Writing, Rhetoric, and Publication

The Writing, Rhetoric, and Publication minor and concentration combine traditional approaches to writing and editing with new approaches made available by visual and digital media. The program provides students with knowledge and experiences that are integral to professional and civic life in the 21st Century: the ability to create different kinds of texts for a variety of audiences in a variety of media.

The Writing, Rhetoric, and Publication minor and concentration combine traditional approaches to writing and editing with new approaches made available by visual and digital media. The program provides students with knowledge and experiences that are integral to professional and civic life in the 21st Century: the ability to create different kinds of texts for a variety of audiences in a variety of media. 

Courses included in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Publication minor and concentration address three areas of study:

  • content-making and content-delivery;
  • technical writing and editing;
  • and writing, literacy, and rhetorical studies

Each area of study includes relevant writing theory and opportunities to produce writing for multiple audiences and in multiple media.

Through these areas of study, WRP students will gain experience doing:

  • document design
  • technical editing and publishing
  • social media marketing
  • sound, image, and video editing
  • usability testing
  • search engine optimization
  • content strategy
  • copywriting for print and web
  • technical writing and editing

Prospective students can visit the WRP Showcase, a collection of student work, to get a sense of the kinds of things you will produce in your WRP courses.

Our Philosophy of Program Design

screenshot of wrp showcase banner

When students come to college, they're in pursuit of realizing their dreams--of finding their dream job. For most, that dream job will be their 3rd, 4th, or 5th job. Much harder to imagine is how to successfully find placement in that first job. Especially as that first job keeps demanding more qualifying knowledge, practice, and experience. We've made helping students secure that first job a priority.

A Changing Job Market

Traditional writing jobs, particularly in the magazine and newspaper businesses, have been in a steep decline for about 20 years.

  • There are fewer writing and editing jobs being advertised at magazines and newspapers
  • There are fewer people holding writing and editing jobs at magazines and newspapers
  • Writing and editing jobs at magazines and newspapers are paying less

Or, to quote a 2019 Vox report:

Since 2004 — the year Facebook launched and began eating heavily into the advertising revenues of news publications — the share of journalism hires out of all hires has declined 14 percent, according to new annual data from LinkedIn. (This data does not include the latest round of layoffs, which wouldn’t yet have registered fully on LinkedIn.) Public relations employees, who frequently have similar degrees, credentials, and skill sets as journalists, have had it even worse, with steep declines in public relations and communications hires following the [2008] recession.

But those jobs in journalism and PR haven’t gone away so much as they’ve moved into new industries, transforming along the way: “people who once worked in journalism or PR have commonly transitioned into job titles like ‘content writer’ and ‘social media manager’.”

We are confronting those economic and social realities head-on. Our courses are designed to prepare students to work and live in a world where writing has replaced speech; where writing is edited and promoted by algorithms and influencers instead of newspapers and magazines; and where everyone must be their own writing, editor, and publisher. 

In other words, we are setting out to give students a competitive social and economic advantage in this particular digital moment.

The Writing, Rhetoric, and Publication (WRP) Minor

The minor was designed to provide students with different kinds of opportunities to deepen their practice in writing for their own purposes and audiences. 

In other words, it was meant to help students gain a competitive edge, particularly if they plan to work in one of the content professions.

  • Content creation
  • Content strategy
  • UX/UI consulting
  • Web/Social content creation
  • Web/Social content strategy
  • Technical/Production editing

WRP minors deepen what they know and can do as writers through coursework in digital writing, editing, and design; technical writing and editing; writing, rhetoric, and literacy.

The Writing, Rhetoric, and Publication (WRP) Concentration

The BA in English with a WRP concentration was designed for those interested in combining their experiences in reading, interpretation, and creative writing with a sustained engagement with writing in different media (sound, visuals, and alphabetic text) for a variety of audiences and purposes.

WRP concentrators will not only have the opportunity to learn how to effectively write, edit, design, and deliver texts for print and screen. They will also study develop a useful and rich understanding of writing, rhetoric, and literacy to help them navigate 21st century life.

Coursework in the WRP concentration may be a fit for those who want to work in the content professions; work in the publishing industry; or work as a professional/technical editor.

Student Voices and Experiences

--Sydney Moreano, English Major, Honors Student, Harris Scholar and WRP Concentrator

The WRP program has added another layer to my knowledge base in the field of digital media and what I have learned in my communications classes. The courses I have taken are hands on and have allowed me to practice skills such as working with SEO, creating social media content, writing content for various audiences, creating podcasts and many others that I have been able to use in other classes and in internships. I love that I am able to take courses that provide me with practical skills I know I will use often in the future.

--Grace Samuelson, Communications Major and WRP Minor


I chose this concentration in order to market some of my literary abilities to suit multiple professions. And while it has done this, the WRP concentration has also expanded my views on what it means to be literate, what it means to truly write within genres and what it means to read with intentionality. And I am a better writer, reader and consumer for it.

--Ryan Rothkopf, English Major and WRP Concentrator



Faculty Perspectives

A defining feature of professional, public, and private life in the 21st century is the ability to write messages in a range of media for different purposes and audiences. In other words, today's writers must be flexible, able to adapt to the demands of diferent writing contexts and writing media. The WRP program provides students with knowledge and practice to help them become more effective and flexible writers.

--Prof. Jacob Craig



The WRP program offers students opportunities to learn more about who they are as writers and how writing happens online, in community settings, in workplaces, and elsewhere. Students gain experience with different writing genres and technologies that prepare them for careers in editing, publishing, marketing, and other writing-centered professions.

--Prof. Chris Warnick


As Ashley Harvey, a WRP concentrator, has explained about the value of writing, "To be a better writer, you need to write every day. Write to express; write to inform; write to remember.’ WRP, indeed, helps students become better writers by studying theories about writing and by writing different genres for various venues."

--Prof. Bonnie Devet

To find out if the Writing, Rhetoric, and Publication minor is a good complement for your existing majors and minors or to see how the WRP concentration can add to your experiences studying literature or creative writing, contact the Director, Prof. Chris Warnick at warnickc@cofc.edu.


The College Today did a write up about our newest minor and concentration WRP (Writing, Rhetoric, and Publication).