Why Concentrate* in WRTC?:

Appalachian State graduates with English degrees excel wherever employers value cultural literacy and the ability to read carefully, think critically and write effectively. The training you will receive as a student in the concentration in Writing, Rhetorics, and Technical Communication will not only teach you the theory and techniques that will help you become a more skilled writer on the job, but it will also allow you numerous opportunities to put these theories and techniques into practice.

Andrea Lunsford defines rhetoric as the art, practice, and study of human communication. In Ancient Greece, public speaking was the primary use of rhetoric. It developed alongside democracy in fifth-century Athens, and as ancient Greeks began to run for office, they used political rhetoric in their speeches to win votes. Rhetoric originated in more than just the Greco-Roman tradition, such as the Arab tradition. Today, it serves as a theoretical guideline that helps us make decisions about content, document design, and communication choices. As a student in this concentration, you will:

  • learn technical writing concepts, usability, ethics, and research, specifically in genres like instructions, process descriptions, abstracts, definitions, technical reports, and various electronic forms
  • learn about the history, theories, concepts, practices, and genres of professional writing
  • learn and employ editing skills and techniques while preparing and presenting sophisticated oral and written reports in which you create the text and design the document
  • refine writing and presentation skills for a workplace environment
  • undertake a semester-long internship in writing and editing in the field at a business or agency appropriate to your career plans

Internships are required of WRTC students and they often serve as beginning steps towards successful career paths, leading towards rich networks of resources, contacts, and job opportunities. WRTC alumni have interned with App State and local locations, such as Habitat for Humanity, High Country Press, and App State’s literary journal, Cold Mountain Review. Other locations outside of the Boone community include Rhino Records, Smithsonian Museum, and Spin Magazine.
In addition to the stellar experiences that internships can offer, qualifying students can participate in App State’s accelerated master’s program – often called 4+1 – and complete a master’s degree in English in one additional year. With a Master of Arts in English and a concentration in Writing, Rhetorics, and Technical Communication, you can hone your research and writing skills and develop professional competency in professional writing, rhetoric, composition theory, practice, and pedagogy. You’ll also have opportunities to share your discoveries by publishing your work in scholarly journals and presenting at professional conferences.

Concentrations are the equivalent of majors.