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Professional Writing

Professional Writing is an ideal first or second major for students who love to write and want to learn how to write effectively in a wide range of print and digital media. As a Professional Writing major, you will learn rhetorical theories and strategies that will prepare you to be an excellent communicator for a variety of civic, academic, and professional careers. You will have the opportunity to engage in a number of client-based and community-based writing projects, such as creating websites, brochures, social media campaigns, essays for publication, and grant proposals. Professional writing alumni work in a variety of fields, including corporate and marketing communications, digital media, editing and publishing, education, government, health, law, and technology.

Preparing for Your Future

Professional writing prepares you to:

  • Be an excellent writer and communicator.
  • Work as a writer, editor, or communications specialist for companies and non-profit organizations in an array of professional sectors, including business, education, government, health, marketing, publishing, science, and technology.
  • Publish effective print and digital communications in a wide variety of genres and styles.
  • Develop strong persuasive skills needed in all fields but especially ideal for future studies in law school or other graduate studies.
  • Participate in writing projects for community organizations that provide valuable career preparation and that provide experience with project management and user-centered design.
  • Conduct rhetorical analysis and usability and user-experience research.
  • Develop personal and public expression and intercultural competencies for active citizenship in local and global communities.

Career prospects for professional writers are robust and expected to grow.


As professional writers and as Professional Writing students and faculty, we recognize the rhetorically complex, multi-mediated nature of writing. We think and act rhetorically, which means we recognize the constructed nature of knowledge, and we acknowledge, consider, and respond to multiple audiences, cultural contexts, power relations, and the situatedness of all writers. When we engage in new networks and communities, we have an array of rhetorical strategies to navigate, participate, and contribute ethically in social action.

To prepare students to be professional writers, students in the Professional Writing major will gain experience and meet learning outcomes in the following areas.

Composing Processes

Students will design, develop, draft, revise, and edit writing purposefully and reflectively, recognizing that writing processes vary depending on context, genre, medium, technology, and adapting accordingly.

Rhetorical Theory

Students will assess the contexts for written communication (e.g., audience, purpose, social and cultural context). Synthesize, and apply rhetorical theories for researching, analyzing, and composing texts that are effective and ethical for their context.

Civic & Public Engagement

Students will collaborate with communities in designing and revising communications that meet their needs, participating in and shaping public discourse in ethical and inclusive ways.
Intercultural Communication

Students will analyze culturally-specific communicative and knowledge-making practices and compose with rhetorical awareness, recognizing the relationship among rhetorics, cultures, and power relations in local and global contexts.

Digital & Multimodal Design

Students will apply principles of visual rhetoric and design to analyze, evaluate, and create multimodal texts (e.g., data visualizations, conceptual maps, charts and graphs, infographics, social media content, websites, videos, brochures), applying coding, accessibility, and usability standards for digital and multimodal production.

Writing Networks

Students will recognize and analyze the social relationships among human and non-human actors in communication networks, and produce writing and content strategy for network circulation.

Project Management & Collaboration

Students will identify and apply collaborative and project management strategies for researching, evaluating, and addressing client’s communicative needs and user needs.


Students will analyze, evaluate, and apply approaches for researching users’ behaviors, expectations, and experiences to design usable, useful, and accessible communications.


Students will investigate career opportunities for professional writers, and develop the ability to articulate the unique knowledges and skills they can bring to organizations.

Overview of Curriculum

The 36-credit hour major offers a focused but flexible curriculum that allows you to tailor your studies to match your professional and academic interests and aspirations. All majors complete a core of five courses and then choose one of five tracks to specialize in:

  • Digital and Technical Communication
  • Editing in Professional Contexts
  • Intercultural Rhetoric and Writing
  • Public Writing and Rhetoric
  • Self-designed

In addition to Professional Writing courses, as a PW major you have the opportunity to take and have count in your major many courses from other programs, including Creative Writing, Interactive Media Studies, Journalism, Linguistics, Literature, Media and Culture, and Strategic Communication. More information can be found in the Miami Unversity bulletin.

Why Professional Writing