What is Professional Writing


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Introduction to Professional Writing for English 202

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  • 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……
  • What is Professional Writing

    1. 1. 1©Karen L. Thompson ŸDepartment of English Ÿ University of Idaho What is Professional Writing?
    2. 2. At the University of Idaho 2 English  Major Literature   Emphasis Professional   Writing   Emphasis Creative   Writing   Emphasis Teaching   Emphasis Students  who  major  in  English  choose  from  four  program  emphases.   Professional  Writing  is  one  of  these.
    3. 3. At the University of Idaho 3 English  Minors Literature   Minor Professional   Writing  Minor Creative   Writing  Minor TESL Minor We  also  offer  four  minors  in  English  and  Professional  Writing  is  one  of  these.
    4. 4. Broad Definition of Professional Writing • Any form of written or oral communication—other than that produced or circulated as art. It is often referred to as workplace writing. 4
    5. 5. Examples of Professional Writing 5
    6. 6. Professional Writing as a Career Choice • copy writers develop marketing and advertising content, • public relations communicators manage brand image and business communications, • editors review/revise the work of others and plan publication content, • 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). 6
    7. 7. Professional Writing Courses at UI at the 200 and 300 levels English  202   Intro  to  Professional  Writing English  313 Business   Writing English  316 Environmental   Writing English  317 Technical   Writing English  318 Science  Writing 7
    8. 8. The primary learning objective: • Learn and gain applied practice in how to enter and successfully communicate in professional environments. 8
    9. 9. About English 202: Introduction to Professional Writing • This course will introduce you to the theory and practice of professional writing and its functions in workplace settings. • It is designed to be taken alone or as part of the curriculum for the Professional Writing Emphasis. 9
    10. 10. About English 313: Business Writing • 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 organization. • Students who take this course tend to be business, finance, and accounting majors but it is open to and taken by many other majors. 10
    11. 11. About English 316: Environmental Writing • 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 11
    12. 12. About English 317: Technical Writing • 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. 12
    13. 13. About English 318: Science Writing • 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 majors. • NOTE: this course is cross-listed with JAMM318 and we offer it in alternating semesters with them. 13
    14. 14. These categories are not mutually exclusive. 14 Technical   Writing Science   Writing Environmental Writing Business   Writing • 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 writing. • When an environmental scientist studies how audiences perceive messages about climate change, it is a form of technical writing (usability). • Etc. etc. etc.
    15. 15. 15 Multimedia Audio Video Interactive Print Professional writing is created in all media forms and delivered in a variety of platforms. Our  professional  writing   courses  will  provide  you   with  guided  practice  in   producing  these  forms. Upon  successful   completion  of  a  course,   you  will  have  sample   work  that  can  be  posted   to  an  online  portfolio  to   show  potential   employers.
    16. 16. Writing is a Problem-Solving Activity 16 The  project  deliverables  in  this  course  (and  on  the  job)  are  important,  but  if  you   learn  how  to  produce  them  as  tasks,  you  will  not  learn  how  to  write  well  because   the  solution  to  a  problem  in  professional  writing  is  never  the  only  available  one.     Writers  must  constantly  interpret  writing  situations  and  weigh  possible  responses   to  effectively  meet  these  situations.    That  means  the  situations  and  products  are   dynamic,  not  static. Understanding  how  writing  is  a  problem-­‐solving  activity  will  help  you  develop   writing  skills  that  transfer  to  new  situations.
    17. 17. Our Courses are Aimed at Helping You Develop Transferable Problem-Solving Skills 17 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 daughter. We won’t be doing anything as exciting as that, but we will be working to help you further develop transferable problem-solving composition skills.
    18. 18. 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 (i.e. end-product). • 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. 18
    19. 19. What is rhetoric? 19 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 defined negatively. And, there’s a reason for that. Plato  and  Aristotle  from  School  of  Athens  by   Raphael  Sanzio  (1509)
    20. 20. Negative definition of rhetoric. 20 Because the art of persuasion can be used for --- let’s just say—not necessarily noble ends, the word rhetoric has a pejorative (negative) meaning. This negative meaning is often associated with political rhetoric, where language is used to defeat another candidate through distortions, misinformation, or outright lies.
    21. 21. Modern definitions of rhetoric. 21 A more modern definition of rhetoric acknowledges that it informs whatever we do with language. 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 project.
    22. 22. I  don’t  really  want  to  read   that  report  from  you. Don’t take this wrong but no one in the workplace wants to read what you write. 22
    23. 23. • 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: This  helps  me. What  a  great  writer! 23