Careers - Rhetoric and Writing Studies

Careers - Rhetoric and Writing Studies

Rhetoric and Writing Career Opportunities

Rhetoric and Writing Studies students find employment in a variety of fields, including web authoring, copywriting, speech writing, technical writing, science writing, journalism, teaching, law, government, and business. See how some of our graduates have put rhetoric and writing to work for them.

Craig Manning, 2013 Graduate

Freelance Writer

“I write to help clients build their brands online.

I joined the Rhetoric and Writing Studies program in the middle of my junior year, after a heartbreaking failure in my original major left me scrambling to find a backup plan. Despite the fact that I had spent two and a half years pursuing vocal music – a major that wasn’t related to English in any close fashion – I felt instantly at home in the Rhetoric and Writing program. My advisors were flexible in helping me navigate an entire English degree in a year and a half, but it was ultimately my professors, with their infinite wisdom and unending willingness to help, that truly allowed me to excel in my new major.

Since graduation, I have pursued an entrepreneurial path, building a freelance career for myself out of a range of different writing pursuits. On one hand, I have continued to explore my love for the arts, interviewing well-known musicians and writing about albums, books, and films in a way that allows me to ignite conversations about the things I love. I have also utilized the skills I learned at Western to connect with clients and to help them establish themselves online through web content that is informative, accessible, and concise.

Karen McPhail, 2009 Graduate

Quality Systems Technical Writer, Stryker Instruments

“I write to improve lives.

I came to the Rhetoric and Writing Studies program at WMU as a non-traditional student, and it was quickly apparent to me that my professors took genuine interest in me and recognized my work experience and ideas.

In the highly regulated medical technology industry, “if it isn’t written down, it isn’t happening.” As a Quality Systems Technical Writer for Stryker Instruments, my ultimate consumers are patients who receive life changing surgeries to relieve chronic pain and improve mobility. The care I provide them comes from documenting and supporting the myriad controls required to assure compliance, effectiveness, and efficiency in producing products that end up in surgery suites around the world.

My WMU degree was the perfect complement to my chosen career, and gave me the expertise and credentials to become an important contributor at a company whose chief goal is to improve people’s lives. I could not be more thankful for my Bronco experience.

Cait Ryan-Beerbower, 2010 Graduate

Editing & Data Management, Thomson Reuters
Graduate Student in Rhetoric and Writing, Michigan State University

“I write to further both my academic and professional careers.

I currently use my degree in both a professional capacity at Boskage Commerce Publications, a Thomson Reuters company specializing in international trade publications, software, and online educations, and as a graduate student at Michigan State University. At Thomson Reuters, I work in an editorial department developing both online and print publications. At MSU, I am pursuing an M.A. in Learning, Design, and Technology with a concentration in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing.

The Rhetoric and Writing program at WMU provided unique and invaluable training that prepared me to step into both these roles. This preparation included opportunities to explore writing in numerous digital environments (including website design with Adobe Dreamweaver), as well as opportunities to develop pieces of professional writing for use by actual clients outside the classroom. The professors at WMU showed a clear understanding of the rapidly changing role of digital writing in our society. They used this knowledge to offer an educational experience that has served me well in my work for Thomson Reuters as well as in the process of applying for and joining a graduate-level program focused on Rhetoric and Writing.


Colleen Kubacki, 2008 Graduate

Technical Writer

“I write to bring safe medical products to those in need.

While completing my final year of the Rhetoric and Writing Studies program at WMU, the faculty helped me obtain a technical writing internship for a company which conducts testing of therapeutic compounds intended for development into new medicines. In this position, I assisted scientists, managers, and other laboratory personnel in creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). These documents establish and maintain consistent processes which are followed by laboratory personnel during experimentation. Upon graduation from WMU, I accepted a full-time position with this company where my responsibility as a technical writer is to ensure that these SOPs are coherent to personnel with varying levels of education, experience, and training, yet also contain all required technical information.

My training in the writing program at WMU helped me understand how to write technical documents from a reader-centered perspective and learn to adjust my writing to my audience. My writing skills offer me the opportunity to contribute to the development of safe medical products.


Department of English
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Western Michigan University
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