Professional Writing

Professional Writing, Rhetoric, and Literacies Minor (25 credits)

Introduction to the Study of Professional Writing, Rhetoric, and Literacies Minor (PWLR)

The Professional Writing, Literacies, and Rhetoric (PWLR) minor is a 25-credit minor that is open to students in any major. The PWLR minor includes writing courses that focus on deepening your literacies and extending your rhetorical flexibility. These courses can help you develop your capacity to invent, make, and examine texts, both print and digital, for wildly differing audiences, situations, and contexts, both inside and outside of the university.

Why Consider a PWLR Minor?

The versatility and flexibility that the PWLR minor offers will benefit your work at the university and beyond because writing (or composing) effectively for different readers in different environments matters regardless of the life you’re chasing after. Simply put, writing, in whatever form it takes, can make lots happen—for you and for others.

Sample Careers

While some careers are focused specifically on writing expertise (professional writing, technical writing, grant writing, literary writing, feature writing, reviewing, publishing, copy-editing, etc.), employers in almost every profession desire people with rhetorical awareness and a range of writing proficiencies—managers, user experience experts, game designers, medical professionals, engineers, teachers, small business owners—you name it: All of the passions that you take up will almost surely involve writing.


The PWLR minor includes classes that emphasize professional & technical writing, literacy studies, and new rhetorical theories and practices. Do check the English Department web page for specific course offerings every quarter as topics change, and different instructors teach the same course in different ways. Previous course offerings include Grant writing, Podcasting, Rhetorical Remixing, Open Letters, Rhetorical Style, Writing Networks, Electracy and Rhetorics of Play, User Design, The Rhetoric of Comics, and The Rhetoric of Disability.

Courses taken for credit in minor programs in the English department may not be counted toward English majors.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or higher is required for a student’s major or minor courses and supporting courses for majors and minors.

How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process)

Meet in person or email the PWLR advisor to declare this minor:

Donna Qualley

Humanities 319



  • Two or more of the following:
    • English 301 (repeatable once with different topic),
    • English 302
    • English 371
  • Two or more of the following:
    • English 385
    • English 401 (repeatable once with different topic),
    • English 402
    • English 442
    • English 461
    • English 462 (repeatable once with different topic)
  • With advisor permission, other appropriate 300/400 level writing and/or media courses (including courses in other departments) may be substituted for one of the above requirements.

Interested in declaring an English major or minor?

Please see the Remote Advising section's page for more information.

Courses taken for credit in minor programs may not be counted toward English majors.