Center for Applied Liberal Arts
Independent Study in Professional Writing
The independent study course is a valuable method for students to pursue special interests in depth, under the direction of a faculty member. It is intended to advance the student¿s knowledge and skills in ways clearly useful in professional writing settings. The course will focus on a significant contemporary question, issue, or concern in professional writing. It is the equivalent of a regular 3-credit elective course in the program, and contains a comparable quantity of academic and applied work. It can, for example, address pure research issues that potentially affect the theory and practice of professional writing; organizational, technological, or social challenges to the profession and possible practical innovations and solutions; or other issues. Students registering for this course meet with the Academic Advisor of the program to discuss and get approval for the planned independent study content and to select a faculty member qualified to direct the course. The faculty member will require a formal research proposal which includes a suitable bibliography consisting of a sufficient number of texts, including peer-reviewed and other academic papers. Student and faculty will establish a timeline for meetings and for individual assignments, and any other product or application. An academic research paper is required focusing on the significance and relevance of the study to professional writing, and highlighting the topical concern of the study. In addition, a student may propose to engage in a semester-long project demonstrating the professional application of the topic. Evaluation is based on meeting deadlines, stated expectations, and on the quality and quantity of the completed work. Students can take one Independent Study course during the duration of their degree.