Faculty Expertise in Professional Writing

English classes and programs in professional writing will help you make the transition from academic writing to writing for the work world. By analyzing and producing a wide range of documents and other deliverables, you will develop communication skills valued by contemporary employers. And if you’ve thought about writing for a living after graduation, these classes will provide you with opportunities to hone your craft and build your portfolio while learning about contemporary workplaces. Ask your advisor which professional writing courses will best match your career plans.

English classes in business and professional writing (English 3304) will teach you how to analyze, produce and critique common written artifacts, such as letters, memoranda, presentations, proposals and reports. Through individual and collaborative projects, you will develop purpose-driven messages that meet the needs and reflect the values of work-world audiences. You’ll also develop the rhetorical skills necessary for attending to fluctuating material, stylistic and socioeconomic constraints — all while working with various media, genres and situations.

English classes in technical writing (English 3305) are designed to improve the communication skills and career prospects of the three groups below. Typical projects include revising fact sheets according to plain-language principles, developing clear instructions, and conducting and reporting on user experiences.

  • Science and engineering majors preparing for technology-focused careers
  • Humanities majors interested in expanding their career prospects in technical communication
  • Students of any major who want to enhance their marketability by learning how to communicate complex information to both specialized and non-specialized audiences

In English 3405: Special Topics in Professional Communication, professors help students explore such topics as technical editing, business websites, professional social media and science writing. Topics change term-to-term and depending on the professor, so be sure to read the full course descriptions before registering for these courses.  

English 4150: Cultures of Professional Writing, is an introduction to the habits of mind needed for successful reading and writing in professional settings. This course focuses on the ways that organizational cultures shape and are shaped by writing, and it explores the role of digital media communication in the workplace amidst ongoing technological and cultural shifts.

If you want to pursue a career in professional writing or if you just want to develop your professional credentials, consider the Minor in Professional Writing. This minor provides additional training in workplace communication and will place you in a professional-writing capstone internship.


  • Katie Braun (Marion campus): Digital media studies, composition, literacy studies, professional writing, writing across the curriculum, writing centers, film
  • Jonathan Buehl: Rhetoric, professional writing, rhetoric of science, research methods
  • John Jones: Digital media studies
  • Dan Keller (Newark campus): Literacy studies
  • Susan Lang: Writing program administration, technical communication, composition studies, data and text mining
  • Ben McCorkle (Marion campus): Digital media studies
  • Carolyn Skinner (Mansfield campus): History and theory of rhetoric, women’s rhetoric, rhetoric of medicine
  • Christa Teston: Rhetoric, professional writing, rhetorics of science and medicine, research methods, digital media studies
  • Elizabeth Weiser (Newark campus): History and theory of rhetoric, Kenneth Burke, museum studies
  • Kelly Whitney (Mansfield campus): Rhetorics of health and medicine, writing across the curriculum, professional and technical writing