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Undergraduate

Writing Studies Minor

The Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program (WSAP) offers a minor in writing studies. This minor provides an extended study of writing for students from all disciplines. It draws on theory and research in writing studies to help students understand different disciplinary practices around writing, speaking, and argument. This minor also provides a flexible writing curriculum to complement students’ academic and professional interests.

Learn more about the goals of the minor in writing studies.

Minor requirements: at least 6 courses including 1 core course, minimum 22 credits.

Core Courses

Analysis of writing at different textual levels (these courses also include practice). Students must select at least one course from the following:

  • WRT 250/LIN 161: Modern English Grammar
  • WRT 251/LIN 160/ENG 288: The Rhetorical Sentence
  • WRT 281: Writing Studies Research Workshop (2 credits)

Tracks within the Minor

Within the minor, we have four writing studies tracks:

  • Language, linguistics, and writing
  • Digital and multimodal communication
  • The practice of writing and speaking (with attention to theory and research)
  • General writing studies

All courses are four credits unless otherwise noted. WRT 103, 104, and all versions of 105 may not be used for the minor. Students cannot take courses pass/fail and must earn at least a 2.0 average for these courses. No major and minor may overlap by more than two courses; no two minors may overlap by more than two courses.

Language, Linguistics, Writing Track (3 of the 6 courses must be from this track)

  • WRT 250/LIN 161: Modern English Grammar
  • WRT 251/LIN 160/ENG 288: The Rhetorical Sentence
  • WRT 263: Translation: Interpreting and Adapting* (available in different disciplines and modes)
  • WRT 281: Writing Studies Research Workshop (2 credits) (prerequisites: primary writing requirement and either WRT 245/ENG 285 or WRT 247, or permission from instructor)

Digital and Multimodal Communication Track (3 of the 6 courses must be from this track)

  • DMS 200: Digital Portfolio (permission of instructor required for non-digital media studies majors)
  • WRT 247: Spoken Communication and Peer Tutoring*
  • WRT 261/ENG 288/DMS 250: Writing in the Digital World*
  • WRT 263: Translation: Interpreting and Adapting (available in different disciplines and modes)*

The Practice of Writing and Speaking Track (with attention to theory and research) (3 of the 6 courses must be from this track)

  • WRT 245: Advanced Writing and Peer Tutoring*
  • WRT 247: Spoken Communication and Peer Tutoring*
  • WRT 262: Reading and Writing about Research in the Social, Natural, and Applied Sciences* (designed for students in social, natural, and applied sciences, but open to others)
  • WRT 265: Writing Across the Disciplines: Argument and Evidence* (designed for humanities and social sciences students, but open to others)
  • WRT 296/BIO 396W: Research Paper Writing in Biology (designed for biology students; other need instructor permission)

Professional Writing Courses that Count toward the Writing and Speaking Track

No more than one 27X course counts toward the minor. All 27X courses are two credits.

    • DMS 200: Digital Portfolio (permission of instructor required for non-digital media studies majors)
    • WRT 272/BIO 272W: BIOLOGY: Communicating Your Professional Identity*
    • WRT 273: ENGINEERING: Communicating Your Professional Identity*
    • WRT 274/CSP 274W/PSY 274W: PSYCHOLOGY: Communicating Your Professional Identity*
    • WRT 275: MATHEMATICS: Communicating Your Professional Identity*
    • WRT 276: POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: Communicating Your Professional Identity*
    • WRT 277: CROSS-DISCIPLINARY: Communicating Your Professional Identity*

*Prerequisite: completion of the primary writing requirement (PWR)

General Writing Studies Track: Select at least one course from each of the other tracks:

  • Language, Linguistics, Writing
  • Digital and Multimodal Communication
  • The Practice of Writing and Speaking

Courses from other Programs or Departments that Count toward the Minor

Students may apply two non-WSAP writing-focused courses toward the writing studies minor, but no more than one creative writing course.

  • AH 209: Writing on Art
  • AH 240/ENG 126: Writing Women’s Lives
  • BCS 207: Advanced Undergraduate Research in Cognitive Science (prerequisite: BCS 206)
  • ENG 134: Public Speaking
  • ENG 135: Introduction to Debate
  • ENG 132: Feature Writing or ENG 281: Advanced Feature Writing (perquisite: introductory journalism class, regular feature or news writing, or other significant writing experience)
  • ENG 282: Humor Writing
  • PHL 105: Reason and Argument
  • PSC 202: Argument in Political Science

For questions about other non-WSAP courses, please contact:

Deborah Rossen-Knill, MFA, PhD
WSAP Director
Professor
(585) 273-3583
deb.rossen-knill@rochester.edu

Stefanie Sydelnik, PhD
Associate Director
Associate Professor
(585) 273-3584
stefanie.sydelnik@rochester.edu 

Goals of the Minor

  • Provide students a rich understanding of discourse practices in the context of writing studies theory and research.
  • Provide a flexible, interdisciplinary writing curriculum that can complement students’ different disciplinary and professional interests.
  • Enable students to design their own writing-studies program and conduct writing-studies research.
  • Support student goals to develop and communicate a strong graduate-school or professional profile.
  • Prepare students for the increasingly global and digital nature of communication.