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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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