Professional Writing Concentration

For English majors at Radford, the Concentration in Professional Writing is excellent preparation for a career in business, government, non-profits, and corporations as a writer, editor, or publishing specialist. It is also excellent preparation for graduate study, law school, work in journalism, and teaching.  In the courses in the concentration, students develop their ability to write clearly, concisely, and correctly; to address the needs of their audience; and to create various types of non-academic documents. Students in other majors preparing for work in any discipline can complete the English Minor in Professional Writing, which requires the same courses as the concentration.

Four courses (12 hours total) are required to complete the Concentration or Minor:

  • ENGL 306 - Professional Writing
  • ENGL 308 - Professional Writing Technologies
  • ENGL 406 - Topics in Professional Writing
  • ENGL 407 - Professional Editing

Students must take ENGL 306 before ENGL 406 or 407. Please note that ENGL 407 is taught Fall only, and ENGL 406 Spring only.

ENGL 306 - Professional Writing.  Prerequisites: ENGL 111 and 112.  Introduces students to writing for their careers.  Assignments may include instructions, a proposal, a résumé, letters, memos, progress and other reports, and information graphics.

ENGL 308 - Professional Writing Technologies.  Prerequisites: ENGL 111 and 112.  Teaches students how to write and design for digital, web, and mobile spaces. They may create websites, newsletters, and social media content, and use technology to manage collaborative projects.

ENGL 406 - Topics in Professional Writing.  Prerequisite: ENGL 306.  Continues students’ development of writing skills for work in their careers and writing for general audiences.  Assignments may include an article on a scientific or technical topic for a daily newspaper, instructions for users of software or equipment on campus, and other documents that help students learn more about non-academic writing and develop materials for their portfolio.

ENGL 407 - Professional Editing.  Prerequisites: ENGL 306. Prepares students to edit documents to improve clarity, organization, consistency, format, conciseness, appropriateness for the audience, and readability, and to ensure correctness.  Students edit instructions, reports, marketing materials, and other types of documents.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports “faster than average” growth in the field.

For students in the concentration who have completed ENGL 306, internships are often available.

For more information about the program, contact Dr. Laura Vernon at or Dr. Rick Van Noy at