Technical Writing and Public Speaking (Cognate)

Technical Writing and Public Speaking (Cognate)
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What is technical writing and public speaking?

Effective communication skills are valuable in almost any career. The technical writing and public speaking cognate will help you become a successful writer and speaker. You’ll learn to analyze your audience and the situations where you will be conveying your message. You’ll study the art of rhetoric, the techniques of argument and persuasion. You’ll also practice constructing and delivering the best message to reach your readers or listeners. The essential skills provided by this cognate can complement almost any major, from business and finance to the sciences to teaching, and can help you advance your career opportunities or prepare for graduate studies.

Why study technical writing and public speaking at UNH?

As part of the College of Liberal Arts, you’ll have all of the college’s resources at your fingertips. Attend the Speakers, Visiting Journalists and Writers Series to listen to professionals in the fields of writing and public speaking. Internships, research opportunities and study abroad programs focused on communication skills are all valuable in your development as a speaker and writer. Think about trying out for a play through the theatre and dance department—every opportunity to speak in front of an audience makes you a better communicator.

Potential career areas

  • Acting
  • Business
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Journalism
  • Politics
  • Religious leadership
  • Science
  • Speech writing
  • Technical writing
  • Television reporting

Curriculum & Requirements

The cognate in technical writing and public speaking (TWPS) offers students intensive instruction in oral and written communication as important means of addressing technical, professional or practical problems whose solutions require others' cooperation. Students learn practical precepts for analyzing those "communication situations" and for making informed, strategic decisions when composing oral and written responses in response to them. Students also undergo extensive practice creating standard and, thus, widely applicable forms of spoken and written communication. All students acquire a foundation in effective expression by taking introductory courses in public speaking and in professional and technical writing. Students then build upon that foundation and complete the cognate with one advanced course in either public speaking or professional and technical writing. This cognate is attractive to students who recognize that effective expression is valued in nearly any field of endeavor they are likely to pursue in their post-graduate lives.

Please contact the Liberal Arts Dean's Office for additional information, (603) 862-2062, 110 Murkland Hall.

Introductory Courses
CMN 500Public Speaking4
ENGL 502Professional and Technical Writing4
Advanced Course
Choose one of the following:
CMN #600Public Speaking as a Civic Art4
or ENGL 602 Advanced Professional and Technical Writing
Total Credits12

Credit toward the cognate will only be given for courses passed with C- or better, and a 2.00 grade-point average must be maintained in courses for the cognate. Courses taken on the pass/fail basis may not be used for the cognate.


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