Other Concentrations

Professional Writing and Rhetoric Concentration

The MA in English concentration in professional writing and rhetoric is oriented to workplace uses of language. In addition to the training in pragmatic skills offered, the concentration is characterized by a self-reflexive attention to workplaces as institutions. Courses on research and theory in nonfiction writing complement instruction in editing, technical writing, digital publication, and other current practices to prepare students for roles as writers and editors in the private and public sectors. Instruction in research methodologies melds archival research with the most current technological advances to equip students with valuable research tools and strategies, while courses in literature, media studies, folklore, and linguistics provide insight into language and writing practices across a variety of contexts.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 30

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Students pursuing this degree must successfully complete 30 credits in one concentration as specified below. 

Students in the concentrations of cultural studies, literature, and teaching of writing and literature must demonstrate intermediate proficiency in a foreign language in one of the following ways: submitting an undergraduate (or continuing education) transcript that includes courses corresponding to intermediate proficiency; completing a Mason foreign language course numbered 202 or higher; passing a proficiency exam administered by the English department.

Concentration in Professional Writing and Rhetoric (PWR)

Required Courses  
ENGH 501 Introduction to Professional Writing and Rhetoric 1 3
ENGH 502 Research Methods in Rhetoric and Professional Writing 3
ENGH 503 Theory and Practice of Editing 3
ENGH 505 Document Design 3
Professional Writing  
Select 9 credits from the following: 9
Research for Narrative Writing  
Web Authoring and Design  
Digital Rhetoric  
Proposal Writing and Development  
Online Writing  
Studies in Rhetoric  
Cultures of Professional Writing  
Technical Communication  
Proseminar in Composition Instruction  
Advanced Proposal Writing  
Special Topics in Writing and Rhetoric  
Northern Virginia Writing Project Teacher/Research Seminar  
Composition Theory  
Select 3 credits from the following: 3
Digital Rhetoric  
Introduction to Literary Theory  
Studies in Rhetoric  
Feminist Theory and Criticism  
Introduction to Cultural Studies  
Electives in English  
Select 0-3 credits of electives in English 0-3
Project or Thesis  
Select 3-6 credits of a project or thesis 3-6
Project: 2
Projects in Professional Writing and Rhetoric (3 credits)  
Thesis (6 credits)  
Total Credits 30

ENGH 501 Introduction to Professional Writing and Rhetoric should be taken in the first semester of study, if possible.


Students who choose a project take one additional elective of 3 credits.