project reports, journal articles, grants to conduct research, oral presentations, corporate, government, and organizational internal and external communication such as letters, written and audio reports, emails, proposals, forms, oral presentations, representative texts, such as codes of ethics and service charters; corporate and government newsletters; and public notices and leaflets.and more……
At the University of Idaho
At the University of Idaho
Broad Definition of
• Any form of written or oral communication—other
than that produced or circulated as art. It is often
referred to as workplace writing.
as a Career Choice
• copy writers develop marketing and advertising content,
• public relations communicators manage brand image and
• editors review/revise the work of others and plan publication
• technical writers collaborate with other professionals to
create/revise client projects and translate technical
information to lay audiences,
• multimedia specialists create web authored content in a
variety of media and across a range of platforms.
• the median salary for these jobs as of 2014 was between $60K
and $70K (payscale.com).
Professional Writing Courses at UI at the 200
and 300 levels
The primary learning objective:
• Learn and gain applied practice in how to
enter and successfully communicate in
About English 202:
• This course will introduce you to the theory and
practice of professional writing and its functions in
• It is designed to be taken alone or as part of the
curriculum for the Professional Writing Emphasis.
About English 313:
• Emerged from the communication needs of commerce, so
it has a focus on interpersonal and intercultural
communication from both within and without a business or
• Students who take this course tend to be business, finance,
and accounting majors but it is open to and taken by many
About English 316:
• Emerged from the need to express our relationship to our
environment and to understand how language shapes this
relationship in terms of ourselves and others (public policy).
NOTE: because environmental writing has this dual focus, it also
includes art texts.
• Students who take this course tend to be majoring in
environmental science, natural resources, and wildlife
management but it is open to and taken by many other majors.
English 316 is offered through our Semester in the Wild Program
About English 317:
• Emerged from the communication needs of inventing and
using technology, so it has a user-centered design focus
with an emphasis on developing a highly readable style
that includes translating dense technical information to
audiences with lower-levels of technical expertise.
• Students who take this course tend to be engineering,
science, and technology majors but it is open to and taken
by many other majors.
About English 318:
• Emerged from the need to communicate the results of scientific
research, so it has a focus of disseminating those results to both
expert and lay audiences.
• Students who take this course may be majoring in biology,
chemistry, food science, plant science, animal science, and
geological science but it is open to and taken by many other
• NOTE: this course is cross-listed with JAMM318 and we offer it in
alternating semesters with them.
These categories are not mutually exclusive.
• When a business writer analyzes
data and presents it in a report,
it is similar to scientific writing.
• When a science writer submits
a request to purchase software,
it is business writing.
• When a technical writer gives a
presentation to a group of
potential investors, it’s business
• When an environmental
scientist studies how audiences
perceive messages about
climate change, it is a form of
technical writing (usability).
• Etc. etc. etc.
Professional writing is created in all media
forms and delivered in a variety of
Writing is a Problem-Solving Activity
Our Courses are Aimed at Helping You
Develop Transferable Problem-Solving Skills
If you saw the movie Taken,
you know that the character
played by Liam Neeson used
transferable skills to get the
bad guys and rescue his
We won’t be doing anything
as exciting as that, but we will
be working to help you
further develop transferable
Therefore, throughout the course you will
• Study concepts that are transferable to many
different writing situations and apply these
concepts to complete each project’s deliverable
• Think of these transferable concepts as sets of
writing skills you are placing in a toolkit that you can
draw upon after you leave the course to make
effective choices in any writing situation. And the
best friend in your skill-set tool box is rhetoric.
What is rhetoric?
The classical definition of rhetoric is
the use of language to persuade.
Persuasion can be positive or
negative, but in common usage,
rhetoric has increasingly been
And, there’s a reason for that.
Negative definition of rhetoric.
Because the art of persuasion can
be used for --- let’s just say—not
necessarily noble ends, the word
rhetoric has a pejorative (negative)
This negative meaning is often
associated with political rhetoric,
where language is used to defeat
another candidate through
distortions, misinformation, or
Modern definitions of rhetoric.
A more modern definition of
rhetoric acknowledges that it
informs whatever we do with
It is how we use language to elicit
any number of responses from
diverse audiences and for a wide
variety of purposes.
There’s just one more thing you need to know before starting the first
Don’t take this wrong but no one in
the workplace wants to read what
• Solve problems,
• Gain a better understanding of something,
• Make effective decisions,
• Plan work they and others will do, and
• Create a paper trail for
• and legal purposes.
Workplace readers will NEED to read what you write to: