Monday, January 19, 2009

Pro-Proser, not to be confused with Pro-Poser.

No lie: A few nights ago, a friend of IM’d me, “you work in the writing center, right?” I don’t. But I do know that a course called WRD 395, Writing Center Theory and Pedagogy is required to work in the Writing Center, located in McGaw. This course is one of 9 electives offered by the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse to fulfill its minor in Professional Writing.

You might write prose like Barack wins elections, but to make the corporate cut, your scripts better ooze brevity, clarity, and specificity. That’s right. Writing exams are a perpetual problem in professional life, but they don’t have to be. A Minor in Professional Writing isn’t just an academic accessory. The minor’s information page states that the College Board reported in 2004 that more than 80 percent of companies in the insurance, finance, service, and real estate sectors assess writing during hiring. If there’s anything a DePaul grad should be able to do, it’s pass a writing exam. But take this into account: your path onward (meaning: promotions, meaning: your paycheck) dangles on a little ledge most people can’t cling onto, because they can’t be direct, accurate, and engaging.
And if you think the word “professional” strips the art from the craft, just scan these options:

  • “Intro to Reasoned Discourse” – (“hello, did you just make a reasonable argument? Thank you, counselor. “)
  • “Writing and Social Engagement” - (“why yes, maybe I will donate, now that I understand the importance. Thanks for not begging.”)
  • and “Technical Writing” - ( oh my gawd. Directions I can follow!!! )

More can be read by opening this link:

An amble through the Department’s actual office in McGaw 206 is a pathway to social engagement itself. Pay attention to the clever thoughts on the professors’ doors, or the cartoon caricatures of the faculty outside the office. Some are in rock bands, competitively roller skate, write screenplays, and value both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It's the kind of place where adult and mature just means more precise language. (But it's cool)

The agenda here isn’t to persuade you to declare a Professional Writing Minor tomorrow. It’s to expand the academic scope so that your wheel has some decorative spokes. It’s your parade, might as well lead it, too.

In the coming weeks I'll introduce some minor baton twirlers who'll carry a little extra baggage on the professional plane, but will be upgraded to business class.

No comments:

Post a Comment