Chatham University

Master of Professional Writing – Web Content Development Concentration

As we move increasingly toward an experience economy that values the overall feel as much as – or more than – the good or service itself, experience design roles are growing in demand. As well, as the movement of Web 2.0, and community content authoring has become ubiquitous, the danger of information pollution threatens to overwhelm content consumers. Businesses with skilled professionals to architect their content in a consumable, usable manner will win.

The MPW Web Content Development concentration will focus on the many aspects of professional writing centered on developing content for the web, from architecting to writing, teaching you to do more than craft the written word. You will adopt a highly user–focused approach to content development, from user story creation through digital media development, as you learn the new media skills needed in this modern digital age. This concentration also requires a portfolio and networking–enhancing client project that gives you direct opportunity to apply your skills to a real–life business project. The MPW Web Content Development concentration will enable you to take your skills straight to the market place.

Concentration requirements

The Web Content Development concentration requires a total of 10 courses:
2 core courses – click course for description
PWR601 Introduction to Professional Writing

This foundational course is designed as an introduction to professional writing genres, models, standards, and formats of the online Master of Professional Writing degree. The course features practical writing and editing experience in a collaborative work environment. The class will establish a basic level of writing skills among MPW students and will begin with the development, or enhancement, of students' skills in analysis, synthesis, summarizing, and expository writing. In the latter part of the course, students focus on the techniques that make professional writing flow and hold the reader's interest. A workshop approach helps beginning writers learn to craft their work so that it reads smoothly and communicates effectively. Topics include creating leads that command interest, developing a story idea without floundering, making graceful and unobtrusive transitions, enriching the theme, and perfecting the ruthless art of self-editing. Students write short essays and critique their own published work.

3 Credits
PWR699 Professional Writing Portfolio

This course must be taken as each student's last course in the MPW program. This capstone course is a self-directed, guided independent practicum in which the student will produce a written project to the specifications of a "client" in one of the disciplinary areas of study. At the same time, students will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop-style program in which they will analyze the editorial and communication interests of various consumers of writing services (corporate communication offices, magazines, online venues, etc.). The workshop will explore many areas of the business of being a writer and cover copyright and contracts, cover and query letters, standard business practices - and strategies for success.

3 Credits

5 concentration courses – click course for description
PWR662 Writing for Digital Media

This class will prepare students to enter these fields by teaching the strategies and skills needed to make compelling interactive experiences. Specifically, students will focus on developing their abilities to conceptualize, design, and create multimedia applications. Areas of focus will include: strategies for understanding and documenting audience needs and expectations; basics of effective user interface design; and typical process and artifacts involved with multimedia application development.

3 Credits
PWR670 Principles of Information Architecture

In this course students will learn about the evolution of the discipline and the underlying principles and fundamentals, including task analysis, scenario development, taxonomy creation, and findability design. We will build on these basics with practical and contemporary applications and tools.

3 Credits
PWR674 Web Design and Development II

A continuation of Web Design and Development I, this course will advance student knowledge and understanding of multimedia authoring tools.

3 Credits
PWR675 Visual and Interface Design

Students will use audience analysis to help develop wireframes and storyboards, progress to full interface design, as well as gain an appreciation for the basic elements of design and how content is an integral part of design. Students will focus on interactions and behaviors.

3 Credits
PWR694 Client Project

This required course for the Web Content Development concentration includes working on a client project for a real business customer. Students learn to develop statements of work, client agreements, and gain experience with direct application of web content development principles.

3 Credits

• 3 electives courses

* Basic web design skills, including raw HTML and CSS coding, are a required prerequisite to this course. We strongly recommend completing PWR 673 Web Design I, and consider it a required course for the concentration if you don’t already possess these skills. Contact the Program Director, Katie Cruger (, or the current instructor for PWR 674 if you have any questions about meeting this requirement.

Full List of Master of Professional Writing Courses