Collateral Major in Writing and Creative Writing

The collateral writing major focuses on the development of students' composing skills in a variety of genres. Within this major there are two tracks.

  • The General Track is designed to help students become skilled, reflective writers capable of responding effectively to many different rhetorical situations.
  • The Creative Writing track is designed to help students develop knowledge and skills appropriate to writing engaging and sophisticated poetry and fiction.

Administrative Coordinators

General Track: Dr. Bob Marrs

Poetry and Fiction Track: Charles Aukema

Collateral Major Requirements
1. Fulfill requirements for any of the majors listed on p. 12 of the catalog.

2. Completion of five course credits from the courses listed below:

RHE-215: Introduction to Journalism
RHE-225: Journalism Workshop
RHE-255: The Essay
RHE-265: Professional Writing
RHE- 275: Cultural Studies
RHE-285: Technical Writing
RHE-325: Advanced Journalism Workshop
RHE-335: Writers Colony
RHE-345: Nature Writing
RHE- 355: Environmental Literature

3. Completion of an additional two course credits from either the previous list of Rhetoric courses under #2 or any of the following courses:

CRW-1XX: Topics in Creative Writing
CRW-200: Beginning Playwriting
CRW-2XX: Poetry Workshop
CRW-2XX: Fiction Workshop
CRW-3XX: Advanced Poetry Workshop
CRW-3XX: Advanced Fiction Workshop
CRW-300: Advanced Playwriting
RHE-210: Journalism Practicum (5 terms)
RHE-312: Topics in Composition (4 terms)
RHE-315: Persuasion and Propoganda
RHE-375: Advanced Writers Studio (2 terms)
RHE-415: Advanced Writing Workshop (if not used for completion of requirement #5)
RHE-805X: Independent Studies in Rhetoric (when project content is appropriate)
RHE-845: Directed Studies in Writing (if not used for completion of requirement #5)
RHE-895: Publications Practicum or Internship in Journalism

4. RHE-535: Rhetorical Theory and Practice

5. One of the following:

RHE-415: Advanced Writing Workshop
OR
RHE-845: Directed Studies in Writing
OR
Honors Thesis

Requirements for Collateral Major in Creative Writing
Note: Students who major in both English and Creative Writing must take at least 15 courses in the two areas; no more than four courses may be double-counted for English and Creative Writing.

1. Fulfill requirements for any of the majors listed on p. 12 of the catalog.

2. Two courses in literature (ENG-__)

3. CRW-1XX: Topics in Creative Writing

4. Two of the following:

CRW-2XX: Poetry Workshop
CRW-2XX: Fiction Workshop
CRW-200: Beginning Playwriting

5. One of the following:

CRW-3XX: Advanced Poetry Workshop
CRW-3XX: Advanced Fiction Workshop
CRW-300: Advanced Playwriting

6. One credit from the following:

RHE-215: Introduction to Journalism
RHE-225: Journalism Workshop
RHE-255: The Essay
RHE-265: Professional Writing
RHE-285: Technical Writing
RHE-325: Advanced Journalism Workshop
RHE-335: Writers Colony
RHE-345: Nature Writing
RHE-845: Directed Studies in Writing

7. One elective ocurse chosen from the Creative Writing (CRW), or English (ENG), or from the list of Rhetoric (RHE) courses in #6 above.

8. CRW-6XX: Seminar in Creative Writing, including completion of Creative Writing Portfolio or Thesis.

Course Descriptions:

RHE-210: Journalism Practicum (5 terms)

For Cosmos staff members. Introduction to college newspaper production, with discussions on professionalism, news gathering, ethics, advertising, layout, and computer skills. May be repeated each term a student serves on the Cosmos staff. Advanced students assist with instructing beginners. To receive credit, students complete a term of service to the Cosmos and participate in the workshops at the level agreed upon among the instructor, the editor-in-chief, and the staff member. Offered each term for 0.2 course credit. S/U only. A maximum of one credit may be applied to a Writing Minor and no more than one credit may count toward graduation. Credit for Journalism Practicum is regarded as internship credit and is governed by IV.F, p. 11 in the Catalog.

RHE-215: Introduction to Journalism

The fundamental principles and practice of reporting the news; focus on learning basic interviewing and news writing skills and understanding what makes a story newsworthy. Course examines the role and purpose of the press in a democratic society by discussing such topics as the First Amendment, the rhetoric of objectivity, the future of journalism, and libel laws.

RHE-225: Journalism Workshop

Designed for writers and debators who wish to refine and expand their skills. Class topics and activities will vary according to the individual student's previous experience, but will frequently involve investigative reporting, complex story coverage, and professional ethics.

RHE-255: The Essay

Practice in writing a variety of essay forms in nonfiction prose; students read and discuss classic essayists chosen to represent a range of prose styles and subjects.

RHE-265: Professional Writing

Planning, drafting, revising, and presenting documents for business and professional audiences; focus on effective writing and document design. Students compose a variety of tests-- resumes, memos, letters, manuals, public relations materials, and/or reports-- working both independently and collaboratively; students also give at least one oral presentation, based on a major writing assignment.

RHE-275: Cultural Studies

An exploration of American culture as a series of "texts" to be read, analyzed, and interpreted from a variety of rhetorical perspectives. Subjects for analysis may include media, art, architecture, lifestyles, entertainment, music, film, theatre, and a wide range of literary genres.

RHE-285: Technical Writing

Introduction to the effective communication of scientific and technical information for both specialist and non-expert audiences.  Instruction in audience analysis, writing processes, research strategies, integration of graphics and visual information, and the designing, composing, revising, editing, and assessment of technical documents. 

RHE-312: Topics in Composition (4 terms)

Designed for Writing Center personnel.  Focuses on writing pedagogy, tutoring techniques, composition research, and the conventions and strategies for writing expository prose.  Instruction takes place in weekly group meetings and individual conferences. (0.3 course credit) May be taken for credit a maximum of four times. 

RHE-315: Persuasion and Propoganda

Analysis of fundamental strategies in oral persuasion; practice of inquiry and communication techniques that enhance speaker effectiveness in a variety of social contexts. 

RHE-325: Advanced Journalism Workshop

Continues work with reporting and editing skills introduced in Journalism Workshop.  Emphasis on individual projects such as researching a contemporary issue and/or writing a series of well-developed articles on a single topic.  Prerequisite: Journalism Workshop (RHE-225).

RHE-335: Writers Colony

An intensive writing workshop taught off campus; students engage in individual and collaborative writing projects.  (Offered May or Summer Terms only.)

RHE-345: Nature Writing

A reading and writing course that combines the study of scientific literature on the natural world, an investigation of classic nature writing (e.g., Thoreau, Leopold, Eiseley, Olson, Lopez), and the composing of written texts based on personal experience in the outdoors. (Offered May Term, Summer Term, or at the Wilderness Field Station.)

RHE-355: Environmental Literature

Explores various cultural perceptions of the environment, particularly focusing on classic American environmental writers such as H. D. Thoreau, John Muir, Rachel Carson, Wendell Berry. Examines how various authors and organizations have attempted to define and influence the political, economic, social, and ethical debates on key environmental issues. Assignments include personal essay writing and a major research project on a contemporary environmental controversy.

RHE-375: Advanced Writers Studio (2 Terms)

A small group, multi-genre workshop for experiences writers. (0.5 course credit) May be taken for credit a maximum of two times.  Note: No more than 1.0 credit may be earned by enrolling in RHE-175 and RHE-375.

RHE-415: Advanced Writing Workshop

A multi-genre workshop for the serious writer, exploring the demands and possibilities in writing fiction, poetry, and various non-fiction forms. Focus on enlarging the writer's repertoire of strategies and skills; manuscript revised in preparation for publication. Each student produces and end-of-term portfolio. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

RHE-535: Rhetorical Theory and Practice

Explores the forms and functions of written and spoken language, including the study of classical rhetoric (Plato, Aristotle, Quintilian) and recent developments in discourse theory and the psychology of writing. Students examine different research strategies in the field of rhetoric and conduct a research project. Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor.

RHE-805X: Independent Studies in Rhetoric

Independent research projects in rhetorical studies, composition, and speech communication. May be taken for 0.5 or 1.0 course credit. May be repeated for credit for a maximum of 2.0 credits. Maximum of one credit applicable to writing or speech major or minor, dependent on the subject of the research. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

RHE-845: Directed Studies in Writing

Completion of major writing projects under the direction of a faculty member. Registration by consent of instructor and after submission of a written project proposal to the Rhetoric Department. May be repeated for credit with the permission of the Department. Prerequisite: Completion of three composition courses in the Rhetoric or English Departments.

RHE-895: Publications Practicum or Internship in Journalism

A student may receive practicum credit while holding the position and performing the duties of the main editor of one of the following campus publications; The Cosmos, The Acorn, The Coe Review, Colere, Mwendo, or The Pearl. Students interested in this option should consult the Student Handbook for the statement on editorial independence. The student must: 1) successfully apply to the appropriate governing board for the chief editorial position, and 2) arrange with a supervising faculty member (or a staff member approved by the Rhetoric Department) an agreement for completing the practicum. The agreement will normally specify both skill development goals while in the position and specific projects to be undertaken for the development of those skills. The editor may expect to keep a journal and to meed approximately one hour per week with the supervisor as part of this practicum. Credit for Publications Practicum is regarded as an internship credit (Rule IV.F., p. 11) Furthermore, credit is to be determined in each case by the Rhetoric Department in consultation with the student and the supervisor. Credit will be at least 0.5 course credit and will not exceed 1.0 course credit per term. No more than 2.0 course credits may be obtained by holding a single editorial position, and no more than 4.0 total credits may be applied to graduation requirements. One course credit may be applied to the Writing Major or Minor. No credit applies to a major or a minor in English. Graded S/U only.

CRW-1XX: Topics in Creative Writing

A beginning course that emphasizes basic skills in writing one or more forms of poetry, fiction, drama, or creative non-fiction. Students study classic examples and write original works in these forms. Topics vary depending on the instructor. Topics may include sonnets and other closed forms, fables and myths, literary fiction, fantasy, young adult fiction, Internet literature, one-act plays, or other forms. This course may be repeated, with the permission of the instructor, when the topic varies significantly.

CRW-200: Beginning Playwriting (The One-Act Play)

Explores the basics of playwriting through the study of dramatic structure, creative exercises, and reading and analysis of existing play scripts, with emphasis on the one-act play. Students complete a one-act play script of their own creation. Open to all students.

CRW-2XX: Poetry Workshop

The creative writing workshops involve extensive writing of poetry or prose fiction, with students presenting their work for group response or analysis. Special attention to differences between closed forms of traditional rhymed, metrical verse, and open forms such as non-stanzaic and free verse. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

CRW-2XX: Fiction Workshop

The creative writing workshops involve extensive writing of poetry or prose fiction, with students presenting their work for group response or analysis. Emphasis on techniques of setting, plot, characterization, dialogue, timing and systematic architecture, and on a varitey of narrative methods. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

CRW-300: Advanced Playwriting (The Full-Length Play)

Focuses on the analysis and creation of play scripts of two acts or more. Emphasis is placed on the writing and marketing of the student's own creative work, culminating in the completion and public reading of a full-length script. Prerequisite: Beginning Playwriting (THE-200) This is a writing emphasis course.

CRW-3XX: Advanced Poetry Workshop

The creative writing workshops involve extensive writing of poetry or prose fiction, with students presenting their work for group response or analysis. Special attention to differences between closed forms of traditional rhymed, metrical verse, and open forms such as non-stanzaic and free verse. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

CRW-3XX: Advanced Fiction Workshop

The creative writing workshops involve extensive writing of poetry or prose fiction, with students presenting their work for group response or analysis. Emphasis on techniques of setting, plot, characterization, dialogue, timing and systematic architecture, and on a varitey of narrative methods. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

CRW-6XX: Seminar in Creative Writing

The capstone of the Creative Writing Major. Intensive workshop experience with emphasis on producing a writing portfolio, a collection of finished pieces of creative writing or an extended single manuscript such as a novel or full-length play. Seminar may be repeated for credit once with consent of the English chair. Prerequisite: Advanced Poetry Workshop (CRW-285) or Advanced Fiction Workshop (CRW-295); Advanced Playwriting (CRW-300); and consent of the instructor.

This information can be found in the 2005-2007 Course Catalog and the June 2004 Catalog Supplement. .




















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E-mail Dr. Bob Marrs with any questions, comments or suggestions.