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ERIC Number: ED360637
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr-2
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Composing a Professional Writing Program at the University of Puget Sound.
Sloane, Sarah; Turnbull, Mary
English is the second-largest major at the University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, Washington). Students may choose one of three emphases within their major: literature, creative writing, or professional writing. Puget Sound's professional writing program has grown gradually and slowly over the last 11-year period to include an array of 10 professional writing courses. In 1972, the department instituted freshman writing seminars designed to help students hone their writing skills. In response to student requests, two additional courses (Advanced Composition, and Writing and Rhetoric) were added to the curriculum. In 1976, Rosemary Van Arsdel, who studies Victorian periodicals, began to develop a series of courses devoted to studying the discipline of writing. In 1993, 30 of 60-some English majors have declared a professional writing emphasis. Many of these students have participated in a wide variety of internships which involved writing for publication. Because of considerable tension between the aims of a professional writing curriculum and the goals of a traditional liberal arts curriculum, faculty have worked hard to develop a coherent program that will incorporate a social constructionist understanding of writing within the curricular design. Three strategies can enable teachers of literature to see how workplace writing is an advantage in an English curriculum: (1) applying social constructionist theory to writing instruction illuminates relationships among audience analysis, textual analysis, and critical thinking; (2) renaming the program "Writing, Rhetoric, and Culture Track" allows literary critics and New Historicists to see the cultural context as a valid point of inquiry; and (3) the major now ends with coursework in rhetorical theory, thus assuaging the worries of colleagues who belittle simple "practitioners." (Three student journal entries are included.) (SAM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A