Professional Writing and Rhetoric Concentration

The MA in English with a concentration in Professional and Technical Writing (PTW) 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.

Why choose this concentration?

This concentration is valuable for anyone interested in workplace and technical writing whether they are starting a career or are already experienced in the field and are looking for professional development.

What this program offers:

The PTW concentration offers students hands-on, practical, and theoretical expertise in a wide range of issues and skills needed to develop a career in professional writing. Our graduates can be found throughout the DC area working independently, for the federal government, or for major corporations.

Our students and faculty:

Reflect the diversity in backgrounds that make up George Mason University as a whole. We have students coming directly from college as well as many experienced writers looking for professional development. We have a diverse and  internationally-recognized scholarly faculty who have published research in specializations in many areas of professional writing and rhetoric.

A successful applicant:

The most important part of the application for PTW is the sample of professional work.  This may include an optional portfolio of professional writing samples. The samples in the portfolio should be chosen to demonstrate your ability to write to a specific audience for a specific purpose. However, the instances you select should reflect your expertise and experience as a non-literary writer, as well as give us a sense of the genres of professional writing you have worked with prior to entering our program. Past applicants have submitted a range of materials, such as brochures, websites, newsletters, reports, and newspaper articles. Samples that demonstrate your research and argumentation skills are especially encouraged. Please note, however, that narratives and creative-nonfiction should not be included in the portfolio, since such writing is not a principal focus for the PWR concentration.

Learn more about our program from faculty, staff, and students! Click here to watch this Virtual Information Session for in-depth information on the program and what it can do for you and your career.

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