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About WRD

Welcome to the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies!

What is rhetoric? 

Rhetoric is the study of written, oral, and digital communication. Rhetoric teaches you how to argue, persuade, inform, and express for a variety of professional and personal reasons. Rhetoric teaches you how to invent, organize, arrange, and produce knowledge. Rhetoric teaches you how to create and share meaning. Rhetoric is the basis of all writing we do.  Web pages are rhetorical. Technical documents are rhetorical. Movies are rhetorical. Video games are rhetorical. Ads are rhetorical. Medical documents are rhetorical. Legal briefs are rhetorical. Rhetoric is everywhere we engage with ideas and content!

WRD is  dedicated to the study and teaching of writing practices, public rhetoric, and digital media. We serve over 5,000 undergraduates each year. The WRD BA/BS major offers students three areas of focus that can be followed as single areas of study or mixed and matched based on students' needs: 

  • Professional Writing and Editing (for those who want careers in professional writing, editing and publishing or writing for/within a nonprofit or business)
  • Rhetorical Theory and Practice (for those who want careers in public advocacy, government, law, media, marketing)
  • Digital Studies (for those who want careers in industries or professions that need skilled employees in social media, design, visual rhetoric, and digial content management).

WRD also offers a minor in Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies as well as a minor in Professional and Technical Writing and a Graduate Certificate in Professional and Technical Writing. WRD is an excellent pre-Law major because it teaches rhetoric, argumentation, analysis and legal writing. 

WRD is dedicated to helping students build the skills for a career after graduation. Our internship program places students in valuable, networking situations with national and local organizations. Our courses prepare students with the skills and background they will need to succeed in future employment.

WRD supports the Composition and Communication curriculum (taught as WRD 110, 111, & 112 in our unit), which integtes instruction in oral, written, and visual communication, and the Writing Center. The Composition and Communication Program is the first cross-college program of its kind in the nation. 

Our faculty includes national leaders in social and digital media, argumentation, technical writing, public advocacy, professional writing, visual rhetoric, social justice rhetorics, and related areas of research and study.  The Digital Distillery is WRD's private research space and computer lab for WRD students. We host a study abroad program in Copenhagen, Denmark each summer. WRD is dedicated to undergraduate research and offers several research scholarship opportunities to its students.

Stop by and talk with us. We'd love to discuss how WRD can help you at UK and in you future career goals.