3 Things PWR Can Do For You

Mags Bryant ‘16

I wasn’t always planning on majoring in Professional Writing and Rhetoric, but since declaring, there hasn’t been a moment in which I regret my decision. With registration for the fall semester not far off, I though I would share some of the skills I’ve gained from my coursework. Here are my top how-tos that you can learn in PWR and use in real life!


  1. How to Write a Resume and Cover Letter: In classes like CUPID Studio and Intro PWR I learned how to write effective and professional cover letters and tailor them for specific jobs. One resume does not fit all. I have also learned how to write and design my resume to highlight different skills and experiences depending on what I am using it for. For instance, a resume and cover letter for a camp counselor position will be different than a resume and cover letter for a copy-editor position. In writing a cover letter or resume, it is important that you are communicating effectively and upholding a certain level of professionalism.


  1. How to Communicate Effectively and Professionally: Each course I have taken in PWR has helped me to think about my personal brand and how I communicate. Whether you’re writing a blog post, sending a memo to your co-workers, or emailing a client, it is important to be clear and concise. In classes like Intro PWR, CUPID Studio, you learn the basics of how to best communicate depending on the situation. Each PWR class offers you a chance to work on your communicative skill, often with a variety of contextual situations. You have to communicate differently depending on the circumstances and your sense of awareness is key when trying to assess your situation. Part of communicating effectively and professionally is knowing your audience.


  1. How to Think about Audience: Audience is important in every rhetorical situation and will come into play differently in each PWR class. Intro PWR, CUPID Studio, Travel Writing, and Writing Center Workshop are just a few of the many courses in which you discuss audience. Audience is essential to a rhetorical situation and it only helps you to have the skills to look at it in different ways. Your audience will not be the same every time and you have to learn to write differently depending on your reader. The way you write a grant proposal and the way you write a program newsletter do not cater to the same audiences. Learning how to think about your audience can help you to better tailor your cover letter or resume in addition to helping you figure out what is the most effective means of communicating with your audience.


Although there are many other skills and techniques from PWR that are universally applicable, these three are the most interconnected and form a strong foundation basis. You don’t have to be a PWR major to make use of these important skills!


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  1. Posted February 26, 2015 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Great thoughts, Mags! The things you’ve listed here have been a big part of what I’ve learned in PWR. I’ve found that knowing my way around a cover letter and resume has been particularly important. Not only has it benefited me when applying for internships, but it’s also made a difference when I help clients in the Writing Center who are confused about how to approach one or both.

    I really like how you say, “One resume does not fit all.” This could not be more true. It’s so helpful to have a couple of versions on hand, and to have the skills to adapt your resume to different situations fairly quickly.

  2. Posted March 1, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Great blog post! I, too, hadn’t planned on becoming a Professional Writing & Rhetoric, but since I have, I am loving my decision! I absolutely agree with your idea that “One resume does not fit all.” I am currently working on building my resume for a specific internship, and am realizing that I must tailor my resume for the position. Tailoring your resume lends itself to knowing your audience, as well. Familiarizing yourself with the employer or company you are applying for will on help to strengthen your ability to tailor your resume to that position!

  3. Posted April 12, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I definitely would say that learning to communicate effectively was my biggest takeaway from the PWR classes I have taken. I think it ties in well with your third point about audience: a well-written piece that doesn’t appeal to its intended audience doesn’t communicate the message effectively. In any professional writing situation, researching the reader is the best way to begin.