by Kelly Snyder
Within the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at AUM, there are four English and Philosophy minors: Creative Writing, English Language and Literature, Writing and Editing, and Philosophy. This article will focus on the Writing and Editing minor and will contain basic information regarding courses in the program of study, how to begin pursuing this minor, how this minor may help students in their future careers and everyday lives, and more. To gain more insight into the ins and outs of the Writing and Editing minor, I interviewed our Department Chair, Dr. John Havard, and the director of the English Composition program, Dr. Lilian Mina, both of whom have extensive knowledge of the program and experience in the respective fields.
A wide variety of courses are offered in the Writing and Editing minor. Some of those courses are listed below:
- ENGL 3030: Technical Writing
- ENGL 3050: Strategies for Successful Writing
- ENGL 3060: Business and Professional Writing
- ENGL 4120: Writing in Material and Digital Spaces
- ENGL 4924: Internship in Writing and Editing
- ENGL 4973: Editing and Editors
Students have the potential to learn a lot while pursuing this minor—in skills and in knowledge. Dr. Havard said some of the things students will learn throughout this minor are “how different genres of writing work in the workforce” and “how to rhetorically analyze and think carefully when dealing with different audiences.” Dr. Mina talks about both the knowledge and skills that students will gain when taking courses in this minor. Knowledge gained can include: Earning the minor is simpler than one might think. After declaring the minor with the registrar, students are required to take at least 12 credit hours (four classes) from the options presented above. Students have the opportunity to learn about different genres of writing and find the genres they like and are proficient at while seeking the areas where they can improve.
- “Adjusting writing style depending on audience’s expectations (i.e. writing for public audiences instead of academic audiences),” and
- “Learning about different digital technologies that students will be using much more after they graduate and enter their respective workplaces”
According to Dr. Mina, students can learn how to “write in all kinds of different genres that they will be expected to produce in a professional context in the workplace after they graduate.” Dr. Havard and Dr. Mina agree that writing is valuable in just about every career field in some way.
An advantage of the Writing and Editing minor is that it is so diverse because it is often paired with a variety of majors. According to both Dr. Havard and Dr. Mina, the most common majors paired with this minor are English, English Education, Business, Legal Studies, Criminal Justice, Political Science, Interdisciplinary Studies, Communications, and some STEM majors. This diversity of majors leads to a variety of possible careers with this minor. According to Dr. Mina, some of these careers include editing, publishing, technical writing (or other kinds of writing), content management, social media management, teaching and more. Dr. Havard adds that courses in this minor offer “practicality” and “preparation for things such as communications, marketing, public relations.”
A minor like Writing and Editing provides invaluable experience for students’ future careers, but it also helps students in their everyday lives. Dr. Mina explains that this minor helps students “practice audience awareness, gain better language sensitivity, communicate more effectively (through emails and other forms of communication), and better present themselves online” whether that be for personal use or advancing a company brand. She said her background in writing and editing has helped her in her career and life, “not just being published, but also with doing more diverse work.” She said it helped her teach “more diverse courses and learn more about different venues of scholarship.”
Talking with these professors, it is clear that the Writing and Editing minor is one English majors – or students in any major – should consider taking. It offers skills applicable to many career paths and offers the opportunity to become more well-rounded and prepared for the future.