Programmatic Assumptions

  • We approach professional writing and rhetoric not simply as a functional art limited to the means of production, but as a critical social practice that includes engaging in the cultural production of social ends.
  • We approach professional writing and rhetoric as a way of acting effectively and wisely within complex situations, corporate, civic, and personal.
  • We conceive of “writing” broadly, and paired with “rhetoric,” extend the concentration’s scope of study and practice to a wide variety of symbolic action.
  • We understand professional writing and rhetoric to be a situated art.
  • We value the integration of theory and practice.
  • We approach ‘professional writing and rhetoric’ as one, integrated disciplinary field of study and practice.

Programmatic Goals

  • Students will learn, often through working hands-on with actual clients, how to analyze, reflect on, assess, and effectively act within complex contexts and rhetorical situations.
  • Students will learn to approach a wide variety of communication practices (e.g., visuals, multimedia, collaboration, and research) from the perspective of writing and rhetoric.
  • Students will study a wide variety of rhetorical techne (i.e., strategies) and, by working within and reflecting on actual rhetorical contexts, learn to adapt and develop rhetorical strategies and heuristics appropriate to specific situations.
  • Students will show an ability to integrate theoretical knowledge and professional practice.
  • Students will adopt a disciplinary identity as a writer and see themselves as experts (i.e., professional writers/rhetors) who bring rhetorical ways of seeing and acting in and on the world around them.
  • Students will understand that writing participates in socially constructing the worlds within which we live, work, play, etc.