About the PW Program

The Department of English offers three writing courses for junior and seniors majoring in a variety of technical, scientific, and management-oriented fields:

  • ENG 331 Communication for Engineering and Technology
  • ENG 332 Communication for Business and Management
  • ENG 333 Communication for Science and Research

These courses introduce students to the kinds of communication tasks they can expect to perform after graduation and in the workplace; instruction emphasizes the needs of various professional audiences, strategies of adapting organization and style to those needs, and ways of supplementing written communication with oral reports and visual aids. Since the rhetorical principles that form the basis for these three courses are similar, students are not permitted to receive credit for more than one of them.

The major differences between these three courses are that each focuses on the forms and purposes of communication in different settings, based on where students expect to work after graduation:

  • ENG 331: industrial, governmental, and applied research environments
  • ENG 332: business and public organizations
  • ENG 333: the scientific community

Enrollment is limited to juniors and seniors, because students who take the course earlier in their undergraduate programs lack two kinds of knowledge necessary for best performance in the course:

  • They lack knowledge of the subject matter of their major field, to provide them with material for their writing assignments.
  • They lack knowledge of their potential professional roles, to provide them with an understanding of how and why communication occurs in industry, government, and research.

Students other than juniors and seniors do not perform well in these courses.

The three professional writing courses are taught in multiple sections of no more than 23 students. In 2000-01, approximately 20 sections of ENG 331, 15 sections of ENG 332, and 8 sections of ENG 333 were offered each semester.

Typically, students majoring in the following fields enroll in these courses (not a complete list):

  • ENG 331: Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Textile Engineering, Textile Technology
  • ENG 332: Accounting, Business Management, Economics, Textile and Apparel Management
  • ENG 333: Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Geology, Meteorology, Natural Resources, Physics, Zoology

Students majoring in English or Communication (or other fields) who are preparing for careers in technical communication should take ENG 314, Technical Document Design and Editing, rather than ENG 331, 332, or 333.