Subject Collection Development Guidelines


WRTC Subject Collection Development Policy

The School of Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication is a new and evolving academic program.  It is the product of a merger in 2008 of the Institute of Technical and Scientific  Communication, which offered bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and the Writing department, which offered a minor in writing. WRTC now offers both B.A. and B.S. degrees and M.A. and M.S. degrees in two concentrations--Technical and Scientific Communication and Writing and Rhetoric. Students are encouraged to take courses from other majors (e.g., SMAD, SCOM, history, psychology, and physics).  The School also offers minors in the two concentrations. WRTC courses focus on:


  • Designing print and electronic publications
  • Learning project management skills and the publication cycle
  • Writing for the medical industry, government, or scientific fields
  • Developing websites using XHTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Conducting surveys and usability tests
  • Learning and applying sound rhetorical principles of communication in academic and professional environments
  • Editing manuals, websites, and other documentation


JMU Libraries supports JMU’s School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication in the College of Arts and Letters with collections that facilitate instruction and research.  Collection development for WRTC focuses on both the more traditional areas of composition and rhetoric and the broader, interdisciplinary areas of technology and design. WRTC’s curricular interests overlap with those of other departments such as media arts and design, computer science, and education/instructional design. 

The following collection areas are divided into those of primary interest (included in the subject profile) and supplementary (as shown by firm order purchases outside the subject profile).

Primary Collection Areas: Subject Profile

LC Class


Collecting Level




Business writing




General works


3c. Advanced Study Level



Proposal writing in business

3c. Advanced Study Level



Business report writing

3c. Advanced Study Level



Legal composition and draftsmanship

3b. Intermediate Study Level



Teaching of language, grammar, composition, etc.

3b. Intermediate Study Level

Exclude teaching of foreign languages


Modern English (ca. 1500-) with emphasis on:

3b. Intermediate Study Level



Rhetoric. Style. Composition

3c. Advanced Study Level



Authorship, with emphasis on:




Authorship as a profession. Ethics. Relations. Social conditions

3c. Advanced Study Level



Authorship; Technique. Literary composition, etc.

3c. Advanced Study Level



Graphic methods

3b. Intermediate Study Level



Communication in medicine

3c. Advanced Study Level



Communication of technical information

3c. Advanced Study Level



Word processing

3b. Intermediate Study Level



Practical printing, e.g., printing as a business, layout, paper & ink, type and type founding, electro-typing, desktop publishing, typesetting, press work

3a.  Basic Study Level




Reproduction of books, documents, etc., by photography, microphotography, etc.


3a.  Basic Study Level



Interdisciplinary Collection Areas outside the Subject Profile:

LC Class


Collecting Level


GV 1469

Video games

3a.  Basic Study Level



Management, team work

3a.  Basic Study Level


HF 5718

Business communication

3a.  Basic Study Level


HF 5825

Advertising, design and layouts

3a.  Basic Study Level



Internet culture, information and society

3a.  Basic Study Level


JF 1525

Government writing

3b. Intermediate Study Level


LB 1028

Educational research

3a.  Basic Study Level


NC 845-1002

Graphic arts

3a.  Basic Study Level


P 90-93

Mass media

3a.  Basic Study Level


P 301

Style, composition, rhetoric

3b. Intermediate Study Level


QA 76.76

Computer software

3a.  Basic Study Level



Web design

3a.  Basic Study Level




Journals (current subscriptions)


American Medical Writers Association AMWA journal

Business communication quarterly : a publication of the Association for Business Communication

College composition and communication

Composition studies

Foundations and trends in technology, information, and operations management [electronic resource]


JAC : a journal of composition theory

Journal of technical writing and communication

Journal of the fantastic in the arts

Pre/Text : the first decade / Victor J. Vitanza, editor

Research in the teaching of English [electronic resource]

Rhetoric review

Rhetorica : a journal of the history of rhetoric / International Society for the History of Rhetoric

Science fiction film and television [electronic resource]

Step inside design

Teaching English in the two-year college [electronic resource]

Technical communication

Technical communication quarterly

TEXT technology

The Journal of business communication

The Writer

The Writer's digest

WPA, writing program administration

Writing on the edge



Materials for WRTC are considered based on their subject, curriculum relevance, authoritativeness, currency, and price.  User requests and appropriateness for the library’s entire collection are also key criteria for consideration.


  • Primary emphasis is on current materials, especially for materials related to technology; historic materials may be purchased as necessary.
  • Primary format is print, with the exception of technology texts and software support manuals and texts, which are preferred in electronic format when available.  Electronic formats are preferred for reference and periodical collections when available.
  • Materials are acquired primarily from the United States.
  • English-language materials only.



The responsibility for acquiring and managing writing, rhetoric, and technical communication collections resides primarily with the WRTC librarian, working in cooperation with the WRTC faculty.  Collection management activities are monitored and administered by JMU Libraries' Collection Development Committee, with expenditures authorized by the Dean of Libraries and Educational Technologies.

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