Do you think that writing will be central to your career? Do you simply want to be prepared more fully for writing in the workplace? Courses in Professional Writing and Editing will help you make the most of your skills. Five courses are now available online as part of WVU’s Distance Education program, or as part of the regular course offerings through WVU’s Department of English. While you can take just one or two of the courses, successful completion of all five courses will earn a Professional Writing minor that you can combine with any other major. For more information on the distinctions between the Professional Writing and Editing Certificate, Minor, and Concentration, including eligibility requirements, please visit the Department of English's undergraduate catalog.



The cluster of courses in professional Writing and Editing are designed to introduce you to the theory and practice of writing business and technical documents to prepare you for writing in the professional world. Online writing courses are particularly challenging and in order to succeed in them, students must have strong communication skills, a high degree of motivation, and an ability to work independently. The Department of English offers a website with tips on succeeding in an online program. The Professional Writing and Editing courses will help you:


  • Understand the varied roles of writing in professional contexts
  • Apply the conventions of different types of professional writing (memos, reports, etc.)
  • Understand what makes writing usable or accessible for different types of readers
  • Explain and describe specialized information for both technical and non-expert readers
  • Develop visual design skills, including the use of graphics and page design



Prerequisites: English 101 and 102 are prerequisites for these courses. Online versions of English 101 and 102 will be offered each semester.


To be eligible to earn a minor, you must complete the following courses with a B average. You are, of course, welcome to take courses without formally pursuing a Professional Writing and Editing minor.


Please Note: You can take the Professional Writing and Editing courses in any order.


ENGL 101. Composition and Rhetoric

3 credit hours

A course in writing non-fiction prose, principally the expository essay.

ENGL 102. Composition and Rhetoric

3 credit hours

Writing college-level research papers based on argumentative models. Precision in footnotes, bibliographies, usage, punctuation, and stylistics assumed. Required of all bachelor's degree candidates unless the requirement is waived under regulations prevailing at the time of admission.

English 301. Public Rhetoric/Advanced Composition

3 credit hours

Traditional and contemporary approaches to rhetoric and writing theory for Professional Writing and Editing students.

English 302. Editing

3 credit hours

A comprehensive approach to editing, including the correctness and effectiveness of a document, information design, and editorial responsibility. Students gain a realistic perspective on workplace practice through real-world scenarios, case studies, and technological applications.

English 303. Multimedia Writing

3 credit hours

Study of communication and design issues in multimedia composition. Focuses on communication, creative expression, persuasion, interactivity, and rhetorical principles. Practice in composing multimedia documents such as online publications, interactive literary works, and tutorials.

English 304. Business and Professional Writing

3 credit hours

Students will analyze different writing contexts, meet the needs of different audiences, and organize and present material in letters, memos, and reports. Includes some research, Internet components, and a review of style, grammar and usage.

English 305. Technical Writing

3 credit hours

Writing in scientific and technical fields. Introduces students to typical genres, workplace practices, document design, and conventions of writing for experts and non-experts.


For additional information contact Brian Ballentine at To register for online courses, contact WVU Online at (800) 253-2762 or email