Professional Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) is one of the four concentrations offered by the English Department at Elon University. The program was pre-dated by the Writing Concentration, which had been developed in 1994 and modeled largely on masters programs designed to prepare teachers of writing. A small number of fine students graduated from that early program.
In an attempt to make an advanced rhetorical education more responsive to undergraduate students, the Writing Concentration was dramatically revised in 1999. The concentration was, then, renamed to reflect the concentration's revised focus on the integrated study of rhetoric and writing within, primarily, professional contexts.
The 2000-01 academic year marked the first in the history of the new Professional Writing and Rhetoric concentration. In that first year, three students graduated as English majors with concentrations in PWR. In the second year, the program graduated seven more students, and then ten more followed in the 2002-03 academic year.
As the number of graduates has grown, we are proud to say that the quality of those students choosing to study in the program has remained high. The comments our students' senior seminar portfolios receive from outside reviewers continually confirm what PWR students and professors believe:
"PWR graduates are liberally educated, critically reflective about the roles writing and writers play in our world, civically minded, andwell prepared to assume active roles within the workplace."