At a glance: Professional Writing
“I was looking for a professional writing program, but there aren’t many because professional writing is a fairly new thing. Ohio Northern had one of the most well-developed programs I could find."
—Carol Wilson, Professional Writing and History major '10, and one of ten students nationally to be awarded a Gilder Lehrman History Fellowship
Professional writing, one of the five majors offered in the Department of English, offers a practical option for those interested in a career of English. This versatile major trains students to work as writers and editors in a variety of professional settings. Articulate writers are needed in public relations, advertising, editing, screenwriting, online writing, science writing, magazine writing, technical writing, publishing, cultural criticism and more. Visit the English Department's web site.
Professional writing majors earn a bachelors of arts degree. A minor is also available. Professional writing requires 59 credit hours in English, along with a secondary major, minor or concentration.
- Students build a strong English foundation through a core curriculum of literature, language, critical thinking, rhetoric and writing.
- Opportunity to develop original work appropriate for publication in the Senior Seminar Capstone
- Training in desktop publishing software, including Adobe Photoshop and InDesign
- Participation in Sigma Tau Delta, an award-winning national,honor society that sponsors professional and social activities
- Exposure to cultural events and speakers through enrichment programs
- Study-abroad options
- Required secondary concentration allows students to customize their major to a future career
- Advanced seminars with intensive faculty mentoring
- Exposure to varied writing syles and formats, including business, legal and technical writing
English department classes and faculty offices are in Dukes Memorial, one of the historic front-campus buildings. The department has a variety of instructional rooms, including two state-of-the-art computer classrooms, four rooms equipped with SMART Boards, a mobile laptop lab, two seminar rooms with a departmental reading area and a reference library.
Sigma Tau Delta — One of the nation’s top chapters, this active group organizes local philanthropy projects related to literacy (such as tutoring in local schools), creates a spirit of collegiality in the department through faculty-student activities, and annually sends students to the national conference, where many students have had their creative works or academic projects selected for presentation.
Secondary Education Society — A new chapter recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), this group was formed by dedicated LAE majors to focus on issues in the profession that have bearing on their future careers as teachers. They regularly attend the national NCTE or College English Association of Ohio conferences.
Professional placement and internships
Graduates find jobs as teachers, reporters, freelance writers, ad managers and writers for public relations firms, lobbyists, editors, librarians, sports reporters and sports public relations personnel, wedding and special event planners and insurance underwriters. Recent professional writing internships include McGraw Hill Publishing, Columbus; The Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC.; The Washington Center, Washington, DC.; Microsoft, Redmond, WA.; Redeye Post-production, Washington, DC.; National Organization for Women, Washington, DC.; Red Cross, Columbus, OH; Office of Public Information, ONU; Arizona Diamondbacks AAA Minor League, South Bend, IN; The Lima News, Lima, OH.
ONU English majors are accepted to graduate programs across the country in journalism, professional writing, literature, library science, creative writing and law. These graduate schools include: Florida Gulf Coast University, Kent State University, The Ohio State University, University of Dayton, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee, University of Virginia, West Virginia University.
English majors are generally desired by employers because they are articulate, write well, are perceptive readers, can research effectively and work well with others to collaborate on publications and projects.