The Ohio State University at Marion

Writing minor gives students a leg up

April 16, 2018
Writing minor gives students a leg up

Written by student intern Paul Winters

No matter what career path students take in the future, one thing is for sure; they will be writing. The professional writing minor, can be finished on the Marion campus. The minor helps students, learn to write in new genres beyond the essay, and discover how to apply what they have learned in writing and content related classes in a professional setting.

Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Professional Writing Minor, Catherine Braun, has led the program since the beginning and shared that the minor can complement a variety of majors including: English, education, communications, social work, political science, psychology, history, and many more.

“No matter where you end up, you are going to have to be writing,” Braun said, “This is just a fact of life. There are very few professional jobs that don’t require you to write in some fashion.”

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 73.4% of employers want a candidate with strong written and communication skills.

Ohio State Marion offers a variety of classes in the minor, including the capstone sequence of the program. This sequence starts with cultures of professional writing, a class focused on business and professional genres. Then students take the professional writing internship course, which gives them college credit for an internship in the community. These two classes are offered every other year. The program has produced graduates that have gone on to a variety of career fields: from education to social work to management.

“Getting this experience has been immeasurable,” Austin Harris, student in the internship capstone said. “Getting out of the classroom and getting out of the academic setting and out into the real world is great for you.”

Students have been acclimated formally to writing essays, before entering the professional writing minor. The challenge of applying what they have learned in the minor can be the biggest adversity when stepping into the internship phase.

“The biggest challenge has been learning how to conduct myself in a real world setting,” Samantha Young, student in the internship capstone said. “It was one thing to create something in class, but it is another to be creating material that has purpose and is going to be seen by people.”

The minor exposes students to professional genres of writing that they may have otherwise not had experience with including; formal and informal reports, business writing, and technical documents encompassing forms such as press releases, grant proposals, and standard proposals.

“The minor helps students gain skills that they need in the workplace,” Braun said. “It helps them think about professionalization in ways they might not in some of their content related classes.”

The program is looking to expand and also nurture relationships with community organizations and businesses for future internships, giving students the experience that will go beyond the classroom setting.

If you have any questions about the professional writing minor, or would like to partner with Ohio State Marion for student internship opportunities contact Catherine Braun
Email:, phone: 740-725-6256.