Public and Professional Writing Introduced as New Major Going into Fall 2019


Published November 28, 2018
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The Montclarion
Writing Studies Department Chair Ron Brooks works in his office in Schmitt Hall. Hiral Patel | The Montclarion

Many students at Montclair State University will soon be able to get crafty with different types of writing styles. The university’s writing studies department will open up public and professional writing as a new major for the fall 2019 semester.

The major focuses are primarily on different types of writing, separating it entirely from the English major.

Ron Brooks is an associate professor who came in just last year after working across the country being exposed to many writing studies programs. He has taken on the role of introducing the writing major to Montclair State.

“It is a major for the people who not only love the written work, but love what the written work can do in the real world,” Brooks said. “We do a lot of research in the different types of writing.”

Public and professional writing will allow students to take classes around the area of writing they are interested in, such as analysis, visual rhetoric, political research and many more.

The writing major students will have to fulfill 42 credits to get their degree. This came right after announcing the writing minor in fall 2017.

Brooks believes that a great feature of the writing major is that it allows students more flexibility.

“If a student loves sports writing, they can take courses and focus in that area, but then they can also take other areas in what we call a ‘cognate area’ in the journalism department,” Brooks said.

Hannah Wrede sits on her phone in a classroom in the Feliciano School of Business.
Hiral Patel | The Montclarion Photo credit: Hiral Patel

Undeclared sophomore Hannah Wrede believes the new major will give students skills that they can apply to everyday life.

“It’s a very innovative major and I think it’s going to give a lot students experience in how to write professionally and get them ready for working in the business world,” Wrede said. “This major is valuable because it is giving you practical skills in writing and helping you work on the basis of writing, because many students mess up on grammar.”

Students taking writing elective courses are excited to see these classes evolve into something bigger, including senior psychology major Alexa Gallardo.

“In [my] workplace writing [class], I learn how to communicate in the workplace and what languages are appropriate to use,” Gallardo said. “It is more beneficial to most people regardless of what career they want to go into.”

Gallardo emphasized the English and writing majors are different from one another, with many students confusing the two.

“The writing we do in our English class is more analytical, but writing as a major is broader with a set of options in what students want to go into as their career,” Gallardo said.

Alexa Gallardo poses outside of her class in the Feliciano School of Business.
Hiral Patel | The Montclarion Photo credit: Hiral Patel

Undeclared freshman Alyssa Roberts has always been passionate about the field of writing.

“I talked to the head of the writing department Ron Brooks to ask him about the major and [see] if it is actually something I want to pursue,” Roberts said.

Students who are interested in writing will now be able to take practical classes that will help in real-world situations, no matter what career they plan to pursue.


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