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Guide to the Humanities

Guide to the Humanities - Selected Resources

Why study writing/communications?

Written communication involves any type of interaction that makes use of the written word. Communication is a key to any endeavor involving more than one person. Communicating through writing is essential in the modern world and is becoming ever more so as we participate in what is now commonly called the information age. In fact, written communication is the most common form of business communication. It is essential for small business owners and managers to develop effective written communication skills and to encourage the same in all employees. The information age has altered the ways in which we communicate and placed an increasing emphasis on written versus oral communications.

When you read a good poem, do you wonder how the writer managed to form such interesting images? When you read a novel, do you think about how the author created characters you can relate to? If you study creative writing, you'll try to answer questions like these, analyzing poetry and fiction to learn how writers create successful work. You'll also try your hand at creating your own work, which you'll share with professors and classmates. Although it's very unlikely that you'll make a living from writing poetry or fiction, you will gain the skills needed to work in fields such as editing, publishing, journalism, and advertising.

Adapted from Inc. Encyclopedia & College Board

What careers can I have in writing/communications?

A communications degree can open the door to a wide variety of careers in education, business, politics, and advertising. A bachelor's degree in communication is a viable option if you have strong writing and verbal skills and a desire to take information and convert it to a message others may find helpful. Specific career field options include:

  • Publicity: A strong communications degree can lead to numerous jobs under the publicity umbrella. The job of a public relations specialist is to promote his company, school, or employer in a positive light. The employer can be a corporation, celebrity, or even a politician. A public infomration officer's role is to take information and turn it into press releases that explain his employer's position on a specific topic.
  • Advertising: A communications degree can be very helpful in the advertising industry. Career options include being an account executive or development manager. A bachelor's degree can also lead to more creative endeavors, such as a copywriter, creative director, or graphic illustrator. A good communicator can also find work as a media relations director or media planner.
  • Education: In the education field, a communicatons degree has many uses across a variety of specialties. A communications major can pursue a job as a training specialist, an event coordinator, or an administrator. If you prefer a teaching position, then a role as a debate coach, drama director, or speech communications teacher might be for you.
  • Politics: A politician with a strong communications background has a myriad of opportunities. She can become an ambassador or diplomat, a community affairs officer, a lobbyist, or a public information officer. Other roles, such as speech writer, research specialist, and legislative assistant are also possibilities.
Adapted from the Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter at the University of Texas, San Antonio

Writing/Communications Databases

Books on Journalism

Books on Writing Fiction

Books on Writing Poetry

Books on Writing Nonfiction

Books on Public Relations

Books on Business/Technical Writing