English–Writing and Rhetoric

The English department faculty invites students who love stories, words, and writing. Our interdisciplinary major in writing and rhetoric must be paired with a minor or an additional major in another discipline. The combination prepares you to pursue goals such as business writing, environmental writing, technical writing or graduate study. If you're interested in creative writing, you can tailor a writing and rhetoric major to include study in poetry, fiction, narrative nonfiction, playwriting and screenwriting.

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Major requirements

ENG 221 - Responding to Writing
This course will enable students to develop a theorized practice for responding to writing. Students will study methods of response, conferencing strategies, approaches to revision, English as a Second Language (ESL), interpersonal dynamics, and the ethics of text intervention. As a course requirement, students must satisfy a practicum commitment by working a minimum of one hour per week (for pay) in the Writing Center. Prerequisite: recommendation of a writing instructor. (2 credits)
ENG 235 - Introduction to Rhetorical Studies
This course functions primarily as an introduction to rhetoric and rhetorical analysis. It is designed to introduce students to the major and the minor in writing and rhetoric. Topics include the rhetoric of ancient Greece, definitions of rhetoric, past and present, rhetorical analysis of texts, and analysis of the rhetor's purpose, situation, genre and audience.(2 credits)
ENG 290WI - The Art of the Essay
(2 credits)(Writing intensive) A study of some of the best contemporary American non-fiction writing on such subjects as politics, the arts, religion, natural science and medicine. Students write on similar topics and develop their own style by emulating such models. Prerequisites: sophomore class standing or permission of instructor.
ENG 292 - Introduction to Narrative and Verse
Students will be introduced to the foundations of reading and writingnarrative and verse (fiction and poetry) and will, through an exploration ofa wide range of styles, come to understand both the historical aspects ofeach genre (i.e. how the art's been practiced and done before) and how thosegenres are currently practiced (i.e. what's poetry and fiction look liketoday?). Students will learn to read work closely and actively, as writers,and will learn how to be in communication (both written and oral) with text.(4 credits)
ENG 297 - The Rhetoric of Persuasion
A study of the methods of persuasion: logical and emotional appeals and trustworthiness, ways of structuring arguments, and persuasive style. Students will learn to create and critique arguments on a variety of subjects. Prerequisites: sophomore class standing and ENG184 or ACT English score of 30 or above (SAT 680 or higher), or permission of instructor. (4 credits)
ENG 401 - History and Theory of Rhetoric
Designed to provide solid grounding in Greek and Roman rhetorical theory and practice including studies in pre-literate rhetoric and the theories of Aristotle and Plato, among others. Some attention is also given to the Christianizing of rhetorical theory during the Middle Ages. Finally, the course concludes with the examination of trends in contemporary rhetoric studies and topical applications.Prerequisite: junior class standing, ENG235 recommended.(4 credits)
Choose one course: 4
ENG 350 - Reading and Writing Short Fiction
Students will explore the nature and design of fiction by studying andanalyzing a range of short fictional genres, learning to read fiction theway its writers read it, and participating in a fiction writing workshop.Attention will be given to purposes of language, to relationships betweenreading and writing, and to narrative as a mode of thinking and anexpression of culture. Prerequisite: ENG292 or permission of instructor. (4 credits, alternateyears, consult department)
ENG 351 - Reading and Writing Creative Nonfiction
Students will explore the broad and flexible genre of creative nonfiction,from the works of Montaigne, originator of the modern essay, to the lyricessay and works that stretch and blur the line of nonfiction. Attention willbe given to the use of language, sentence structure, metaphor and scene,pushing narrative beyond surface description to deeper meaning. Prerequisite: ENG290WI or permission of instructor. (4 credits; alternateyears, consult department)
ENG 352 - Reading and Writing Poetry
Students will actively explore the nature and design of poetry by studying arange of poetic genres and styles, learning to read poetry as writers do,and writing poetry in a writing workshop. Attention will be given to thepurposes of language, to relationships between reading and writing, and topoetry as a mode of thinking and an expression of culture. Prerequisite: ENG292 or permission of instructor. (4 credits; alternateyears, consult department)

Electives: 10

Choose at least two credits:*
ENG 380 - Special Topics in Writing
Specific subject matter of this course will vary from semester to semester, but will always focus on an issue in composition studies or a genre of writing. Courses will include both readings and student writing within the genre and will be designed to welcome both majors and non-majors.Prerequisite: ENG184 or ACT English score of 30 or above (SAT 680 or higher).(2-4 credits)
ENG 387 - Special Topics in Rhetoric
Specific subject matter of this course will vary from semester to semester, but will always focus on an issue in rhetorical studies or a genre of writing. Courses with writing as their emphasis will include both readings and student writing within the genre.Prerequisite: ENG184 or ACT English score of 30 or above (SAT 680 or higher).(2-4 credits, non-yearly, consult department)
Choose at least two credits:
COM 185 - Media Writing
No course description available.
COM 217 - Communication Practicum in Print Media
Practical experience working on the campus newspaper, the Beacon, or the college yearbook, the Cornerstone. Prerequisite: students must be accepted for membership on one of these publications before signing up for the practicum. (1 credit)
COM 230 - Principles of Public Relations
Introduction to the field of public relations. Its focus is on public relations theory and practice with an emphasis on emerging trends. This course is offered as an overview covering public relations history, theories, strategies and tactics.(3 credits; alternate years, consult department)
COM 261 - Feature Writing
Study of interviewing practices, research methods, organization, and interest-gathering techniques necessary for writing longer articles, profiles, columns and consumer affairs writing.Prerequisite: COM185 or permission of instructor.(2 credits; alternate years, consult department)
COM 263 - Layout and Design
Covers basic principles of design as they apply to a wide variety of publications. Emphasis on selecting type, art and graphics appropriate to subject matter, purpose and audience.(3 credits)
COM 340 - News Writing and Editing
Principles of clear and forceful journalistic writing. Includes factgathering, story planning, lead and head writing. Attention to editing forimproved copy, headline writing, and selection of photographs and art work. Prerequisite: COM185WI or permission of instructor. (4 credits, non-yearly,consult department)
Other electives:
COM 417 - Internship
Experience in an approved internship.(4 credits may apply toward the major)
ENG 288 - Writing in the Professions
A study of professional writing. In a writing workshop setting, students will learn to adjust style, tone and content to accomplish a definite purpose with an identified audience. They will also learn strategies for creating texts that are clear, concise and accurate. The course is especially useful for those whose career goals require facility in written communication, such as those studying marketing, public relations, advertising, management or law. All students will choose a professional to be their mentor on a writing project related to the career they are interested in. Students will also build a small portfolio of professional writing that includes letters, a memo, a resume and a research report.Prerequisites: sophomore class standing and ENG184 or ACT English score of 30 or above (SAT 680 or higher).(2 credits)
ENG 345 - Linguistic Perspectives on English
Where did our language come from? How did English get the biggest vocabulary of any modern language? How are the words joust, yoke, and yoga related? Why is English spelling so irregular? Are there bad words? This course traces the 1500 year development of our language, from the Germanic tongue of Beowulf to the Frenchified language of Chaucer, to the many varieties of modern English spoken around the world.(4 credits, alternate years, consult department)
ENG 420 - Advanced Writing Project
The heart of the course is an advanced project in artistic, journalistic, or scholarly writing. Students also assemble a portfolio of their best writing and related work, plan writing or study beyond college, and read to gather perspectives on their vocation. Prerequisite: ENG292 and one of the following: ENG350, 351 or 352. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
THE 206 - Playwriting: The One-Act
A workshop approach to the study of dramatic structure culminating in thewriting of a one-act play. Prerequisite: THE110AE. (2 credits, alternate years, consult department)
THE 407 - Playwriting: The Full-Length
This continuation of the study of playwriting focuses on the challenges of the long form. The course includes the processes of writing according to classic structural principles, rewriting, formatting and submitting plays for publication.Prerequisite: THE206 or permission of instructor.(4 credits, alternate years, consult department)

Total credits required: 32


Students must also complete a minor or an additional major in another discipline.

*Special Topics courses offered in the past include Writing the Farm, Style and Genre, Memoir, Spiritual Writing, Women and Rhetoric.

Internships range from 2-12 credits. The maximum credits applied to the major are noted under the 417 course designation.