Course Feature: ENG 201: Writing for the Professions

ENG 201: Writing for the Professions helps students improve the writing skills necessary for success in academic study and workplace application. Focus is given to how to conduct and present research in academic and workplace settings, and students practice developing persuasive arguments that are well supported and clearly presented. The 15-week structure gives students time to practice using the Excelsior College Library, choosing sources, paraphrasing and summarizing, outlining, writing, and revising.

In its “Job Outlook 2018” survey, the National Association of Colleges and Employers discovered employers look for written communication skills as one of the top three attributes on job candidate resumes. More than 80 percent of respondents said this was important to them. Ben Pearson, faculty program director for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies and writing says, “This class helps students to develop each of these skills and to gain confidence in their abilities. Students who have completed this class should be comfortable identifying and defining workplace problems, researching them using high-quality sources, and effectively communicating solutions.”

Pearson adds that any student looking to attend graduate school would be interested in this class. “The class is also ideal for students who may someday have to conduct research or write reports in other settings, including business, government, and the non-profit sector,” he says. For their research topic in the course, students select a problem related to their professional or academic field and a write a paper proposing a solution.

Students and faculty alike have had positive reviews of the course. Student comments include: “This should be the first writing class that an advisor should tell you to take…the semester length and logical order made paper writing very easy.” and “Overall, I think was a great course. It is imperative that every nurse knows how to do a research paper and how to cite it appropriately. In addition, this course has taught me how to write clearly and concisely. I will definitely use this knowledge in any future writing that I do.”

Instructor Crystal Sands remarks, “The class is structured to help students develop a stronger writing process…Not only are students getting a chance to improve their writing skills, they are getting an important opportunity to delve into the academic research in their fields, which helps them develop a beginning understanding of scholarship in their disciplines.” Instructor David Izzo adds that he could’ve used a course in professional writing as an undergrad to prepare him for resume writing as he entered the job market and business world. The opportunity for students to apply what they’ve learned to their own career also stands out. Instructor Linda Joffe Marciano describes the course as a “choose-your-own-learning-adventure” experience, and says “it gives students the chance to hone their research and academic writing skills by focusing on an issue or problem related to their professional interests and goals. It’s an opportunity for students to indulge their own curiosity and really focus on a single issue or problem for the duration of an entire course, while sharpening their academic writing skills at the same time.”

If you’d like to improve your writing skills and prepare yourself for the workplace setting, consider signing up for ENG 201: Writing for the Professions next semester.