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Assistant Director: Joann Messina

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: Legal Writing

This introductory course in legal writing is designed to help students read, write, and think like lawyers.  Students will be introduced to the basics of legal writing, including understanding jurisdiction and precedent, analyzing and interpreting case law, drafting predictive legal memoranda, writing an appellate brief, and preparing oral arguments. The class provides some valuable preparation for law school.

Required Texts:
Writing and Analysis in the Law, 7th edition. 
Helene Shapo, Marilyn Walter, & Elizabeth Fajans. Foundation Press, 2019.


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, issues, challenges, job prospects, and salaries. Students will research, identify, approach, 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 begin by reading and discussing relevant texts. All materials are provided via Canvas. Students do not need to purchase any books for this course. Students will write a research paper analyzing a specific issue or challenge that professionals in a certain career encounter. Students will also write customized resumes and cover letters for specific internships or jobs. They will develop and practice elevator pitches, networking skills, and interviewing skills. The course culminates in the creation of a portfolio of 3-4 writing samples specific to their chosen field and/or personal statements for graduate school, law school, etc., if applicable. All assignments require peer review and extensive revision.


Writing in the Professions: Writing for Non-Profits

This course is designed for students who hope to enter professional careers in non-profit organizations. This course explores the theory, practices, and forms of written communication used by professional writers in non-profit (social sector) workplaces such as theaters, museums, libraries, social service agencies, art centers, humane societies, and other community-based organizations. Students will research and analyze the writing of local and national nonprofits and write for real-world situations. 

The course will teach students the mechanics of writing and the political and social aspects of writing for diverse audiences as they develop their skills in identifying sources of funding, writing for philanthropy, using research to support the need, and tailoring their writing to specific audience interests. Students who complete the course will be prepared to write case statements, newsletters, advocacy letters, nonprofit annual reports, and short proposals. All materials are provided via Canvas. Students do not need to purchase any books for this course.

Writing Program Calendar