Course Planning and Advising

To help you with course planning, the PWR faculty have created two advising documents for you:

  • Sample Four Year Plan: This document offers suggestions on when to take core and elective courses and demonstrates how you might integrate internships, study abroad, and undergraduate research.
  • Your Personalized Plan: This document is an editable document to help you connect your course planning to your personal short-term and long-term goals.

You should bring these documents to every advising appointment as well as a document and contextual reflection of a text you created in a PWR course that you might include in your senior portfolio.

Developing Your Own Identity as a Professional Writer

Just as strongly as PWR faculty believe in the importance of a firm foundation in rhetoric and professional writing, we believe in the significance of developing one's unique identity as a writer/rhetor. This emphasis reflects PWR's basis in the liberal arts. Because PWR is not a pre-professional program, it is not designed to "train" you in prescriptive ways. Instead, you are encouraged to build from a strong foundation in rhetoric and professional writing a unique identity that reflects your individual passions, strengths, and aspirations.

You are encouraged to develop your individual identity as a writer and rhetor through four means:

  • Required electives. Through careful selection of PWR electives, you are able to develop a specialized "track" within PWR leading to a focus in, for instance, "editing and publishing" or "writing and digital design" or "teaching English as a second language." Talk to your PWR advisor to plan your elective path.
  • Internships: Internships are a powerful way to develop your identity. PWR students have interned for law offices, newspapers, magazines, advertising agencies, book publishers, marketing departments, museums, art galleries, development offices, public relations offices, and web development departments, to name a few. Check out this student-created text, "Getting Started with PWR Internships."
  • Senior Portfolio. Each PWR student compiles an electronic portfolio of their work across their PWR experiences to articulate their professional identities and demonstrate their rhetorical worldviews. Each PWR student works with his or her faculty advisor every semester to think about what might go into a portfolio and how each piece showcases that student's professional self. Click here to see a large collection of past PWR senior portfolios.
  • Capstone Projects. In the PWR senior capstone course, students develop capstone projects that showcases both their unique interests and professional identities. Students do primary and secondary research, writing, designing, and testing on a wide-range of subjects. Click here for a student-curated showcase of recent PWR senior capstone projects.