The Writing Minor, a valuable addition to any major, serves students with diverse career goals and writing interests. Students can design their own program of six three-credit courses (18 credits total) from a wide range of professional, creative, and applied language writing courses. To complete this minor, students can select courses about the history of the English language, peer tutoring of writing, professional and journalistic writing in digital media, and creative writing across four genres-fiction, poetry, scriptwriting, and creative non-fiction essay writing. Students also may pursue professional and creative genres at a more advanced level, or they may complete an internship in a corporate or professional work environment. Students who complete the minor will have advanced skills in a wide range of writing applications.
Increasingly, the ability to write effectively is emphasized as an important and distinguishing characteristic of most work environments. In the Occupational Outlook Handbook (updated on April 13, 2018), employment of writers and authors, while strongly competitive, “is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.” Varied experiences in writing, combined with advanced ability to manage text production through digital media, are important as one prepares for the role of a writer. To develop media literacies, students for this minor also may select courses in journalistic writing in the Communication and Digital Media major.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook (2018) identifies the following seven important qualities of writers:
Adaptability. Writers and authors need to be able to adapt to newer software platforms and programs, including various content management systems (CMS).
Creativity. Writers and authors must be able to develop new and interesting plots, characters, or ideas so they can come up with new stories.
Critical-thinking skills. Writers and authors must have dual expertise in thinking through or understanding new concepts, and conveying it through writing.
Determination. Writers and authors sometimes work on projects that take years to complete. They must demonstrate perseverance and personal drive to meet deadlines.
Persuasion. Writers, especially those in advertising, must be able to persuade others to feel a certain way about a good or service.
Social perceptiveness. Writers and authors must understand how readers react to certain ideas in order to connect with their audience.
Writing skills. Writers and authors must be able to write clearly and effectively in order to convey feeling and emotion and communicate with readers. (“Writers and Authors” Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2018)
The Writing minor at Neumann has been designed to foster growth among its students in those aforementioned qualities, skills, and habits of mind.
Learning Outcomes for the Writing Minor
Upon successful completion of requirements for the Writing Minor, students will demonstrate competence in the following goal: Compose focused and organized examples of writing in clear, effective and correct style.
To achieve competence in this overall goal of the program, five supporting learning outcomes are specified:
Learning Outcome 1
Demonstrate rhetorical knowledge in composing applied or creative texts to achieve an intended purpose -to inform, explain, analyze, argue, persuade, or entertain.
Learning Outcome 2
Demonstrate proficiency in skills needed to function effectively as a writer by using technology and engaging in composing processes of drafting, revising, reflecting upon, and responding to feedback from reviewers by revising, editing, and copyediting.
Learning Outcome 3
Demonstrate proficiency in critical thinking, reading, researching, and composing by using mature investigative techniques, including close reading, empathic listening, text-based research and personal interviews, or mature play with language in creative texts.
Learning Outcome 4
Demonstrate proficiency in using conventions and standards of the English language for usage, grammar, sentence structures, specialized vocabulary, citations, and use of graphics and design.
Learning Outcome 5
Demonstrate proficiency in one’s role as a professional and/or creative writer by having prepared manuscripts that adhere to professional contexts or publication standards.