WRITING, LINGUISTICS and CREATIVE PROCESS

Patrick Ryan, Chair
        ryanp@wcsu.edu
        Higgins Hall 205, Midtown campus
        (203) 837-8728
        Fax (203) 837-3953

Laurel Richards, Department Secretary
        richardsl@wcsu.edu
        Higgins Hall 205, Midtown campus
        (203) 837-9041
        Fax (203) 837-3953

Faculty

Patrick Ryan, Chair Brian Clements Kelli Custer
Oscar De Los Santos Edward Hagan Casey Rudkin

Overview

The Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing program prepares students for careers in fields that include creative writing, technical writing, public relations, online and print journalism, as well as writing intensive professions such as the law, publishing, business and education. Students may choose one of five B.A. degree options: business writing, creative writing, general, journalism & freelance and public relations.

Mission

To prepare students for careers as professional writers, the Department of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process focuses on the following objectives:

  • Engaging students — through innovative and cutting-edge writing programs — in writing as a process of making form and meaning. 
  • Training professional writing students for work in business, publishing in all its facets, and teaching.
  • Immersing students in the rich environment of professional writing activities and talent available in New York City and author-endowed Fairfield and Litchfield counties.
  • Emphasizing writing as key to critical thinking.
  • Highlighting the importance of linguistics and understanding the basic components of language and texts to professional writers.
  • Assisting students with the development of style, voice and attunement to genre.
  • Creating a community of writers at Western that fosters an awareness of the importance of writing across the curriculum.

General Education Writing Requirement

The Department of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process participates broadly in the university’s general education program. The general education writing requirement is satisfied by passing a writing intensive course, several of which are offered by the department. The department’s composition coordinator supervises placement of all entering students. Students are placed into one of three levels:

  • WRT 098 Written Communication or WRT 099: Written Communication for ESL (followed by WRT 101 and a W course).
  • WRT 101 Composition I (followed by a W course). All writing intensive courses (W) offered by the Department of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process or any other department have WRT 101 or appropriate placement as their prerequisite.
  • A writing intensive course (W).

W courses offered by the Writing department that fulfill the general education requirement include the following:

WRT 102W Introduction to the Creative Process
WRT 103W Composition II: Research and Writing
WRT 132W Introduction to Professional Writing
WRT 133W An Introduction to Writing Fiction
WRT 134W An Introduction to Writing Poetry
WRT 171W Craft of Writing I: Conversations with Predecessors
WRT 172W Craft of Writing II: Conversations with Contemporaries
WRT 242W Poetry Workshop I
WRT 243W Fiction Workshop I
THR/WRT 244W Playwriting Workshop I
WRT 245W Technical Writing: Topic
WRT 255W Advertising, Copywriting, and Promotion
WRT 270W News Writing
WRT 271W Human Interest Writing
WRT 273W Craft of Writing III: Writing Identity
WRT 274W Craft of Writing IV: Form and Inspiration
WRT 276W Writing about Human Tragedy
with permission of instructor and writing sample:
    WRT 275W Topics in Professional Writing
    WRT 335W Fact-Based Opinion Writing
    WRT 339W Creative Essay

In addition to fulfilling the W requirement, the following courses offered by the Department of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process also fulfill the general education requirement in the humanities:

W and General Education — Humanities/Communication credit

WRT 102W:  Intro to the Creative Process
WRT 132W:  Intro to Professional Writing
WRT 171W:  Craft of Writing I:  Conversations with Predecessors
WRT 172W:  Craft of Writing II:  Conversations with Contemporaries
WRT 273W:  Craft of Writing III:  Writing Identity
WRT 274W:  Craft of Writing IV: Form and Inspiration

W and General Education — Humanities/Humanistic Studies credit

WRT 102W:  Intro to the Creative Process

DEGREE PROGRAMS IN PROFESSIONAL WRITING

Bachelor of Arts

Major in Professional Writing with five options: 

Business Writing
Creative Writing
General Writing
Journalism and Freelance Writing
Public Relations Writing

Minor Programs

Journalism
Broadcast Journalism
Professional Writing

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN PROFESSIONAL WRITING (B.A.)

Students must complete all general education requirements, the required major courses (core, upper-division, and menu) listed below, the courses and credits listed in one of the options below, and additional free electives for a total of 122 semester hours that include a writing intensive course (W), foreign language, and exercise science.

Important note:  Students must have an overall G.P.A. of 2.5 or better in courses used to satisfy the major.

Courses Required for all B.A. in Professional Writing Majors:

All Professional Writing majors in the five B.A. options must take the following courses:

Core (12 S.H.)

WRT 171W: Craft of Writing I: Conversations with Predecessors
WRT 172W: Craft of Writing II: Conversations with Contemporaries
WRT 273W: Craft of Writing III: Writing Identity
WRT 274W: Craft of Writing IV: Form and Inspiration

Required Upper-Division Courses (16 S.H.)

LNG 317: Linguistics or LNG 320: Modern English Grammar
WRT 333W: The Editorial Environment
WRT 373W: Editing and Copyediting
WRT 442W: Publication Design and Development
WRT 465W: Thesis Project

Menu Courses (6 S.H.):  Two (2) courses from among the following:

LNG 319: History of the English Language
WRT 275W: Topics in Professional Writing
WRT 276W: Writing about Human Tragedy
WRT 303W: Composition III: Advanced Research Writing
WRT 371W: Writing the Weird: Conspiracy Theories
WRT 377W: The Writing Life: Topic
WRT 431W: Writers’ Aesthetics
WRT 446W: Topics in Professional Writing

Additional Genre-Focused Workshops Required for the Professional Writing Options      

Business Option (14 S.H)

WRT 245W Technical Writing
WRT 255W Advertising, Copywriting, and Promotion
WRT 270W News Writing
WRT 338W Writing about Specialized Subjects
or JLA/WRT 321W Legal Writing, Research, and Analysis
WRT _____  (2 S.H.)*

Creative Writing Option (14 S.H.)

WRT 219W Writer’s Toolbox
WRT 271W Human Interest Writing
WRT 339W Creative Essay
WRT 462W The Book: From Writing to Publishing
WRT 490W Internship.

General Writing Option (14 S.H)

WRT 270W News Writing
Three (3) other genre workshops chosen in consultation with adviser
WRT _____  (2 S.H.)*

Journalism & Freelance Option (14 S.H.)

WRT 270W News Writing
WRT 271W Human Interest Writing
WRT 335W Fact-Based Opinion Writing
WRT 338W Writing about Specialized Subjects
WRT _____  (2 S.H.)*

Public Relations Option (14 S.H.)

WRT 255W Advertising, Copywriting, and Promotion
WRT 270W News Writing
WRT 271W Human Interest Writing
or WRT 245W Technical Writing
WRT 340W Public Relations Writing, Concepts and Practice
WRT _____  (2 S.H.)*

*Students may choose from a variety of courses to fulfill this requirement, including:
WRT 219W Writer’s Toolbox
WRT 272W Campus Writers’ Workshop
WRT 490W Internship

 As a graduation requirement, all B.A. in Professional Writing majors must submit a writing portfolio.

Course Restrictions
For a complete list of prerequisites, corequisites and other restrictions for all courses, please consult the Course Description section of this catalog.

Learning Outcomes

Students who earn degrees in Professional Writing will:

  1. Demonstrate strong critical thinking skills through writing for a variety of audiences, purposes, and situations.
  2. Demonstrate an extensive ability to identify, assess, and perform—in both academic and professional settings—the types of writing for the chosen area of focus, such as creative writing, professional writing, and journalism.
  3. Demonstrate a working ability to identify and perform types of writing outside of the specific area of focus.
  4. Produce a senior portfolio that demonstrates an increasing level of professionalism in writing in terms of choice of topic, application of style, and ability to produce error-free texts.

MINOR IN JOURNALISM (18 S.H.)

WRT 270W:  News Writing
WRT 271W:  Human Interest Writing
WRT 333W:  The Editorial Environment
WRT 442W:  Publication Design and Development

Two  additional courses from the following: 
WRT 219W:  Writer’s Toolbox
WRT 272: Campus Writers’ Workshop
WRT 340W:  Public Relations Writing
WRT 335W: Fact-Based Opinion Writing
WRT 490:  Internship/Practicum in Writing
WRT 446W:  Topics in Professional Writing
WRT 462W:  The Book from Writing to Publishing.

MINOR IN BROADCAST JOURNALISM (18 S.H.)

COM 243 Broadcast Writing
COM/THR 252 Acting for the Camera
COM 270 Fundamentals of Radio Broadcasting
WRT 270W News Writing
WRT 333W Editorial Environment

One 300- or 400-level writing course from among the following:
WRT 335W Fact-Based Opinion Writing
WRT 338W Writing about Specialized Subjects
WRT 340W Public Relations Writing, Concepts and Practices
WRT 442W Publication Design and Development
WRT 490W Internship/Practicum in Writing

MINOR IN PROFESSIONAL WRITING (18 S.H.)

WRT 270W News Writing

Any five courses from among the following:
JLA/WRT 321W Legal Writing, Research, and Analysis
WRT 245W Technical Writing
WRT 255W Advertising, Copywriting and Promotion
WRT 271W Human Interest Writing
WRT 272W Campus Writers’ Workshop
WRT 333W Editorial Environment
WRT 335W Fact-Based Opinion Writing
WRT 338W Writing about Specialized Subjects
WRT 339W Creative Essay
WRT 340W Public Relations Writing, Concepts and Practices
WRT 373W Editing and Copyediting
WRT 442W Publication Design and Development
WRT 446W Topics in Professional Writing
WRT 462W The Book: From Writing to Publishing
WRT 490W Internship/Practicum in Writing

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