Undergraduate Professional Writing Plan of Study

Please see the most current Plan of Study at the College of Liberal Arts Website.

The Program offers a wide variety of courses to undergraduate and graduate students, ranging from introductory courses in research methods to graduate courses in professional writing theory. All of our courses place a premium on teaching students the practical approaches to writing for digital environments, developing rich professional portfolios, and collaborating with peers and community leaders.

English 203: Introduction to Research for Professional Writers

This course teaches students how to approach research. It introduces students to various research methods such as surveys, interviews, user research, and other essential ways to collect data and information for writing. Research ethics for professional writers and online/digital research are also emphasized.

English 306: Introduction to Professional Writing

This course covers the foundational theories and history of Professional Writing as a field. In this course students will be prepared for majoring in Professional Writing by exploring the range of careers open to professional writers and developing strategies for positioning themselves to enter the field.

English 309: Digital Design and Production

In this course students learn strategies for planning, writing, and revising the content and design of documents; improve their management of electronic tools that are often used in the workplace; learn the rules of design—and how to break those rules; integrate content, design, audiences’ needs and expectations into readable, inviting documents; develop a critical eye for design; and design a professional portfolio they can develop and use during job interviews.

ENGL 40600 – Review Writing

English 419: Multimedia Writing

This course helps students understand the principles and practices of multimedia design and implementation, with emphasis on the function and practice of writing in multimedia contexts. The stress is on managing writing projects targeted for specific audiences and designed to convey information effectively and persuasively using multimedia authoring software.

English 420: Business Writing

This course is offered every Fall, Spring, Maymester, and Summer semester. The course serves about 1,700 Purdue students per year (in about 85 sections), students chiefly majoring in the areas like technology, management, consumer and family sciences, liberal arts, and agriculture. The course teaches the rhetorical principles that help students shape their business writing ethically, for multiple audiences, in a variety of professional situations. English 420 is also offered as an online course (ENGL 420Y).

English 421: Technical Writing

This course is offered every Fall, Spring, Maymester, and Summer semester. The course serves over 500 Purdue students per year (in about 30 sections), students chiefly majoring in the areas of technology, computer science, and agriculture. The course teaches the rhetorical principles that help students shape their technical writing to suit a range of readers, for multiple purposes, in a variety of professional situations.

English 422: Writing for the Health and Human Sciences

This course is offered by the Department of English every Fall and Spring semester. The course currently has two sections each semester enrolled by students chiefly majoring in the areas of pharmacy, science, pre-vet, pre-med, and liberal arts. ENGL 422 focuses on the rhetorical principles and writing practices necessary for producing effective charting, reports, policies and educational materials in the context of the healthcare industry. All assignments in this course have been developed in collaboration with medical professionals and though no specific medical knowledge is required to take this course, the material presented will most benefit those pursuing a career in medicine. The curriculum is informed by current research in rhetoric and professional writing and is guided by the specific needs and practices in hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, and home health agencies, as well as by the expectations of Purdue students and programs.

English 424: Writing for High Technology Environments

In this course students learn how to create documents to help users work in high technology environments. This may involve creating manuals or procedures to help users work in these environments, as well as investigating digital culture and the mass-adoption of technologies into everyday life. Students in the humanities as well as in science, engineering, business and with an interest in digital culture or information management are encouraged to register. While all Professional Writing majors are encouraged to register for the course, this class is targeted for those interested in a technical writing career.

ENGL 43201 – Editing and Publishing

ENGL 43300 – Writing Proposals and Grants

ENGL 43400 – Science and Medical Writing

English 470: Advanced Topics in Rhetorical Studies

A general introduction to the field of rhetoric and composition. Overview of studies in written discourse, including studies of the processes and contexts of written discourse as well as methods of research in the field.

English 488: Internship in Professional Writing

The course provides students with a sustained period of on-the-job experience as writers in a professional setting. Students intern in a local organization and participate in a weekly seminar on applied rhetoric. The seminar is designed to complement the internship by preparing students for the workplace experience and by providing an opportunity to discuss observations, problems, and accomplishments.

English 515: Advanced Professional Writing

This course is a variable course on special topics of interest to professional writing majors. This course is a dual undergraduate and graduate class for students interested in large-scale team projects, reading advanced theory from the field, and creating high-end pieces for your portfolio.