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University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

English Department

Letter of Specialization in Nonfiction Writing

The letter of specialization in nonfiction writing highlights the variety of writing courses and expertise offered at the undergraduate level. It allows majors to focus on nonfiction writing, the study and teaching of writing (rhetoric and composition), and/or publishing. In addition, it helps prepare majors for careers or graduate programs in these areas.Students intending to complete the program must complete English 379 Introduction to Professional Writing, one "Perspectives on Writing" course, one "Practice of Writing" course and two "Writing Electives." The letter of specialization is conferred on students who successfully complete these courses with a minimum grade of "C".

 


 

 


1) English 379 Introduction to Professional Writing

This course offers an overview of the field of professional writing in both theoretical and practical contexts. It also provides practice in the composition of traditional writing forms, especially letters and memorandums, interim reports, feasibility studies and formal proposals. It serves as the gateway course to the specialization in Professional Writing and Technical Communication and the specialization in Nonfiction Writing.


 


 


2) One "Perspectives on Writing" Course

These courses involve students in the study of writing in all its contexts--including the cultural, the theoretical and the historical.

English 300 Race, Literacy, and the American Dream
English 391D Writing and Emerging Technologies
English 391M Contemporary American Autobiography
English 329H Tutoring Writing: Theory and Practice
English 491 Gender and Writing
English 491BB Origins of Reading
English 491F Literacy Studies in the U.S.
English 491R Writing & Teaching Writing
English 491X History of the Book

Other courses, including many offered by the Four Colleges, may be accepted as fulfilling this requirement with pre-approval from the coordinator of the specialization, David Toomey, 481 Bartlett Hall, (413) 545-5519, dtoomey@english.umass.edu.

 

 


3) One "Practice of Writing" Course

These courses involve students directly in the practice of writing.

English 297 Experimental Writing Workshops - mandatory pass/fail courses offered each spring semester through the Writing Program (Only one of these courses may count towards the Nonfiction Specialization.)
English 298H Honors Practicum: Teaching in the Writing Center
English 290 Publishing and Small Press
English 350 Expository Writing
English 391K Professional Editing
English 352 Article Writing
English 391J Creative Nonfiction
English 392H Essentials of Professional Editing
English 419 Games Thinkers Play
English 450 Advanced Expository Writing
English 493E Nonfiction Writing and Commercial Publishing
English 493G Writing in Cyberspace
English 497B Writing as Democratic Action: The Art of the Essay

Other courses, including many offered by the Four Colleges, may be accepted as fulfilling this requirement with pre-approval from the coordinator of the specialization, David Toomey, 481 Bartlett Hall, (413) 545-5519, dtoomey@english.umass.edu.

 
 

4) Two "Writing Electives" which may be chosen from requirements 2 and 3 (above), or which may be an internship in writing or publishing