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Welcome to Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication

As of Fall 2018, the English Department will offer the Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis of Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication (WRTC). WRTC combines the best elements of rhetoric, composition, and technical communication into a relevant, community-focused undergraduate emphasis that provides students with a strong foundation in rhetorical theory and practice creating a variety of academic and workplace genres.

Current majors in rhetoric and composition or technical communication may choose to continue with their current degree plan, or change their major to the new WRTC emphasis. Please talk with your advisor about what options may be best for you.

Our program also offers the Certificate in Technical Communication, which is intended primarily for those students who do not wish to become professional technical communicators, but who wish to improve their writing and editing skills.

For more information, please contact Dr. Whitney Douglas, Director of Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication at

Students in ENGL 324 (“Field Writing”) visit Yellowstone National Park.

What Can I Do with a Degree in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication?

Students in WRTC are trained to become “writing specialists” who are prepared to write and communicate in a variety of situations and in a range of genres. Some people go on to be writers or editors. Others go into web development or product design, usability research, or online community management. Some graduates enter fields such as social media or web content strategy, fundraising or nonprofit management, grant writing, e-learning and instructional design, or even graphic design or event coordinating. Others may focus on ethics, international relations and communications, or marketing and public relations. Some of our majors go on to study rhetoric and composition, professional communication, or technical communication in graduate school.

Why Explore Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication at Boise State?

Professor Markley's ENGL 408 class learns about helping and writing for nonprofit organizations across Idaho.

Students in ENGL 408 (“Writing for Nonprofits and Social Media”) learn about helping and writing for nonprofit organizations across Idaho.

As part of the Boise State English Department’s Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication emphasis, you will learn rhetorical and practical skills that fit today’s workplace.

Our graduates develop essential skills in writing, analysis, and technology that help audiences connect, inform, and achieve. Our emphasis offers students a chance to become excellent communicators through a path of customized coursework in areas such as:

  • Writing (including creative nonfiction and technical writing)
  • Rhetoric (including argument, persuasion, analysis, rhetorical theory, and rhetoric and pop culture)
  • Technical communication (including grant and proposal writing, usability, and social media)
  • Editing (including grammar, style, and editing for clear communication)
  • Advocacy, community, and leadership (including writing for advocacy and change, participating in service-learning and community-based projects, and writing for nonprofits)

Learn valuable skills and get to work.

Boise State’s undergraduate writing, rhetoric, and technical communication courses prepare you to do the following:

Students work in the English Department's Collaborative Writing Space.

Students work in the English Department’s Collaborative Writing Space.

  • Write persuasively and effectively within a wide range and genres and for a variety of purposes and audiences;
  • Create clear, concise, usable documents that help audiences accomplish specific tasks, solve problems, and understand information;
  • Use technology to create, design, manage, and deliver content, including Web 2.0 tools, mobile devices and apps, and social media;
  • Apply rhetorical concepts of audience, context, and purpose to make effective and ethical choices about style, organization, content, and design;
  • Communicate effectively through a variety of print and digital media and in face-to-face situations; and
  • Critically read and edit your own and others’ documents.

Take classes that suit your schedule.

Because we offer a wide range of courses during the days and evenings, as well as via online, face-to-face, and hybrid delivery methods, our classes suit your schedule. Students are able to efficiently move through our program, learn both the practical and rhetorical skills valued by employers, and get to work.

Learn from dedicated, enthusiastic, and experienced faculty.

Faculty and students participate in a resume workshop.

Students participate in a resume workshop to learn how to present their workplace skills on paper and in person.

We also have a fantastic group of faculty who are dedicated to sharing their real-world experiences and connecting students to the Boise community and beyond through service learning, internships, and job opportunities. Our majors enjoy working with one of the largest rhetoric, composition, and technical communication faculties in the Northwest, many of whom are leaders in their fields. See who we are by clicking here.

How Can I Learn More?

We are happy to help you with admissions questions, information about financial aid, or any other questions you may have. Should you like to learn more, please contact Dr. Whitney Douglas, Director of Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication, at