Skip to Content

Professional and Public Writing

Minor Professional and Public Writing

This minor prepares students to write confidently and effectively in professional and public situations. Students can choose to focus on professional writing, where they analyze and produce genres required by employers; public writing, where they study and engage in meaningful social action through written texts; or a combination of courses tailored to the studentʼs own interests. Students will write purposefully, imaginatively, and persuasively in, across, and beyond their college courses. In alignment with several of RWUʼs Core Values, this minor fosters preparation for careers and future study, collaboration of students and faculty in research, commitment to local and global communities, and the promotion of civil discourse.

Upon completion of the minor in Professional and Public Writing, successful students will:

  • Use rhetoric and compositionʼs disciplinary concepts and methods to advance our knowledge of writing.
  • Adapt self-directed writing processes to a variety of academic, professional, and public rhetorical situations and genres.
  • Explain how different technologies of writing impact the production and reception of texts.
  • Articulate and reflect upon writing choices and the implication of those choices when writing within discourse communities for professional and public audiences.

Requirements for the Minor in Professional and Public Writing:

  • WTNG 102  Expository Writing
  • Two (2) WTNG courses at the 200 level or above
  • Two (2) WTNG course at the 300 level or above
  • One (1) WTNG course at the 400 level

Students are encouraged to meet with a WSRC advisor to plan electives that best suit academic and professional goals.

Course Offerings

WTNG 230: Rhetoric of Film: Writing about Film
WTNG 250: Advanced Composition
WTNG 270: Travel Writing
WTNG 299: Special Topics in Writing
WTNG 300: Rhetoric in a Global Context
WTNG 302: Art of Writing: Forms of the Essay
WTNG 303: Environmental Rhetoric
WTNG 305: Writing the City
WTNG 310: Advanced Writing (Sciences)
WTNG 311: Technical Writing
WTNG 321: Multimodal Writing in Public Spheres
WTNG 322: Advancing Public Arguments
WTNG 320: Writing for Business Organizations
WTNG 400: Writing for Social Change
WTNG 402: Advanced Argument
WTNG 430: Special Topics
WTNG 439: Rhetorical Theory
WTNG 450: Composition Theory
WTNG 460: Writing Studies Internship
WTNG 470: Writing Thesis/Portfolio

Dahliani Reynolds, PhD
Assistant Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition
B.A. University of California, Berkeley; M.A. Western Washington University; Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh
Contact Information
401.254.3839
Global Heritage Hall 239
Areas of Expertise: 
Composition, Literacy, Pedagogy, Rhetoric, Multimodal Writing, Feminist Rhetorics

Dahliani Reynolds

Dahliani
Reynolds
PhD
Assistant Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition
B.A. University of California, Berkeley; M.A. Western Washington University; Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh
Contact Information
401.254.3839
Global Heritage Hall 239
Areas of Expertise: 
Composition, Literacy, Pedagogy, Rhetoric, Multimodal Writing, Feminist Rhetorics

Dr. Reynolds is currently teaching Critical Writing for the Professions and CORE 104. In the Fall of 2013, she will be teaching a special topics course titled "Multimodal Writing in Public Spheres." Before joining the faculty at Roger Williams University, she taught writing courses at the University of Pittsburgh, including Seminar in Composition, Writing for the Public, and Written Professional Communication.

She regularly presents her work at national conferences such as the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Rhetoric Society of America, and Feminisms and Rhetorics.

Mel A. Topf, Ph.D., J.D.
Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition
B.A. Long Island University, M.A. New York University, Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University
Contact Information
x3237
GHH 236
Areas of Expertise: 
Professional writing, including technical and legal writing; writing and political theory; state constitutional and legal history.

Mel A. Topf

Mel A.
Topf
Ph.D., J.D.
Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition
B.A. Long Island University, M.A. New York University, Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University
Contact Information
x3237
GHH 236
Areas of Expertise: 
Professional writing, including technical and legal writing; writing and political theory; state constitutional and legal history.

Dr. Topf teaches Critical Writing for the Professions and next year will begin teaching several courses for the new minor in Professional and Public Writing, including Technical Writing, Science Writing as Public Discourse, and Legal Writing as Public Discourse. In the past he has taught courses in the communications major, including Media Law and Ethics, and in the English major, including British and American literature. His publications include articles on technical writing, on the political philosopher Hannah Arendt, on legal communication, and on state constitutional and legal history.  His book, A Doubtful and Perilous Experiment, was published by Oxford University Press in 2011. He was chair of the department from 2007 to 2013.

Course Offerings:

Critical Writing for the Professions

John M. Madritch, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition
B.A. Bucknell University, M.A., Ph.D. Lehigh University
Contact Information
x3802
GHH 237

John M. Madritch

John M.
Madritch
Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition
B.A. Bucknell University, M.A., Ph.D. Lehigh University
Contact Information
x3802
GHH 237
Paul E. Bender, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition
B.A., M.A. Western Illinois University, Ph.D. Syracuse University
Contact Information
x3048
GHH 234
Areas of Expertise: 
Rhetorical Theory; Professional Writing; Computers and Writing

Paul E. Bender

Paul E.
Bender
Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition
B.A., M.A. Western Illinois University, Ph.D. Syracuse University
Contact Information
x3048
GHH 234
Areas of Expertise: 
Rhetorical Theory; Professional Writing; Computers and Writing

Dr. Bender teaches WTNG 200: Critical Writing for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Core 104: Literature, Philosophy, and the Ascent of Ideas. He also teaches a Core Senior Seminar: Stories of the Apocalypse, WTNG 210: Critical Writing for the Professions, WTNG 102: Expository Writing, WTNG 320: Writing for Business Organizations, SUST 101: Introduction to Sustainability, and WTNG: 303 Environmental Rhetoric.

He is serving as the 200 Level Coordinator for the University Writing Program and the Assistant Director of the University Honors Program.

He has presented papers at National Collegiate Honors Council, Popular Culture Association, Writing Across the Curriculum, Conference of College Composition and Communication, Computers and Writing, and Writing Program Administrators.

He is a member of the Sustainability Curriculum Committee, the General Education Committee, the Professional Development Committee, the University Honors Advisory Council (ex officio) and a number of department subcommittees.