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Duluth Campus

Writing Studies B.A.

English Linguistics and Writing Studies
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2016
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 38 to 41
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
The major in writing studies explores writing as a field of inquiry: its production, its circulation, its uses, and its role in the development of individuals, professional communities, and societies. The major begins with the history of writing practices, genres, systems of production and distribution. It uses the tools of qualitative, quantitative, and humanistic research to advance those explorations. It culminates in a practical examination of writing in traditional and emerging technologies. The writing curriculum synthesizes 1) knowledge and experience with writing technologies from a liberal arts, as well as a technical, perspective; 2) practice in applying principles of rhetoric, design, cultural theory, and creative thinking to the production of professional writing projects; and 3) communities and other audiences. Students develop writing skills relevant to professional situations (document design and delivery, the development of varied writing techniques, and persuasive argument) with an understanding of writing's ethical and social implications. They also think reflectively and critically about their role as writers for professional and civic life. Students are encouraged to participate in UMD-sponsored internships in professional writing, corporate communication, editing, and publishing.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
Required prerequisites
Introductory Requirement (1 cr)
Transfer students with 24 or more credits and current University of Minnesota Duluth students who change colleges to College of Liberal Arts are exempt from this requirement. New first-year students with 24 or more PSEO credits may request to be waived from this requirement.
UST 1000 - UMD Seminar (1.0-2.0 cr)
General Requirements
The Board of Regents, on recommendation of the faculty, grants degrees from the University of Minnesota. Requirements for an undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota Duluth include the following:
  1. Students must meet all course and credit requirements of the departments and colleges or schools in which they are enrolled including an advanced writing course. Students seeking two degrees must fulfill the requirements of both degrees. However, two degrees cannot be awarded for the same major.
  2. Students must complete all requirements of the Liberal Education Program.
  3. Students must complete a minimum of 120 semester credits.
  4. At least 30 of the last 60 degree credits earned immediately before graduation must be awarded by UMD.
  5. Students must complete at least half of their courses at the 3xxx-level and higher at UMD. Study-abroad credits earned through courses taught by UM faculty and at institutions with which UMD has international exchange programs may be used to fulfill this requirement.
  6. If a minor is required, students must take at least three upper division credits in their minor field from UMD.
  7. The minimum cumulative UM GPA required for graduation will be 2.00 and will include only University of Minnesota coursework. A minimum UM GPA of 2.00 is required in each UMD undergraduate major and minor. No academic unit may impose higher grade point standards to graduate.
  8. Diploma, transcripts, and certification will be withheld until all financial obligations to the University have been met.
Program Requirements
Students majoring in Writing Studies must complete a minor or second major in a field other than professional writing or information design.
Required Core (12 cr)
WRIT 1506 - Literacy, Technology and Society [LE CAT7, HUMANITIES] (3.0 cr)
WRIT 2506 - Introduction to Writing Studies (3.0 cr)
WRIT 4200 - Writing and Cultures (3.0 cr)
WRIT 4250 - New Media Writing (3.0 cr)
Advanced Writing Requirement (3 cr)
WRIT 31xx - Adv Writing (3 cr)
Required Capstone (1 cr)
WRIT 4506 - Capstone Course: Senior Portfolio Preparation (1.0 cr)
Writing Electives (15 cr)
Take 15 credits from the following list. Most WRIT 1xxx-4xxx courses apply here. (This excludes WRIT 1120 and 31xx.) WRIT 4197-Internship may be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Take 15 or more credit(s) from the following:
· WRIT 1006 - Journal and Memoir Writing [LE CAT9] (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 1017 - Freshman Seminar: Honors: The Rhetoric of Popular Culture [LE CAT8] (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 2220 - Information Design Skills (1.0 cr)
· WRIT 2595 - Special Topics: (Various Titles to be Assigned) (1.0-4.0 cr)
· WRIT 4100 - Introduction to Grant Writing and Project Planning (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4197 - Internship in Writing (1.0-3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4220 - Document Design and Graphics (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4230 - Web Design and Digital Culture (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4260 - Visual Rhetoric and Culture (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4290 - Advanced Web Design and Digital Culture (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4300 - Research Methods for the Study of Writing (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4591 - Independent Study (1.0-3.0 cr)
Related Field Electives (6-9 cr)
Take any 2-3 1xxx-4xxx level courses in COMM, ENGL, FMIS, JOUR, LING or TH, totaling at least 6 credits.
COMM 1xxx-4xxx
or ENGL 1xxx-4xxx
or FMIS 1xxx-4xxx
or JOUR 1xxx-4xxx
or LING 1xxx-4xxx
or TH 1xxx-4xxx
Program Sub-plans
A sub-plan is not required for this program.
 
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UST 1000 - UMD Seminar
Credits: 1.0 -2.0 [max 2.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02403 - EHS 1000/UST 1000
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Facilitates the successful transition into college learning and student life at UMD. Credit will not be granted if already received for EHS 1000.
WRIT 1506 - Literacy, Technology and Society (LE CAT7, HUMANITIES)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Historical survey of cultures without writing systems and cultures with writing systems and then later with printing, telegraph, radio, telephone, television, computers as well as other forms of technology. Survey of attitudes toward technology from Thoreau to Gandhi and beyond. prereq: Credit will not be granted if already received for Comp 1506.
WRIT 2506 - Introduction to Writing Studies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Considers writing itself as both a practice and an object of study. Drawing on composition, journalism, linguistics, literary studies, and rhetoric, the course offers a survey of historical, critical, and theoretical issues in writing studies. Writing assignments ask students to apply a writing studies framework to produce and analyze specific texts. prereq: 1120
WRIT 4200 - Writing and Cultures
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Through historical, theoretical and applied lenses, examines the dialectic between writing and culture, that is, how writing shapes culture and, conversely, how culture shapes writing. Specific concepts (access, agency, community, identity and power) relevant to understanding how cultures and the social relations that constitute them are constructed and maintained will be examined in detail. prereq: 1120, minimum 60 cr
WRIT 4250 - New Media Writing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01657 - Writ 4250/5250
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Combines the theory and production of new media writing--digital, verbal practices in converged media--through the application of readings and discussion to five projects that progress from written, print-based genres to new-media presentation. prereq: minimum 60 cr, no grad credit
WRIT 4506 - Capstone Course: Senior Portfolio Preparation
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Required capstone course for all writing studies majors. Portfolios for multiple purposes will be prepared under the guidance of the student's adviser. prereq: Min 90 cr, writing studies major
WRIT 1006 - Journal and Memoir Writing (LE CAT9)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Study various published and unpublished journals and memoirs, write journals and memoirs entries, and read about social context of journals and memoirs.
WRIT 1017 - Freshman Seminar: Honors: The Rhetoric of Popular Culture (LE CAT8)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01381 - Comp/Writ 1017/1007
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Students will reflect on the ways they are products of popular culture, in that the ways their thoughts, feelings and actions are in some sense constructed in response to the popular culture that surrounds them. prereq: Freshman, fewer than 30 cr, honors student
WRIT 2220 - Information Design Skills
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course teaches software skills utilized in the Information Design Program. This course may be taken either prior to or concurrently with the advanced level courses. Students may repeat the course as a refresher.
WRIT 2595 - Special Topics: (Various Titles to be Assigned)
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 6.0]
Prerequisites: WRIT 1120 or equivalent or instructor consent
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Study of rhetoric or composition topics not focused on in regular lower-division composition courses or related offerings. Topic announced before course offered. prereq: WRIT 1120 or equivalent or instructor consent
WRIT 4100 - Introduction to Grant Writing and Project Planning
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01653 - Writ 4100/5100
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Introduction to basic grant writing principles, including common types of grants, project planning, locating and researching funders, and writing effective narratives, preparing budgets, and evaluating program outcomes. Course utilizes lectures, discussion, group work, and guest speakers. prereq: 1120, min 60 cr, no grad credit
WRIT 4197 - Internship in Writing
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 6.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01654 - Writ 4197/5197
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Practical writing experience with a media organization, publisher, business, or government agency. prereq: instructor consent, no grad credit
WRIT 4220 - Document Design and Graphics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01655 - Writ 4220/5220
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Principles and practice of using computer programs to design, create, and print documents that effectively integrate verbal and graphic texts. prereq: 1120, min 60 cr, no grad credit
WRIT 4230 - Web Design and Digital Culture
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01656 - Writ 4230/5230
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Practice in the aesthetic, cultural, and rhetorical uses of Web-design techniques, including discussion and writing about the theoretical and historical contexts of digital culture. prereq: Min 30 cr, no grad credit
WRIT 4260 - Visual Rhetoric and Culture
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01573 - Writ 4260/5260
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
In addition to teaching the mechanics of graphic production, this class draws widely on the disciplines of digital design, statistics, narrative literature, engineering, and technical writing to enable students to conceive, produce, and write about visual texts critically and effectively. prereq: minimum 60 cr, no grad credit
WRIT 4290 - Advanced Web Design and Digital Culture
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01658 - Writ 4290/5290
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Provides students with instruction and practice in creating increased functionality and interactivity in Web-based projects, and with the conceptual tools and cultural contexts needed to manage and direct rhetorical initiatives in digital environments. prereq: 4230, minimum 60 cr, no grad credit
WRIT 4300 - Research Methods for the Study of Writing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01659 - Writ 4300/5300
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Provides students with instruction and practice in critiquing research, generating research questions, designing research projects, and reporting research results in the study of writing. prereq: 1120, min 60 cr, no grad credit
WRIT 4591 - Independent Study
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 6.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01660 - Writ 4591/5591
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Students choose projects with their instructor. prereq: instructor consent, no grad credit
JOUR 2001 - Introduction to Journalism
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Gateway course for journalism. Draws on a craft-based, digital-first approach to introduce students to fundamentals used by all journalists: information gathering, audience engagement, writing stories, basic news practices and ethics, news style, structure and readability, and interviewing techniques. Students also analyze various styles of journalism and talk about core theoretical concepts behind journalism and mass communication.
JOUR 2101 - Journalist's Toolbox
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Exposes students to the always-changing tools that can be used in journalistic storytelling. The course is designed for students interested in using these journalistic tools in myriad disciplines: journalism, public relations, marketing, design and various communication-related disciplines. prereq: 2001, WRIT 1120; credit will not be granted if already received for 3101
JOUR 3001 - Local Journalism
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Skills-based that builds on JOUR 2001. Write publishable news stories based on field work and interviews. Emphasis on fully-developed, multi-source news stories that are fair and complete. Expand interview and research skills, and become familiar with the wide range of information available in public documents. prereq: 2001
JOUR 3401 - Digital Storytelling
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Produce various forms of digital news stories drawing on photography, audio, video and other digital forms of storytelling. Learn the style differences between writing electronic news scripts and writing for print. Learn basic field recording techniques and production skills for audio and video. prereq: 2001
JOUR 4102 - Newsroom Practicum
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01662 - Jour 4102/5102
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Experience in a working newsroom. Apply skills from other journalism classes to plan, produce and manage an online news publication. Basic principles as well as practical skills with advanced computer programs. Includes editing, managing and reporting, as well as the discussion of both journalism and leadership issues. Advance theory and practice in news selection, preparation, and display for newspaper, magazine, broadcast and photojournalism media. Emphasis on the ethical and professional responsibility of the journalist. prereq: 2001; no grad credit
WRIT 4200 - Writing and Cultures
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Through historical, theoretical and applied lenses, examines the dialectic between writing and culture, that is, how writing shapes culture and, conversely, how culture shapes writing. Specific concepts (access, agency, community, identity and power) relevant to understanding how cultures and the social relations that constitute them are constructed and maintained will be examined in detail. prereq: 1120, minimum 60 cr
WRIT 4260 - Visual Rhetoric and Culture
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01573 - Writ 4260/5260
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
In addition to teaching the mechanics of graphic production, this class draws widely on the disciplines of digital design, statistics, narrative literature, engineering, and technical writing to enable students to conceive, produce, and write about visual texts critically and effectively. prereq: minimum 60 cr, no grad credit
WRIT 4300 - Research Methods for the Study of Writing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01659 - Writ 4300/5300
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Provides students with instruction and practice in critiquing research, generating research questions, designing research projects, and reporting research results in the study of writing. prereq: 1120, min 60 cr, no grad credit