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Everyone Should Know About Professional Writers

Professional Writing Program representatives (Randy Gonzales and Shelly Leroy) joined other English Department representatives at UL’s Liberal Arts Day. High schools students and their parents came to learn about the different departments in the College of Liberal Arts. To accompany our ten minute presentation, we created a handout, 9 Things Everyone Should Know About Professional Writer.

Application: Google Docs

Fonts: Arvo (serif) and Lato (sans serif).

Colors: standard UL colors– black (#0A0203) and red (#CE181E), shades of maroon available as part of standard Google Docs’ color palette.

Layout: 9 Things is laid out with a 4 x 5 table with hidden borders. The body of the document is 3 x 3 colored blocks containing the 9 Things Everyone Should Know About Professional Writers.

Google Drawings: The side-title and numbers are Google Drawings. Google Docs allows you to create and add a drawing directly from your document. The side-title is simply text flipped vertically. The numbers were created by drawing a circle, giving it a dashed border, and adding a number to it.

Collaborators: Randy Gonzales (Designer, Writer), Shelly Leroy (Writer), and Sheri Lazare (Proofreader).

 

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Press Release

I wrote the following press release with Sally Donlon. The Advertiser published a short article based on the release (see below), reducing our 184 word press release to a 137 word article. The sections in red didn’t make the news staff’s rewrite.

When writing the release, I struggled to eliminate academic words and phrases from my writing. Phrases like “that are a prerequisite” and “work contexts” were changed by Sally to “needed” and “workplaces.” The staff at The Advertiser continued cutting my academic language, eliminating the longest sentence in the release (the first) and shorting wordy (or, as I prefer to think, overly precise) sentences.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Randy Gonzales, Ph.D.

UL Lafayette introduces online graduate certificate in Professional Writing

May 22, 2015 (Lafayette, LA) Success in the professional arena often depends on strong, effective communication and a new online graduate certificate at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette focuses on the professional writing skills needed for continued advancement and opportunity. The new program is designed to help professionals and career starters extend their reach with leadership-level communication skills.

An outgrowth of the English Department’s Master’s concentration in Professional Writing, the new online program focuses on the 21st century composition skills that allow workers in increasingly digital and global workplaces to communicate effectively. Courses in document design, and professional writing and editing prepare participants to create visually appealing documents that communicate efficiently and encourage readers to act. Participants will take special projects courses on writing for the Internet and work on internships, either at physical locations or as part of a virtual team.

In addition to the graduate certificate, the English Department offers bachelor’s and master’s concentrations in Professional Writing, as well as a minor concentration for students of any major interested in becoming more effective communicators.
For more information on the online certificate in Professional Writing, contact Randy Gonzales at pw@louisiana.edu or visit the website at online.louisiana.edu.

 

Published in The Advertiser, May 29, 2015

UL offering new professional writing course

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is now offering an online graduate certificate program in professional writing.

The program focuses on 21st century composition skills that allow workers to communicate effectively. Courses will include document design, professional writing and editing. Participants will take special projects courses on writing for the Internet and also work on internships, either at physical locations or as part of a virtual team.

The program is designed to help professionals and career starters extend their reach with leadership-level communication skills. It is an outgrowth of the UL English Department’s master’s concentration in professional writing.

The English Department also offers bachelor’s and master’s concentrations in professional writing, as well as a minor concentration for students of any major.

For more information on the new online program, contact Randy Gonzales at pw@louisiana.edu or visit online.louisiana.edu.

<http://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/local/2015/05/29/ul-offering-new-professional-writing-course/28176641/>

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PW Skills

The following document was originally written for a meeting with local technology consulting companies. The goal was to introduce professional writing as an area of study that prepared students to succeed in fields that require proficient communicators who can adapt to global and digital work spaces. The document was well received, creating dialogue about a need for workers that have both a strong grounding in technology and the communication and analytical skills we value in the liberal arts.

The document was modified slightly to address students. The goal was to define professional writing as a field of study and to encourage students to consider the field and what it can offer them. View a pdf copy here.

Professional Writing
@ the University of Louisiana at Lafayette

As a Professional Writing (PW) student, you gain knowledge and experience composing in digital and print genres for a range of audiences. You will develop as a document designer, editor, and collaborator as you create text and visual media for business, government, and public contexts.

In Professional Writing Courses You Learn

To Work in a Professional Organization

Professional writing students learn what it takes to work in a professional organization. You develop 1) time-management and project management skills by creating work plans and schedules and 2) working as a team. You learn to 3) write clear and concise internal communications in the form of memos and reports.

Technical Writing Skills

Professional writing students develop technical writing skills. You learn to 1) analyze audiences and read contexts before producing a document. You develop the ability to 2)  translate difficult subject matter into clear and concise text that suits a range of audiences. You 3) write in technical genres, creating white papers, instructions, analytical reports, and proposals. You learn to 4) write and follow style guides.

New Media Skills

Professional writing students develop new media skills. You learn 1) visual design principles to translate difficult subjects into image-based compositions. You learn 2) graphic design and video-editing software to create infographics, screen-capture tutorials, and digital stories. You learn to 3) create a social media plan and write creative/informative content to fulfill the plan.

Analytical Skills  

Professional writing students learn to analyze documents and work contexts. You learn how to 1) conduct usability studies to test the effectiveness of documents and interfaces. You  learn 2) qualitative research methods to inform your writing.

Programs Offered @ UL Lafayette

Undergraduate: Minor in PW | BA in English with a concentration in PW

Graduate: Graduate Certificate in PW | MA in English with a concentration in PW

 

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PW Word Cloud

I created the PW word cloud to print posters on standard letter paper to put up around campus. The goal was to draw attention to professional writing offerings at UL. My choice of words for the cloud shows my interest in defining the breadth of our professional writing program.  I chose to redefine professional writing as “21st Century Composition” to emphasize the importance of visual design, multimedia, social media, and virtual teaming in professional contexts. I hope students are intrigued enough by the word cloud to take a look at the website.

Software: iDraw (Mac)

Fonts: Lao MN (serif), Kati SC (serif), and Kailasa (sans serif).

Colors: black, various shades of gray, and vermillion to match the UL logo.

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