WRI Course Descriptions

  • WRI/ENG 100: Reading & Writing in the Professions

    This course will orient students to the significance of critical reading and different genres of writing in public, professional, creative, and academic careers. Students will analyze a range of print and non-print texts and media from different genres. They will also get experience writing in a variety of different genres. Students will exercise and refine interpretive methods, critical strategies, and writing practices as they also explore and prepare for the varied career opportunities for English and Professional Writing majors.

  • WRI 108WI: Introduction to Creative Writing

    This course provides an introduction to creative writing in the genres of fiction, poetry, and drama, creative nonfiction, and nonfiction. Students will craft original creative works and revise based on critique and theoretical study of the writing process. Students will also read and analyze published works of poetry, fiction, drama, and nonfiction to serve as models for their own writing.

  • WRI 111WI: Journalism I

    Journalism focuses of the fundamentals of reporting and newswriting for web, print, radio, TV, and social media audiences. The course stresses the reporting, writing and producing involved in producing text news stories, photos, and other multimedia components for all news platforms. It also stresses on the fundamentals of publication style and legal and ethical concerns in the practice of journalism.

  • WRI 120WI: Technical Writing and Communication

    This course focuses on helping students shape specialized information for a variety of different audiences. Students will learn effective strategies for creating user-centered information design based on written, oral, and visual communication techniques employed in technical, scientific, and professional settings. Special attention will be paid to taking complex processes and making them accessible for wider audiences. Students will learn how to communicate with clarity, accuracy, and concision in professional settings.

  • WRI 205: Scientific Writing

    This course features the writing of formal reports and technical and scientific paper.

  • WRI 207WICT: Writing for the Workplace

    This course explores theory of and practice in written business communication. Letters and memoranda, reports, and a research paper are required. Models and case studies are used extensively.

  • WRI 212WICT: Introduction to Mass Communications

    This course is a study of the method and philosophy of mass communications. Historical growth of the mass media is described. Interrelationships of present forms of mass communication are linked to the underlying necessity to write, speak, and think clearly and honestly

  • WRI 213WI: Copy Editing: Revision and Style

    Students in this course will produce written documents, revise and rewrite manuscript copy, and give and receive editorial critique. Emphasis is placed on creating clear and polished copy and identifying and correcting errors in grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.

  • WRI 214WICT: Magazine Writing

    This basic course introduces students to magazine writing. Students learn what constitutes magazine style writing by studying magazine articles from a wide range of publications intended for diverse markets. Students examine the growth and development of the medium, the current state of the industry and trends for the future. Students write magazine articles and study the processes by which articles may be sold to appropriate publications

  • WRI 216WICM: Writing for Public Relations

    Students in this course analyze and compose various documents related to the field of public relations. Emphasis is placed on shaping perception through crafting clear, direct, and accurate prose.

  • WRI 217: Storytelling in Public Relations

    This course will teach the craft of storytelling as it applies to public relations. Students will learn basic narrative theory, how to identify story ideas, how to pitch stories to the media, and practice a variety of research techniques, including interviewing. Students will also write stories designed to advance or enhance the reputation of an organization. Class projects will focus on both written and visual storytelling. This is a required course for all undergraduate Public Relations majors and an elective course for students in the Professional Writing major and Public Relations minor.

  • WRI 222: Conventions of English Grammar

    This course surveys the fundamentals and conventions of English grammar and syntax. Topics include lexical categories, phrase structure, clause structure, modification, subordination, punctuation, and language acquisition. Additional attention is given to stylistic concerns in order to sharpen students’ prose. This course is recommended for those pursuing degrees in Professional Writing, English, Elementary Education, and Secondary Education/English although it is open to any student wanting a deeper understanding of English grammar.

  • WRI 226WICP: Desktop Publishing – Writing and Editing Newsletters

    Students in this course write and design short and long newsletters. Publications are created about current issues and for professional organizations. Emphasis is placed on positioning the organization through interesting, newsworthy articles and also on the interaction of text and graphics and the value of clean document design

  • WRI 235: Lyric Writing

    This course teaches the craft of writing song lyrics. Students will learn the process of lyric writing through the study and practice of creative writing techniques. Students will read, analyze, discuss, and write about notable song lyrics, poetry, and prose by a diverse group of writers to better understand the form. With a combination of peer and instructor feedback, classroom discussions, and careful analysis of written content, students will sharpen their skills as lyric writers.

  • WRI 244: Story Analysis and Screenplay Development

    This course will offer students a comprehensive understanding of story analysis and screenplay development and will give them pragmatic tools used by the professional reader and development executive in the motion picture and television industry today. Students will learn and practice coverage skills while gaining an understanding of the elements of story. Class topics will include various types of coverage: how to compose story notes, character breakdowns, treatments, and outlines. Upon completion of the course, students will have written at least three pieces of full coverage that can be used as a part of a professional portfolio or to interview for a job as a reader or development assistant.

  • WRI 250: Writing for Social Media

    Students will learn theories and practices associated with using a variety of social media platforms for public relations purposes. A “working” class, this experience will require students to maintain a social media presence for a specific, real client.

  • WRI 303WI: Investigative Journalism

    Investigative Journalism concerns the strategies and techniques of in-depth reporting. Students critically analyze professional investigative and public affairs reportage. In pursuit of their own stories, students learn how to acquire original and electronic documentation at the local, county, state and federal levels.

  • WRI 304WI: American Literary Journalism

    Literary Journalism concerns the relationship between mass media journalism and literature, focusing on strategies and techniques of significant works and movements in American journalistic literature that students may apply to their own writing.

  • WRI 305WI: Freelance Journalism

    WRI 305 Freelance Journalism provides guidance in the preparation and writing of news and feature material for the student newspaper and a variety of external publications. It also examines issues facing freelance writers, as well as the student press.

  • WRI 306: Advanced Magazine Writing: Covering a Specialty

    This advanced course teaches students of magazine journalism how to develop a specialty. Students continue to study what constitutes magazine style writing by reading magazine articles from a wide range of publications and studying how their own specialty manifests in different publications. Students research and write magazine articles and study the process by which articles may be sold to appropriate publications.

  • WRI 308: Rhetoric and Writing

    What is rhetoric? According to Aristotle, it is the ability to see all of the possible means of persuasion in any given situation. So, rhetorical skills and knowledge help you express yourself effectively, whether you are writing an email to a professor, an article for a non-profit newsletter, or an application for graduate school. You may associate the word “rhetoric” with shady arguments and unethical politics. It is true that some practitioners of rhetoric use their skills for unethical purposes, but rhetoric is about way more than the unsavory actions of a few. In Rhetoric and Writing, students will study rhetorical terms and concepts so that they have a vocabulary for discussing the kinds of choices they make in every writing situation. Students also study a little of the history of rhetoric to give a sense of thinking and working within a well-established tradition. Finally, students will examine the use of rhetoric in contemporary situations, potentially to include music, politics, and other cultural issues. Just as importantly, the writing assignments will allow students to practice rhetorical skills and become more effective rhetors.

    Prerequisite: CMP 100 or its equivalent

  • WRI 311WI: Creative Writing – Short Fiction

    Students in Creative Writing: Short Fiction develop writing skills that will enable them to produce original works of fiction. Students read, analyze, and critique each other’s stories as well as those by accomplished fiction writers, and ideas, techniques, and aesthetic concepts are discussed in a workshop setting.

  • WRI 312WI: Creative Writing – Poetry

    This advanced course in the writing of poetry focuses on poetic craft and style through critical analysis of student poems as well as analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of published contemporary poetry. The course will be conducted as a workshop with extensive peer review.

  • WRI 313WICM: Creative Writing – Drama

    WRI 313 is an advanced course in the writing of drama.

  • WRI 314WI: Pop Music Journalism

    Students are given exposure to and practice in writing about popular music in a variety of genres and for a variety of audiences. Students learn the practices of evaluation, interpretation, and analysis of popular music artists, performances, representations, genres, songs, albums, music videos, subcultures, etc

  • WRI 316WI: Public Relations and the Corporate Environment

    PR and the Corporate Environment introduces students to the various roles public relations professionals play in both internal and external corporate communication strategies and efforts.

  • WRI 318WI: Sports Writing and Reporting

    Sportswriting provides students with the tools to write legitimate sports stories worthy of publication. Journalistic fundamentals such as research, interviewing, storytelling, accuracy, editing, and ethics will be stressed. The course will also involve photojournalism and the development of an online sport-related presence. This course requires familiarity with the Internet, access to a digital camera, and experience with word processing and slide show software.

  • WRI 321WI: Information Design – Writing and Editing for Online Publications

    This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles of web-based information publishing. The course will allow students to engage in the entire process of writing and designing for the Web: rhetorical analysis, strategic planning, content development, document and site design, integration of visual elements, usability testing, and assessment. Throughout, emphasis will be placed on writing strategies for online publications. This course will be restricted to Professional Writing majors.

  • WRI 325WICD: Travel Writing

    This course will enable students to write newspaper, magazine and online articles about specific destinations that inform the reader about the culture, history and landscape of a place. This class will not only focus on broader issues like research methods, tone and market appropriateness but also micro-techniques regarding word choice and sentence structure. Students will produce a number of articles of varying styles, including travelogues, travel features, adventure stories and guidebook entries as well as read fine examples of each type of writing. Like most professional travel writers, the student will begin by seeking out inexpensive, close-to-home destinations that might appeal to a broader audience.

  • WRI 326: Advanced Desktop Publishing: Writing and Designing Documents

    In this advanced course, students will consider aspects of document composition in terms of both content and design. Assignments will emphasize promotional copy writing as well as report writing.

  • WRI 330: Writing the Novel

    This course teaches the craft of writing the novel. Students will create original fiction with the intent of completing a book-length story. A capstone project of the course will be to submit a final portfolio of work containing complete, polished drafts of the chapters written and workshopped throughout the semester. The course will also require students to read, analyze, discuss, and write about novels by celebrated writers.

  • WRI 333: Digital Rhetoric and Writing

    This course focuses on honing the analysis and production of contemporary digital texts by extending longstanding academic conceptions rooted in the printed word alone. Specifically, the course examines how emerging areas within Rhetoric and Composition such as visual rhetoric, digital writing, and multimodal style are vital in cultivating sophisticated, responsive methods of analysis and production in a variety of online texts. Students will familiarize themselves with issues surrounding the creation, revision, and deployment of digital texts to better understand the complex rhetorics involved when arranging words, images, sounds, coding languages, available designs, fonts, colors, and spaces to make new kinds of 21st century texts and arguments.

  • WRI 339: New Media, Story, Change

    This course investigates the crucial role that story plays in creating impactful campaigns within new and emerging media environments. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which story continues to be one of the most important rhetorical tools in community and social movements seeking change. Readings will draw from a wide range of disciplines including rhetoric, literacy studies, marketing, public relations, communication studies, social media theory, cognitive psychology, and social movement studies.

  • WRI 340CM: Screenwriting I

    This course will offer an introduction to the art and craft of screenwriting and will prepare students to write screenplays for motion pictures or television that meet industry standards. The class will include intensive writing, readings, script analyses, and critiques. Students will complete assignments in story, structure, character, and script development. In addition, students will be introduced to the business of being a screenwriter and a motion picture industry professional today. For the term project, students will complete a short narrative screenplay.

  • WRI 342: Screenwriting – Creating a Narrative Web Series

    This course will offer an introduction to creating and writing the short-form episodic Internet TV series and will give students pragmatic tools used by screenwriters working in this burgeoning field of the digital media industry today. Class topics will include the series concept, character and story development, collaborative writing skills, and production design. Lectures and screenings will provide a background in the history and aesthetics of serial media projects, short-form video, and episodic drama. Upon completion of the course, students will have created a web series, written a pilot script and two subsequent scripts, and employed a screenwriter’s considerations in devising a pre-production strategy. In addition, they will be introduced to the business of promoting a narrative web series designed for distribution over the Internet.

  • WRI 345: Rhetoric, Democracy, Advocacy

    The connection between rhetoric and democracy is an old one dating back to the origins of both concepts in Western traditions. Rhetoric, the skilled use of argument and persuasive discourse, and democracy were seen as ways to replace violence as the primary means of governing and maintaining social order. However, the connections between democracy and rhetoric may not be immediately apparent. Indeed, the two may appear to be in opposition in contemporary society. This course argues that the intimate connections between rhetoric and democracy are critical to retain and reclaim the health of democratic society and culture. In the era of globalization and digital media, these connections are even more important. A healthy democracy requires citizen advocates who are skilled in the analysis of public discourse as well as in the production of persuasive texts.

  • WRI 347: Activists Writing Media: Composing Democratic Futures

    The early 21st century has seen an explosion in the development, re-purposing, and critical use of new media by political activists. Unlike theoretical debates regarding the relative merits of new media compared to more traditional media or the vigorous business interest in “web 2.0” for its marketing possibilities, activists have approached new media in a rhetorical fashion. For activists, new media are part of the “available means” with which political organizing and campaigning take place. This course explores the multiple and complex ways in which activists have made use of and rewritten what counts as media, who counts as an authorized writer, and even what counts as writing. The course will investigate examples of activist campaigns, emergent theories of literacy, and the role of literacy training for the development of activists and how this is often at odds with the literacy instruction students receive in secondary and post-secondary schooling.

  • WRI 350: Breaking News: Consuming, Reporting and Writing

    This course provides undergraduate students with a more detailed study in the reporting and writing about breaking news, planned and unplanned events that happen and develop quickly in our communities every day. Students will engage with, analyze and respond to breaking stories that develop around them - locally, nationally and internationally ­ monitoring social media, websites, radio, TV outlets and print news sources. Students will also work in their communities, reporting on and writing about breaking news (small and large, planned and unplanned) as it happens around them. They will report and write short news stories using social media, online and print platforms. There will also be the opportunity to post photographs, sound clips and short video of the news they cover.

  • WRI 370: Seminar – Selected Topics in Professional Writing

    This course offers students the opportunity to study in-depth a topic in the practice, theory, or history of the print media not covered in the regular curriculum. Students may register for this course more than once—up to a maximum of six semester hours of credit—so long as they do not repeat the same topic. However, they may take no more than three hours of credit under this rubric in any one semester.

  • WRI 371: Independent Study in Professional Writing

    This course offers the individual student an opportunity to study in-depth a topic in the practice, theory, or history of written communications not covered in the regular curriculum. A student may register for this course more than once—up to a maximum of six semester hours of credit—so long as he or she does not repeat the same topic. However, a student may take no more than three hours of credit under this rubric in any one semester.

  • WRI 380: Professionalization Seminar

    This course will provide students with the tools they need to make the transition from undergraduate academic study to professional application of skills, apply for and obtain internships, and identify and work towards specific post-graduation goals. Students will learn about internship and professional opportunities for English and Professional Writing majors, create professional resumes and cover letters, complete effective social media profiles, create a professional website, network with professionals, and apply for and obtain internships. Students will be required to update the professional website during the internship to include work done during this experience. 
    This is a required course for all undergraduate English and Professional Writing majors and should be taken prior to the for-credit internship experience.

  • WRI 390: Professional Writing/English Internship

    The Professional Writing/English internship creates the opportunity for supervised, practical work experience in professional contexts wherein the skills attendant to English Studies are valued and can be developed. Internships are to be secured by the student under the advisement and coordination of English Department faculty, following ENG/WRI 380 Professionalization Seminar. The internship will extend the student's academic studies into the workplace and may fall into such professional categories as Editing, Journalism, Publishing, Public Relations, Social Media, Research, Campaign Organization, Communications, or Marketing.  This internship may be taken for three, six, or nine credits.

  • WRI 400: Creative Writing – Theory and Practice

    This is a graduate level writing course which will focus on the production of texts of poetry, short fiction, drama and multi-genre forms of creative writing. Using the works of contemporary writers in these genres as models, students will explore various writing styles consistent with the practice of contemporary writing. Reading assignments will focus on technique and stylistic considerations. Writing assignments will focus on allowing each student to understand his/her own creative process in the development of a unique voice as he/she works toward producing an acceptable body of original work. Using models from various texts, students will be encouraged to develop their own prompts and methods of generating writing topics. This course may be appropriate for the undergraduate students who have taken all the undergraduate creative writing courses and are developing a portfolio of writing for admission to a graduate writing program.

  • WRI 410WI: Arts and Entertainment Writing

    Students enrolled in Arts and Entertainment Writing both study and practice the strategies of reviewing artistic performances and related cultural subjects for the general press. Students will learn the basic methodologies of analysis, interpretation and evaluation of artistic offerings.

  • WRI 430: Rhetorical Traditions and Contemporary Renditions

    Students in this course study the histories of rhetoric as well as contemporary intersections and applications across disciplines. Depending on the particular interests of the professor, one or more specific area(s) such as media, popular culture, sciences, feminism and gender studies, composition studies, literary theories, literacies, global issues, pedagogy, arts, and political discourse will be chosen for a more detailed study. Critical to the course are the writing assignments that allow students to examine issues in more depth and explore alternative rhetorical stances and situations.