Course Overview

This course has two components: an academic component and an experiential component. For the academic component, students will read articles relevant to writing in nonacademic settings from selected journals and anthologies, respond to questions pertaining to those readings on an electronic discussion board, and meet as a group once per week to discuss the issues reflected in the articles and relate those readings to their own nonacademic experiences. For the experiential component (practicum), students will work approximately eight hours per week (at least 120 hours total) within an organization relevant to their interests and areas of expertise. They will complete several short assignments as well as a project that connects their reading to the experiential component. This course is closely connected to the mission of NCSU because every student is reaching out to an organization, typically within the triangle area, and providing a service to that organization while learning from the experience. This mutually beneficial arrangement provides solid connections between the university and the community, helps prepare students for careers in North Carolina and elsewhere, and gives valuable assistance to businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students completing the requirements for this section of ENG 522 will be able to

  • recognize the problems and practices of writers and writing in a variety of nonacademic settings
  • critically analyze published accounts of workplace writing
  • demonstrate an understanding of the differences between academic and nonacademic writing
  • describe personal workplace experiences and skills
  • articulate how their personal strengths and experiences prepare them for writing careers

Course Organization and Scope

The course will be organized around the following issues in nonacademic writing. After we have covered these issues, we will spend the remainder of the semester workshopping content for your e-portfolios, including your content strategy work.

  1. Positioning yourself as a professional writer (5 weeks)
    1. Writing for a living
    2. Preparing for professional power dynamics
    3. Identifying personal strengths
    4. Networking and supporting writing careers
    5. Establishing personal identity
  2. Learning about professional writing practices (5 weeks)
    1. Writing collaboratively
    2. Content strategy 
    3. Editing
    4. Ghostwriting and AI
    5. Workplace review and evaluation
  3. Workplace culture (4 weeks)
    1. Understanding communities of practice
    2. Identifying cultural constraints
    3. Connecting text and context
    4. Using technology