Writing is something that most people do every day---at work, in email or casual communication, or professionally---and many people truly enjoy it. People fascinated by writing may even want to earn a degree that focuses on writing and different communication styles. There are a variety of degrees that fall under the heading of writing.
Many people may first think of creative writing when they consider pursuing a degree in a writing discipline. Creative writing is a pursuit for people who want to create original works like books, plays, screenplays or poems. Classes in creative writing typically involve reading and critiquing published works and other students' rough drafts, and writing pieces yourself. Creative writing classes should help a writer find a unique voice and look at their own work critically in order to improve.
Media writing usually falls under the banner of communications at most colleges or universities. Media writing can include writing for television news, magazines or newspapers. It differs from creative writing because it is nonfiction and is usually based on interviews or other research. Media writing classes teach a student how to make the most important information stand out best in their writing, how to ask thoughtful questions, and how to communicate effectively in few words.
Technical writing is another discipline that may be found under the banner of professional writing, communications and occasionally business. Since technical writing skills can be used in a variety of disciplines, demand is rising. Technical writing includes writing for manuals, reports and feasibility studies, and it may also include grant writing. This type of writing requires organization, attention to detail, problem solving and the ability to be clear and concise.
After completing undergraduate work, a person can choose to pursue a masters degree in writing. These programs are often very specialized, so it's important to pick the right fit. Master of fine arts programs in writing focus on creative writing like fiction, creative nonfiction (memoirs), playwriting or screenwriting. Students may also elect to focus on rhetoric, speechwriting or travel-writing, among other disciplines. It's important to have a clear goal in mind and communicate that to any institution you're applying to in order to make sure that the faculty can accommodate you.
- writing image by Anna Chelnokova from Fotolia.com