English, Concentration in Professional Writing B.A. and Minor


Interested in Becoming a Professional Writer?

Pursuing professional writing at RIC, either as a B.A. student choosing this concentration or as a student minoring in professional writing, means that you'll gain the understanding and skills necessary for numerous writing-specific fields, like: 

  • editing and publishing
  • public relations
  • marketing
  • digital/multimedia communication
  • journalism

Practice and Refinement

Coursework in the concentration provides students with the opportunity to investigate their professional writing interest areas while gaining practice in both the writing and revising process. 


All students who concentrate or minor in professional writing participate in an internship at a local organization or business, which will provide them with real-world experiences to help build a professional resume. 

Value for All

Competency in professional writing is acknowledged as an extremely worthwhile skillset, regardless of industry. RIC students who choose to minor in professional writing give themselves an advantage when it comes to breaking into the job market.


Eager to Pursue Professional Writing?

Rhode Island College is an exclusive member of the Common Application.

Program Details

Course Information

Here we provide information on course requirements, course descriptions and an Academic Rhode Map for each program, a semester-by-semester plan to help you toward graduation in four years.

Course Requirements

Course Descriptions

Academic Rhode Map for English B.A. with Professional Writing

Program/Learning Goals

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to: 

  • Understand writing as both an activity (something you do) and a subject of study (something into which you can inquire).
  • Develop a rhetorical disposition and frame of mind which understands writers as always engaged in the work of making meaning for particular audiences & purposes.
  • Practice “writing-to-learn” in order to understand writing as a knowledge-generating activity & method of critical thinking.
  • Engage with various communicative modes (i.e. visual, linguistic, aural) to meet the exigencies of rhetorical situations.
  • Develop knowledge of and practice with key aspects of document design.
  • Practice reflection as a critical process of writerly self-development. 
  • Understand and appreciate the ethical dimensions of writing (i.e. to write is to propose a relationship with other human beings).
  • Understand and practice writing as an iterative and recursive process and writing development as an ongoing process of life-long learning.
  • Develop critical literacy skills in order to learn how to locate reliable information, learn from it, and write effectively about it.

Writing in the Discipline

Why or in what ways is writing important to your discipline/field/profession? 

Writing is central to all aspects of the discipline of English. It is a means of thinking about texts and how writers create them, of reflecting on learning, of discovering and demonstrating new knowledge, of applying critical and creative ways of thinking to disciplinary issues and problems, of understanding oneself and the world, of developing intellectual agency and of working for social change. 

Which courses are designated as satisfying the Writing in the Discipline (WID) requirement by your department? Why these courses? 

The concentration in professional writing has the following WID courses: 

ENGL 222: Introduction to Professional Writing 

ENGL 378: Advanced Workshop in Professional Writing 

ENGL 379: Rhetoric for Professional Writing 

ENGL 477: Internship in Professional Writing 

These courses were chosen because they represent key moments in each program where you will learn and demonstrate writing knowledge and skills. We would add, however, that virtually all courses in English, and especially those in creative writing and professional writing, are writing-intensive, where writing is assigned, taught and evaluated. 

3. What forms or genres of writing will you learn and practice in your WID courses? Why these genres? 

The range of genres or forms of writing in which you will engage and practice is too extensive to list in its entirety and depends, to a significant extent, on your chosen concentration within the major. Having said this, we offer a few examples of the writing students do in different concentrations below. 

Within the literature concentration, students produce literary/cultural analysis papers that require skills of close reading and knowledge of and dexterity with applying critical and analytical approaches to texts. 

Within the creative writing concentration students practice the writing skills that inform key literary genres such as fiction, poetry and nonfiction.  

Within the professional writing concentration, students produce reports, proposals, analysis papers, research papers and various digital and multimodal texts. 

Students in each concentration must take courses in the other concentrations, so they will range outside the genres described above to experiment with and practice a variety of academic, creative and professional genres of writing. 

4. What kinds of teaching practices will you encounter in your WID courses? 

The English Department has long prided itself on engaging in “best practices” when it comes to the teaching of writing. We will engage you in scaffolded writing assignments that initially include low-stakes or informal writing to help you make sense of challenging readings and materials; in this way you write to learn as you learn to write. You will also practice key moves in lower stakes writing assignments that inform higher stakes writing projects for midterm papers and final projects. Small group workshops and tutorials are a regular part of our practice and provide crucial feedback for effective writing. In virtually all of your courses we provide models and exemplars of the work we ask you to produce. We often hold one-on-one conferences to guide you in individual challenges and difficulties. In sum, we engage in the full-range of practices that research in the teaching and learning of writing has shown helps students learn to write well. 

When you have satisfied your department’s WID requirement, you should be able to: 

  • Demonstrate intellectual competency, critical thinking, close reading, the ability to break large assignments into manageable pieces and the skills to revise and edit your own work.  
  • Use writing to problem solve, to collaborate and persuade, to reason and come to a conclusion based on reliable information and to reflect on yourself, your learning and the world around you.  
  • Produce writing that is guided by purpose and engages and moves an intended audience. You will, finally, know that learning to write well is a lifelong journey and that to succeed as a writer you must be adaptable and flexible, suiting your words to the situation. You will know that writing can help change the world. 

Minor in Professional Writing

Declaring a minor allows you to explore other areas of interest and make interdisciplinary connections. Minor areas at RIC complement and reinforce all major areas of study. By declaring a minor, you can set yourself apart as a candidate for job, internship and volunteer opportunities.

Minor in Professional Writing  

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Program Coordinator