Friday, December 12, 2008


The New Major in Writing Studies at UMD.

The major in writing studies, which offers concentrations in journalism or professional writing, explores writing as a field of inquiry: its production, its circulation, its uses, and its role in the development of individuals, professional communities and societies. The major begins with the history of writing practices, genres, systems of production and distribution, and related institutions. A major in writing studies draws from the resources of linguistics to understand the relationships between writing, cognition and communication. It uses the tools of qualitative, quantitative and humanistic research to advance those explorations. It culminates in a practical examination of writing in traditional and emerging technologies. In core and elective courses, students develop skills in the analysis of rhetorical situations, the selection of media, and the production of texts appropriate for a variety of discourse communities. They also think reflectively and critically about their role as writers for professional and civic life. Students select a journalism or professional writing sub-plan to complete their study.

Journalism: The journalism curriculum engages the study and practice of mass communication in a converged, multimedia environment. It prepares students for careers as reporters, editors, producers and photographers in print, broadcast, and multimedia news. The program is built on a liberal arts foundation, including the history, traditions, routines and practices of journalism. Students learn the skills they need to succeed in the profession, they study its legal and ethical dimensions, and they examine the sociology of news and the context in which journalism is practiced. Students are encouraged to participate in UMD-sponsored internships at news, publishing and broadcast organizations, both locally and across the country. Additionally, students have the opportunity to do extracurricular work at the Student newspaper, public radio and television stations.

Professional Writing: The professional writing curriculum synthesizes 1) knowledge and experience with writing technologies from a liberal arts, as well as a technical, perspective; 2) practice in applying principles of rhetoric, design, cultural theory, and creative thinking to the production of professional writing projects and 3) experience in developing successful relationships with writing/design communities and other audiences. Students are encouraged to participate in UMD-sponsored internships in professional writing, corporate communication, editing, and publishing. Students develop writing skills relevant to professional situations (document design and delivery, the development of varied writing techniques, and persuasive argument) with an understanding of writing’s ethical and social implications.

Writing Studies Core Courses
WRIT 1506 Literacy Technology and Society
and WRIT 2506 Introduction to Writing Studies
and LING 2506 Language and Writing
JOUR 3700 Media Law and Ethics
and WRIT 4250 New Media Writing
and WRIT 4506 Portfolio (1cr)

Professional Writing Electives
WRIT 31xx: Advanced Writing Course (Writing in the Professions)
WRIT 4200 Writing and Cultures
and WRIT 4260 Visual Rhetoric and Culture
and WRIT 4300 Research Methods
[Take 4 or more course(s) totaling no more than 12 credit(s) from the following:JOUR 2001, JOUR 2101, JOUR 2300, JOUR 2400, JOUR 2501, JOUR 4001, JOUR 4500, LING 3102, LING 4195, LING 4400, WRIT 1017, WRIT 4100, WRIT 4197, WRIT 4220, WRIT 4230, WRIT 4290, WRIT 4591, WRIT 4595]

• Must include one WRIT course and one JOUR course.
• WRIT 4197 may be repeated for a total of 6 cr.
• Other JOUR, LING and WRIT designator with departmental approval.

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