ENG522 Writing in Nonacademic Settings

ENG 522 Writing in Nonacademic Settings is a graduate-level workplace communication course that offers English Department graduate students work experience in the fields of their interest. All students complete a 120-hour practicum in a local organization in a position relevant to their career goals. In addition, students attend class once per week, read and discuss assigned articles, and complete several written assignments.

By the end of the course, the students will be able to:

  • recognize the problems and practices of writers and writing in a variety of nonacademic settings
  • identify issues in writing in nonacademic settings
  • critically analyze published accounts of workplace writing
  • demonstrate an understanding of the differences between academic and nonacademic writing
  • describe personal workplace experience and skills
  • identify personal strengths

The course content draws from research in in contemporary rhetoric and professional writing studies. It addresses issues such as transitioning from academic to nonacademic writing settings, writing collaboratively in the workplace, understanding how organizational cultures shape writing practices, and building professional identities. The course provides useful content and experiences for students who plan to seek employment after graduation, as well as those interested in further graduate study. 

Transitioning from academic to nonacademic settings (6 weeks)

  • Writing for a living
  • Preparing for work
  • Writing for different audiences
  • Workplace review vs. academic review
  • Identifying personal strengths
  • Using career resources

Writing with others (5 weeks)

  • Developing/sharing power and authority
  • Establishing personal identity
  • Writing collaboratively
  • Editing
  • Ghost writing

Workplace culture (4 weeks)

  • Understanding communities of practice
  • Identifying cultural constraints
  • Connecting text and context
  • Using technology

Interested students should contact Dr. Douglas Walls for further information