Writing Minor

Writing is an important tool for professional employment and academic and personal inquiry. The minor in writing allows students to cultivate their knowledge of writing in professional contexts, write for a range of audiences and purposes, and study sentence-level style and grammatical constructions before selecting one of three focused tracks in professional writing, creative writing, or communications. The writing minor complements any major areas of study and offers students the tools they need to cultivate their own professional or creative writing style.

The writing minor consists of five 3-credit courses, for a total of 15 credits (9 credits of required WRIT classes + 6 credits of electives).

Required Courses (9 credits)

Students in the writing minor are required to take the following three (3) core writing courses. These core writing courses will help students hone important writing skills before moving on to specialized coursework in the minor.

  • WRIT 1003 Composition II: Research and Argument (Pre-req. = WRIT 1002)
  • WRIT 3001 Advanced Writing Workshop (Pre-req. = WRIT 1003) (focuses on style)

One of the following courses, all of which focus on grammar:

  • LITS 2031 The English Language
  • LITS 2030 English Grammar
  • WRIT 3102 Advanced Grammar & Editing for Professional and Online Writing (pre-req = WRIT 1002)

Electives (6 credits)

To fulfill the 6-credit electives requirement, students may decide to focus on writing and/or select any other combination of courses from the writing minor concentration lists below.

The courses for the writing concentration will include, but not be limited to, those listed below (additional 2000- and 3000-level WRIT classes will be rotated on a regular basis).

Writing Concentration

  • WRIT 2101 Introduction to Professional and Technical Writing (pre-req = WRIT 1002)
  • WRIT 3102 Advanced Grammar & Editing for Professional and Online Writing (pre-req = WRIT 1002)
  • WRIT 2103 Digital Writing and Multimedia (pre-req = WRIT 1003)
  • WRIT 3022 Digital Rhetoric and Storytelling (pre-req = WRIT 1003)

Communications Concentration

  • COMM 2011 Introduction to Journalism
  • COMM 3012 Newswriting
  • COMM 3013 Feature Writing
  • COMM 3016 New Editing
  • COMM 3248 Writing for Broadcast and Podcast
  • COMM 2244 Journalism Practicum

Creative Writing Concentration

  • CREW 1001 Introduction to Creative Writing
  • CREW 2002 Creative Writing: Fiction
  • CREW 2003 Creative Writing: Poetry
  • CREW 2016 Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction
  • CREW 2250 Screenwriting (Cross listed with FILM 2250)
  • CREW 3010 Special Topics: Invented Worlds — Speculative and Fantastic Fiction
  • CREW 3080 Music & Poetry
Contact Information
Kathryn Douglas, Director of Writing at Florham Campus
(973) 443-8710
Contact Information
Patty Keefe Durso, Director of Writing at Metro Campus

Course Descriptions

  • COMM2011 A survey course in the history of journalism in America, with emphasis on the development of principles of modern journalistic practice, including broadcasting.

  • COMM2244 This course will give students the opportunity to develop or enhance their writing portfolio by completing journalistic assignments for the College at Florham's campus newspaper, The Metro. Students will gain real world experience with newsgathering, interviewing, preparation of copy and copyediting, proofreading, headline writing, page layout and design, and picture editing.

  • COMM3012 Practical instruction in newswriting, feature writing and reporting and interviewing for newspapers. How to cover and write about meetings, speeches, crime, the courts and business. Standard news style and ethical and legal limitations on the press.

  • COMM3013 Practice in writing feature articles for magazines, newspapers and other print media.

  • COMM3016 Practical instruction in editing copy and writing headlines for newspapers. Also covers standard news style, newsroom routine, newsroom technology, wire services, photo editing, typography, page makeup and design and ethical and legal limitations on the press.

  • COMM3248 This course will prepare students to write for the electronic news media. In addition to developing the skills necessary for writing good radio and television news copy and promotional/ commercial copy, students will also discuss current issues (ethics, legal issues and history) as well as current events in broadcast journalism. Writing projects will be completed both individualy and in teams and sample asignments may include radio and television commercials, broadcast news copy, broadcast interviews, public service announcements, and dramatic pieces.

  • CREW1001 In this course, students will read and discuss contemporary literature in at least three of the four major creative writing genres: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and drama. And, in a workshop setting, students will also write in those genres, allowing them the opportunity to discover and explore areas for future study.

  • CREW2002 Study and practice of writing fiction. The workshop places the focus on student writing. Additional reading provides the context for discussion of craft and form.

  • CREW2003 Study and practice of writing poetry. The workshop places the focus on student writing. Additional reading provides the context for discussion of craft and form.

  • CREW2016 This is a writing workshop on literary, or Creative Nonfiction-which means we use stories from real life, and craft them into literary pieces similar to a short story, using our own experiences as raw material. Memoirs and collections of personal essays are examples of this genre, and we will read examples of these as well as write our own pieces for workshop. This is a required course for all creative writing majors and minors. Non Creative Writing majors and minors are also welcomed.

  • CREW2250 Students learn the basics of screenplay structure, character development, rising and falling action, conflict and resolution by writing scripts and reading and analyzing successful screenplays. Students complete short scripts that may be used in other classes as shooting assignments.

  • CREW3010 In this workshop students will examine various forms of speculative and fantastic fictions and generate a collection of interconnected stories set in a singular world of their own making.

  • CREW3080 This course examines the relationship between poetry & music throughout history, while providing students the opportunity to practice writing both poetry and song lyrics as well as critical papers on various topics. From the Homeric epics, to the chorus of Greek tragedy, to devotional songs in various traditions, to the ballads of Robert Burns, to the work of Bob Dylan, Springsteen, Joni Mitchell, Tupac and to an exploration of the extraordinary success of "Hamilton," we will study language and music work together, how the oral tradition survives in our time, how and when poetry broke away from song, and how and when they've come back together. Our primary method will be close reading of lyrics and poems, using the tools of poetry analysis to judge them; therefore, a good deal of our time will be spent mastering those techniques and listening to and reading great poetry and music.

  • FILM2250 Students leanr the basics of screenplay structure, character development, dialogue, rising and falling action, conflict and resolution by writing scripts and reading and analyzing successful screenplays. Students complete short scripts that may be used in other classes as shooting assignments.

  • LITS2030 A study of the basics of grammar with emphasis on its relevance to clear and correct writing.

  • LITS2031 A skills-based introduction to the grammar and historical development of English; how does English work and how did it get to be the way it is? Designed especially for pre-service teachers, but accessible to everyone. Course historical and contemporary perspective on the language, literary uses of non- standard English, and selected topics in linguistics.

  • WRIT1002 This course provides students with intensive study and practice in process-oriented writing, critical reading, and rhetorical inquiry. Students engage expository texts in order to describe and evaluate the choices writers make and then apply that knowledge to their own compositions. Throughout the course, students give and receive feedback, revise their work, and reflect on their growth as writers.

  • WRIT1003 This course focuses on the study and practice of writing as research-based argument. As a means of arriving at the writing from committed stances, students learn to seek out, engage, and interrogate a variety of sources. Students write in academic, professional, and/or public forms, including academic essays and rhetorical analyses. Particular emphasis is placed on information literacy, source integration, and appropriate documentation.

  • WRIT3022 This course will focus on stories told in digital environments including memes, video games, podcasts, and multimedia publications. Students will be expected to analyze how a combination of image, text, sound, and color can work together in order to effectively communicate an idea and then to create an original digital story. No advanced technical knowledge or special equipment is required for this course.