Professional Writing

BAAS Course Block in Professional Writing

About the Professional Writing course block

The Professional Writing course block at Penn LPS Online gives you a scenario-based deep dive into the kinds of writing essential to business. Our courses offer a series of concepts and practical applications that provide an accelerated understanding of the subtle arts of communication, enhanced by tips to make anyone a power-writer—a master of grammar, concision, and clarity.

Whether you are in an entry-level position and want to ramp up your writing skills or are an accomplished writer ready to expand and refine your repertoire, the professional writing courses get you to the next level. We take you beyond the basics of structure and style. Our coursework emphasizes professional expertise and extensive feedback as we share cutting-edge findings in the field of writing. Find out how to incorporate your personal or corporate brand’s story into every piece of communication and discover the best ways to identify and appeal to target audiences.

It is recommended that students enroll first in the Fundamentals of Professional Writing course, followed by any additional three professional writing courses to complete the course block.

Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree courses in the Professional Writing course block are offered on an accelerated (8-week) schedule. Courses in the block are largely asynchronous with some optional synchronous sessions to be scheduled by the instructors.

All Penn LPS Online courses offer academic credit.*

Please note: Students completing this course block while enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) degree are awarded a Certificate in Professional Writing upon completion of the degree. If you are enrolled in the BAAS program and don't complete the degree requirements to graduate, you are not eligible to receive this certificate.

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

The Professional Writing course block prepares you to:

  • Assess audience and purpose for communication targeted at achieving specific goals
  • Analyze different audiences, scenarios, and contexts in order to shape your messaging most effectively whatever your audience
  • Develop effective rhetorical strategies and skills to persuade specific audiences—personal, professional, and social—through visual, written, and multimedia communication
  • Draft and revise written work for precision, clarity, and power
  • Develop empathic and analytic skills to integrate and build upon other viewpoints and perspectives
  • Learn how readers, writers, and designers use complex multimedia texts incorporating language, image, sound, and gesture to produce a coherent, engaging message
  • Explore how to engage the senses—visual, aural, and somatic—to convey information effectively through social media
  • Understanding how to make complex information accessible to audiences through effective visualization

Meet The Faculty

Valerie Ross
  • Faculty Director, Penn LPS Online Certificate in Professional Writing
  • Director, Critical Writing Program, Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing
Ella R. Browning, PhD
  • Ells Browning Ella R. Browning Associate Director, Critical Writing Program
Kristen Gay
  • Associate Director, The Marks Family Writing Center
Matthew Osborn
  • Assistant Director of Critical Writing, University of Pennsylvania
Fayyaz Vellani
  • Lecturer in critical writing, University of Pennsylvania

Courses

Certificate students who complete the four basic courses listed below earn the Certificate in Professional Writing. Those students are then eligible to pursue an Advanced Certificate in Professional Writing by adding two advanced courses.

Advanced courses

  • Writing for Popular Audiences
  • Writing with Numbers: Presenting Data Effectively
  • Writing for Presentation and Public Speaking
  • Public Relations and Crisis Communication

Courses are subject to change.

Course Registration

Fall 2019 registration is now open

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