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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: Nonprofits

This course explores the theory, practices, and forms of written communication used by professional writers in nonprofit workplaces such as theaters, museums, libraries, social service agencies, art centers, humane societies, and other community organizations. Students will develop their skills in identifying sources of funding, writing for philanthropy, using research to support organizational needs, and tailoring their writing to reach specifi audiences.