December 20, 2022

The Power of Written Eloquence

AMU Communications

AMU Offers New Writing Minor

Ave Maria University is offering a new undergraduate minor in writing, which allows students to get a concentration in rhetorical or literary composition validated in their degree at the time of graduation.

“[Do] the writing minor if you want to learn how to think better. . . . The best way to know something is to write about it; you have to structure your thinking in sentence units, in word choices, and the connectives between your ideas.”
—Dr. Gavin Hurley, Director of the Writing Program and Associate Professor of Communications and Literature at AMU

The purpose of this new program is to elevate the clarity and power of the students’ written communication, forming them in the arts of composition, rhetoric, language, poetics, and narration. Those doing the writing minor are also able to apply the skills learned in the classroom to online publications of their own, aiding the creation of a strong portfolio by the time they graduate.

“Communication—as far as the data goes—is one of the most important skills that employers look for in applicants,” said Dr. Hurley, as he emphasized the enduring relevance of eloquent writing in the present day. “Written communication is still sought-after.”

Although the skills gained in the program can be applied to any field, a degree in writing can specially prepare students for careers in journalism, marketing, film, law, and medicine.

To satisfy the requirements of the minor, students are offered courses of a wide variety, including journalistic writing, poetry, business communication, and creative writing. Students in the program also have the possibility of working one-on-one with professors on a directed independent study (DIS), to dive deeper into a style or technique of writing that best suits their interests.

“The [Communications and Literature] Department educates students in the traditional liberal arts of the trivium while cultivating their ability to think critically and creatively about contemporary culture. In this way, the department uniquely balances tradition and innovation in the language arts, which helps students prepare for success in private, public, and professional life.”
—Dr. John Jasso, Chair of the Communications and Literature Department and Associate Professor of Communications at AMU

If you wish to learn more about the writing minor, you can visit the program’s page or contact Dr. Hurley at



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