Professional Writing Major Petition
May 7, 2012
Writing is revising, so the three-year-old Writing Minor at Davis has just acquired a new name and an expanded list of course options.
Established in fall 2009 as the Expository Writing Minor, the program has
just been renamed the Professional Writing Minor.
According to University Writing Program Director Carl Whithaus' proposal to change the name, "Exposition means explanation, but is distinguished from other writing modes such as argumentation, description, and narration, which are crucial to writing minors' training to be versatile writers capable of adapting to varied genres and rhetorical situations."
The expanded course options include new UWP courses created since the minor began, such as Writing in Film Studies (UWP 102L), Investigative Reporting (111B), Science Journalism (UWP 111C), Specialized Genres in Professional Writing (UWP 110), and Introduction to Professional Editing (UWP 112A).
Students pursuing writing minors also can take new courses in other departments, including History of Visual Communication (Design 145), Writing Science (ENL/STS 164), and Theories of Communication (CMN 101).
To date, 84 students have already graduated with writing minors, and another 26 plan to graduate this quarter. After they graduate, the listserv of students working towards the minor will still contain over 140 students.
Since the first year, when about two-thirds of the minor graduates were Communications and English majors, the students electing the minor have also become much more diverse, representing a wide range of majors in all four colleges.
As you might expect, many writing minors enjoy writing and feel confident about their communications skills. However, a large number have elected the minor for the opposite reason: they feel that strengthening their inadequate writing skills is crucial to achieving their academic and professional goals.
Many minors are preparing for careers as writers—journalists, directors of communications, publicists, technical writers, grant writers or editors. But many also recognize that improved writing skills will help to advance their careers in varied fields: law, medicine, science, engineering, or business.
Given students' enthusiastic response to the minor, the University Writing Program is beginning to explore the possibilities of offering a major in Professional Writing. Although there are many degree-granting programs in writing studies across the nation, this would be the first within the UC system.
The major would be designed to facilitate double majoring, requiring approximately 64 units and allowing students to concentrate in one of three tracks: Scientific and Technical Communication, Journalism and Digital Communication, and Writing in Communities and Organizations.
Students who endorse the idea of a major in Professional Writing can express support by signing a petition on the UWP website at: http://writing.ucdavis.edu/programs-and-services/writing-major-petition/form_p/php_view
Director, University Writing Program
Gary Sue Goodman
Writing Minor and Internships Faculty Advisor