In the first issue of Memorandum’s second volume, we get an introduction to UAB’s Professional Writing Club. Andrew Atchison reflects on changing literacy standards while Sadie King provides some timely advice for getting started in freelancing. This issue also features a wealth of interviews with writing alumni of all stripes.

Much to consider.


This Issue in Articles

  • 5 Don’ts of Graphic Design
    Graphic design can be simultaneously extremely difficult and incredibly rewarding, these five tips will help any aspiring artist to succeed.
  • Adobe’s Cloud of Convenience
    In an age where computers are involved in every aspect of the professional world, there is a higher demand for convenience with technology than there has been in the past. Writers make up a large portion of professionals that depend on technology in order to deliver the highest quality result possible across different mediums.
  • Alumna Spotlight: Amy’s Transition to Professional
    Amy graduated with a degree in professional writing in the spring of 2014 and was hired to work for Growing Kings, a non-profit organization dedicated to building up future leaders among underserved male youths in Birmingham city schools.
  • Alumni Spotlight: Olelakan’s advice for PW Majors
    Olalekan Dada is a recent graduate from UAB, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Writing and Public Discourse, who knows all too well this experience.
  • An Interview with Scott Thigpen: Graphic Designer
    Scott has worked for anyone from Coke-Cola, to Teen Magazine, to the Wall Street Journal. He started out as an illustrator, but in 2007, when the bottom fell out on the economy, he knew he had to shift his work from just illustrating to graphic design. He worked mostly free-lance.
  • Avoiding the Classroom: A Study in Unusual Jobs
    The idea of the English major as a teacher only is not only outdated, but unrealistic in today’s society, where the salary for teachers dwindles and the job market is so very unforgiving. In this article, I have highlighted only two of the many options available to new grads.
  • Birmingham Creative Round Table
    There’s creative writing, there’s professional writing—then there come along opportunities to blend the two. Every professional writer dreams of doing the best work, getting ahead in the industry, or bursting onto the scene with fresh innovations and a sense of personal style
  • Blogging and the World of Professional Writing
    It’s becoming more of an imperative in the professional writing industry to understand blogs than a side hobby; blogs have limitless potential, and some personal blogs can even house smart, interactive resumes and portfolios to showcase to employers.
  • Career Spotlight: Copywriting
    Advertisements, flyers, and websites are all written and designed with a specific purpose in mind: enticement. Each word is chosen in hopes that when grouped together, they can attract the reader into buying something, doing something, or even not doing something. Copywriters are the force working in the background to make that enticement happen.
  • Cloud Computing: Get on Board
    Cloud computing services have become a vital part of communication, collaboration, and the acceleration of producing documents. If you’ve used a computer in the last decade, you’ve used “the cloud”. Before this beautiful thing became a “thing,” computers were the source of immeasurable frustration. This is because computers were originally set up like an old fashion strand of Christmas lights. Operating systems, applications, and hardware were all built on top of one another, so when one failed, the whole system went down.
  • David Hornbuckle: Creativity in Professional Writing
    Within the field of writing there are several directions one can take. The term professional writing can often carry a connotation of structure and restriction, which is a major underestimation of the field. Considering my major in professional writing and my interests in creative writing, I was relieved when I sat down with M. David Hornbuckle, UAB alumna with a Master’s in English, to talk about his windy track through the professional world of writing.
  • Emmett Christolear: Applications of Copy Editing
    Emmett Christolear is the current Executive Editor of the Kaleidoscope; UAB’s own student newspaper.
  • Get the Most Out of Your Research
    The Appointments with a Librarian program is designed for students to make appointments with librarians for more in-depth help with research and citation. This service offers two main types of consultations: research and citation. The important thing to note with these consultations and clinics is that they are absolutely free tools for students to use. Some students have a tough time trying to traverse through all of what UAB has to offer and it can be hard to filter out the right information that one needs.
  • Grad Programs: Things to Consider
    Grad school can be a great alternative to entering the career field after college. It not only contributes to a higher starting salary in jobs, but it can also serve as a more gradual transition from student to working adult. But choosing a graduate program can seem daunting. Where do you even begin? How do you know what you’re looking for? Is this even what you want? Here are the top three factors to consider when researching technical writing graduate programs.
  • Jessica Thuston: The Modern Professional Writer
    With numerous media outlets and fields that pertain to writing in a professional setting, those who graduate with a degree in Professional Writing are sure to find satisfactory jobs, right?
  • Social Media: Personal Branding
    Social media marketing is everywhere. Professional writing majors can easily take advantage of this continually growing job market.
  • The Advising Center and You
    Academic advisors help new and current students navigate campus life and classes. Advisors are there to help register for classes and even adjust to campus life.
  • The Implications of Evolving Literacy Standards
    Increasing digital literacy involves learning about the new technologies available in order to use them to gain knowledge.
  • The PWC at UAB
    Having the ability to communicate well is a desired trait that all employers are looking for. An integral part of that is written communication. The Professional Writing Club at UAB (PWC) has been established to help students understand and excel in written discourse.
  • The Versatility of Writing Skills
    Although one can certainly attain many careers with a professional writing degree, the skills learned in professional writing courses are transferable to almost any professional or academic subject.
  • The World of Freelancing: Tips for Getting Started
    Doing freelance work offers the opportunity to work in your own environment, choose your own projects, and have more flexibility in your work. Freelancing will only become more popular as technology continues to develop and business owners realize the options they have when it comes to people who freelance.
  • Tips to Improve Your Professional Writing
    Exceptional skills in writing and graphical design are necessary for aspiring professional and technical writers across all fields of work. If you hope to convey a specific message smoothly to a particular audience, your skills must be up to par. Even the most well established writers constantly strive to perfect their writing across all industries to properly advertise products.
  • Undecided English major? Pick Professional Writing
    While English as a major provides a foundation for future career endeavors, a concentration can make all the difference in job preparedness.