Professional Writing and Rhetoric A.B.

A Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Professional Writing and Rhetoric requires the completion of the Elon Core Curriculum as well as the Major Requirements listed below.


The AB major in Professional Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) reflects a national trend in higher education, as well as a long tradition within the discipline of rhetoric, to more clearly connect the liberal arts to worlds beyond the walls of academia. Rhetoric, one of the oldest liberal arts and developed in ancient Greece to prepare citizens for active participation in democratic society, has long been focused on connecting itself to “the life of the polis.”

Though distinctly not a pre-professional program, PWR prepares students to be successful communicators in their daily lives and, primarily, workplace and or civic contexts. Alumni pursue careers as writers, editors, and information designers in the non-profit and government sectors, publishing, science writing, law, marketing, and many other industries.

PWR graduates are liberally educated, critically reflective about the roles writing and writers play in our world, civically minded, and well prepared to assume active roles within the workplace.

Major Requirements:

Core Courses: 20 sh

PWR 215PROFESSIONAL WRITING AND RHETORIC

4 sh

PWR 217PROFESSIONAL WRITING AND TECHNOLOGY STUDIO

4 sh

PWR 297WRITING AS INQUIRY

4 sh

PWR 304UNDERSTANDING RHETORIC

4 sh

PWR 497PWR SENIOR SEMINAR

4 sh

Literacies and Language in English: 4 sh

Select one literacy themed English elective.

ENG 204LANGUAGE IN SOCIETY

4 sh

ENG 205GRAMMAR

4 sh

ENG 306TEACHING ENGLISH TO SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES (TESOL): THEORY AND PRACTICE

4 sh

ENG 219WRITING STUDIES SURVEY

4 sh

ENG 301INTRODUCTION TO LINGUISTICS

4 sh

ENG 302HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

4 sh

Outside Electives: 8 sh

Students should consult with their advisor to choose two 4 sh courses in a discipline other than PWR, which can include courses in the Department of English as well as any other program in the university. These elective choices will be approved by the PWR program coordinator.
Students with a declared minor, double major, or dual degree automatically fulfill these outside elective credits.

Experiences: 4 sh

Students must take at least one PWR 381 2 sh internship and 2 sh of PWR 499 research experience.  Research hours can be taken at the same time or as 1 sh projects in two different semesters. 

PWR 381PROFESSIONAL WRITING AND RHETORIC INTERNSHIP

1-4 sh

PWR 499RESEARCH IN PROFESSIONAL WRITING AND RHETORIC

1-4 sh

Research hours can double count with Elon College Fellows or Honors Fellows research hours only if the project is mentored by a PWR faculty member.

Portfolio

Students also are required to prepare a capstone portfolio, submitted for external review during fall semester of the senior year. Elements of the portfolio are scaffolded in courses throughout the degree program, and students are asked to share drafts of portfolio items at each advising appointment for course registration.

Professional Writing and Rhetoric Electives: 8 sh

Select 2 electives from the following list totaling 8 sh.  

PWR 211PUBLISHING AND EDITING I

4 sh

PWR 212MULTIMEDIA AND VISUAL RHETORICS I

4 sh

PWR 311PUBLISHING AND EDITING II

4 sh

PWR 312MULTIMEDIA AND VISUAL RHETORICS II

4 sh

PWR 313SPECIAL TOPICS IN PROFESSIONAL WRITING AND RHETORIC

4 sh

PWR 321WRITING GRANTS

4 sh

PWR 322WRITING SCIENCE

4 sh

PWR 323WRITING CIVIC ACTION

4 sh

ENG 319WRITING CENTER WORKSHOP

4 sh

Total Credit Hours: 44

Students who major in Professional Writing and Rhetoric cannot minor in Professional Writing Studies.

Program Outcomes

Students will understand that writing participates in socially constructing the worlds within which we live, work, play, etc.

Students will learn to approach a wide variety of communication practices (e.g., visuals, multimedia, collaboration, and research) from the perspective of writing and rhetoric.

Students will adopt a disciplinary identity as a writer and see themselves as experts (i.e., professional writers/rhetors) who bring rhetorical ways of seeing and acting in and on the world around them.

Students will study a wide variety of rhetorical techne (i.e., strategies) and, by working within and reflecting on actual rhetorical contexts, learn to adapt and develop rhetorical strategies and heuristics appropriate to specific situations.

Students will show an ability to integrate theoretical knowledge and professional practice.

Students will learn, often through working hands-on with actual clients, how to analyze, reflect on, assess, and effectively act within complex contexts and rhetorical situations.

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