How Do I Sign Up?
Email Dr. Welch (email@example.com) or Dr. Lettner-Rust (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we'll send you the form.
OR just stop by Grainger 100 and ask Mrs. Seamster for a short form. It will only take a minute to fill out and hand back to her.
Welcome to the Rhetoric and Professional Writing libguide.
Why choose Rhetoric and Professional Writing?
Because it's practical.
Because it will help you write at your job, better than the person sitting next to you.
Because we do cool stuff in the classes. Ask around.
If you need more proof, read on.
“A study of more than 100 large American corporations, which together employ some 8 million people, suggests that writing is a more important skill for today’s professionals than it has ever been,” according to a 2004 study by the College Board (3). Writing is needed just to get hired. “86% of companies surveyed” would probably not hire an applicant whose materials are poorly written (3). 80% of companies in the “service, finance, insurance and real-estate industries assess applicants’ writing during the hiring process” and take these skills into account when making decisions about promotion (3).
But once you are hired, you need to continue to produce good writing. What's going to give you the edge? Rhetoric.
"Writing is both a 'marker' of high-skill, high-wage, professional work and a 'gatekeeper' with clear equity implications,’ said Bob Kerrey, president of New School University in New York and chair of the Commission. ‘People unable to express themselves clearly in writing limit their opportunities for professional, salaried employment,’ he said. (National Commission on Writing)
Additionally, leading technical communication textbook writer Mike Markel points out that 40% of the cost of “managing business and government transactions is due to poor communication” (3). “Eight major companies…put communication skills at the top of the list of traits they look for in employees” and 90% of “more than 800 business school graduates say that their writing skills have helped them advance more quickly” (3). The National Commission on Writing claims that their report on writing in the workplace reveals: “More than 40% of responding firms offer or require training for salaried employees with writing deficiencies. ‘We're likely to send out 200—300 people annually for skills upgrade courses like 'business writing' or 'technical writing,' said one respondent.”
What courses are in the program? Do you have a minor?
Visit the "Concentration" tab to see course listings for the 24 hour concentration. Like any other concentration in the English Department, the hours count toward the BA degree.
Visit the "Minor" tab to see course listings for the 18 hour minor. Many students in other majors such as Communication Studies and Art have chosen to add the minor to their degree plan to make them more marketable.
Markel, Mike. Technical Communication. 9th ed. Bedford St. Martin’s: New York, 2010.
“National Commission on Writing, Writing Skills Necessary for Employment, Says Big Business: Writing Can be a Ticket to Professional Jobs,
Says Blue-Ribbon Group.” Writing Commission. (Sept. 14). Web. http://www.writingcommission.org/pr/writing_for_employ.html
MLA Go here to find articles on rhetoric, professional writing, and more.
Rhetoric Society Quarterly
TCQ (Technical Communication Quarterly)
JBTC (Journal of Business and Technical Communciation)
Journal of Technical Writing and Communication
CCC (College Composition and Communication)
Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy
Computers and Composition
Across the Disciplines
Rhetoric Society of America
4Cs (Conference on College Composition and Communication)
The Spilman Symposium (at VMI)
The Bedford Bibliography. Visit to see an annotated bibliography of the best sources for each area.
Resources on Rhetoric and composition.
Rhetoric 101. A quick guide to key terms.
A visual rhetoric bibliography.