Beginning this semester, ONU unveiled a new major: Writing and Multimedia Studies. This major is a merger between two majors and a minor that were previously offered: the Professional Writing major in the English department, the Multimedia Journalism major in the Communications department, and the Digital Media Productions minor also in the Communications department. Dr. Justine Post, the Writing and Multimedia Studies was created because “we saw a lot of potential for expanding the skill set that students in each of those majors had by bringing them together, and this range of skills is very useful in marketing themselves.”
The major attempts to employ a robust writing process which includes assessing rhetorical situations by identifying audience, purpose, genre, and context; conduct investigative research using methodologies appropriate for a professional context; utilize the fundamentals of design for print and digital production; write clearly, concisely, and fluently; compose and edit photography, audio, and video; adapt a message for various media platforms; use inquiry and critical thinking skills to solve problems for real and hypothetical clients.
The new WAMS major has a few stipulations to it. One of those is that the students must declare either another major or must also declare a minor. The students can declare any other major or minor that is offered here as there are no restrictions on the specificity of the other declaration. The WAMS major itself requires 37 credit hours, and ranges in topics from Creative Writing to Narrative Photography to Writing for Activism and Advocacy to Podcasting to Writing for Action.
If students are undecided about what they want to pursue, Dr. Post says that this major could be a great start for them, “ If [the student] is interested in writing, or producing media, this would be a good option for them because the major is designed to be as streamlined as possible. It pairs well with other majors, and it gives students in demand skills that they’ll need. If they work on this major while exploring other options, they’ll have skills they can really use and they’ll be able to market themselves for future jobs.”
Along with this new opportunity, there are three minors each concentrated in different areas of writing and multimedia studies in the chance a major is not the best fit for someone. These include: Digital Composition in Journalism, Multimedia Production and Writing in Business, Science, and Technical Fields.
Digital Composition is a minor in which students complete 18 credit hours of a variety of courses from Memes and Society to Freelance Journalism. The Multimedia Production minor consists of 18 credit hours and includes courses such as Video Storytelling, Rhetorical Theory and Culture Studies and Media Analysis. The final minor under this category is the Writing in Business, Science, and Technical Fields. Under this minor, students will take a total of 18 credit hours in a variety of courses ranging from Adaptive Media Production to Grant Writing or Business writing.