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Coordinator/Contact:  William Magrino

Writing in the Professions focuses on specialized writing training for professional, business, scientific, or technical fields.  Topics vary from semester to semester and are listed below.


Writing in the Professions: Law

This introductory course in legal writing is designed to help students read, write and think like lawyers.  Students will be introduced to the basic mechanics of legal writing and research including analyzing and interpreting case law, drafting motions, working on an appellate brief, and preparing oral arguments.  The class provides excellent preparation for the reading and writing portions of the Law School Admission Test and hones the fundamental skills needed by any student considering a career in the law.

Required Texts:
Writing and Analysis in the Law, fifth edition
(Shapo, Walter, and Fajans)
The Bluebook:  A Uniform System of Citation, 18th edition
(Harvard Law Review Association)


Writing in the Professions: Exploring Careers in the Humanities

This course offers students the opportunity to explore a career field in depth by conducting research on qualifications, job prospects, and salaries. Students will research, identify, and interview a professional in their chosen field. Students will also create a writing portfolio that demonstrates marketable skills and will present their findings and analysis to their classmates.

We will begin by reading and discussing relevant texts. Students will then brainstorm and research career options. Students will write a research paper, which will include data, statistics, specific qualifications, salary information, skills required, and market and labor research. Next, students will write a resume and cover letter, both as a professional document and as an example of writing for a specific audience. We will also develop and practice elevator pitches, networking skills and interviewing skills. Then each student will research, identify and interview a professional in the field. The course will culminate in the creation of a portfolio of 3-4 writing samples specific to the chosen field or a personal statement for graduate school, law school, etc. if applicable. Students will deliver a 10-12 minute oral presentation utilizing and synthesizing their research and fieldwork. All major assignments will require peer review and extensive revision.


Writing in the Professions: Medicine

This course provides writing skill training for students preparing for medical school or graduate study in the scientific professions. The course begins with the drafting of two documents customarily required for acceptance to graduate medical programs: the Personal Statement and the persuasive essay (of the type seen on the MCAT exam).  The remainder of the semester involves the development of an independent project proposal for which they will seek to obtain grant funding.  This proposal is initially articulated in a brief memo and followed by a query letter to the grant funding organization.  A significant amount of research is required throughout the proposal process in order to establish credibility within the scientific community and provide justification for the project. Throughout the semester, students are expected to engage in conscientious revision of all assignments. The course culminates with a PowerPoint slide presentation, delivered to the funding source, in support of the proposal.

Required Texts:
Scientific and Technical Writing Today: From Problem to Proposal (Magrino and Goeller)
The Technical Writer's Companion, third edition (Alfred, Brusaw, and Oliu)  


Writing in the Professions: Psychology

This course provides students interested in graduate study in psychology with a chance to develop discipline-related research and writing skills.  We begin with the drafting of the personal statement required for acceptance to graduate programs in psychology. The remainder of the semester involves the development of an independent, research-driven project proposal.  Topics are freely chosen, as long as they are germane to the field of psychology. Throughout the semester, we will have several guest lectures, from graduate students in Rutgers’ graduate clinical psychology programs, as well as from social workers, individuals with laboratory research in the field of psychology, and medical school residents.

Required Texts:
Scientific and Technical Writing Today: From Problem to Proposal (Magrino and Goeller)
The Technical Writer's Companion, third edition (Alfred, Brusaw, and Oliu) 

Contact Us

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Rutgers Writing Program
Murray Hall, Room 108
510 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901 

TEL (848) 932-7570
FAX (732) 932-3094