoming established writers. It will also study their publication history, their struggles with publishers (if any) and the nature of these battles. The goal is to understand the various ways that culture and society shape the artist, just as the best artists contribute to and help shape culture and society. They will see how an author’s own changing lifestyle and concerns are reflected in his/her work. In turn, students will explore their own cultural roots system in a semester project. Note: This course’s topic subtitle will identify specific subjects to be explored in a given semester. A student may take the course more than once as long as the topics are different. Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the instructor.
WRT 431W Writer’s Aesthetics 3 SH
In this writing-responsive course students will explore what writers have had to say about their aesthetics, that is, their innate and developed sense of what is good and less good in writing. Students will examine aesthetical statements from writers such as Virginia Woolf, Mary Oliver, Gay Talese, Virgil and many others in a number of genres and compare these to statements by philosophers of aesthetics, beginning with Aristotle and Kant. As the course progresses, students will work in stages to develop their own aesthetical statements. Prerequisite: completion of two core courses and two genre workshops.
WRT 442W Publication Design and Development 4 SH
This workshop introduces students to the process of conceptualizing and designing a publication from the editorial philosophy to the technology of desktop publication. Students will invent and produce an online and/or desktop publication during the semester. As part of this course, students will learn to use professional-level publishing software. Prerequisite: one 200-level writing course or permission of the instructor.
WRT 462W The Book: From Writing to Publishing 3 SH
Students in this advanced workshop course will explore how writers conceive, organize and develop book projects and how the publishing industry produces and markets them. Students will either work on their own book project or will examine in detail some aspect of the publishing industry. The course is designed to orient the writer toward the special creative process and discipline required for such long writing projects and toward the realities of publishing. Students will be expected to devote at least 15 hours per week of writing and research time to their project. Prerequisite: three writing courses within the major or permission of instructor.
WRT 465W Thesis Project 3 SH
In this course professional writing students design, research, and complete a substantive writing project. Prerequisite: students must have completed a total of six 200- or 300-level writing courses before taking this class.
WRT 490W Internship/Practicum 3 SH
This course is for students engaged in a writing internship or independent project requiring at least 12 hours per week. The student must draw up a contract describing the specific project or internship. The semester’s work is completed under the supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor or department chair.
The following courses also have been approved and are offered periodically:
WRT 099 Written Communication for ESL
WRT 338W Writing About Specialized Subjects
WRT 342W Advanced Poetry Writing
WRT 446W Topics in Professional Writing