Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Student writing in a notebook

Writing opportunities

Want to see what PCC students are writing? Check out PCC’s student literary magazines.

The Rock Creek Writing Center holds a Best Essay Contest with cash prizes for WR 121 students! Instructors may nominate up to two students per section.

Why choose Writing at PCC?

Portland Community College prepares you to write clearly and effectively. Competency in writing is essential to college success as you author class reports and term papers.

Degrees and certificates

PCC offers many options to meet your goals: short-term certificates, two-year degrees, and university transfer options.

Degrees and certificates by number of terms to complete
Award Length Financial aid eligible Currently accepting students?
University transfer 2 years at PCC + 2 years at university

What will you learn?

Portland Community College offers you three areas of writing study: Creative Writing, English Composition, and Technical Writing.

Creative Writing

Are you looking to stimulate and improve your own imaginative writing? The PCC creative writing program offers you the opportunity to study with instructors who provide unique approaches to creative writing. Expect to write a great deal, learn critical terminology, and spend class time discussing your own and others’ writing.

PCC offers one of the largest selections of creative writing courses in the state. There are no prerequisites for most of the introductory courses, although you should be able to write at WR 121 level. All the courses are good for three units of transferable credit.

English Composition

The goal of the Composition Program is to provide students with the opportunity to practice those writing skills which will enable them to write successfully in all their college courses. By the end of the program, students should be skillful at reading analytically and critically; their writing should demonstrate an understanding of organization, audience, voice, and the conventions of college-level written English.

In any of the courses in the Composition Program, students will be expected to write several papers; they may be asked to keep a reading journal and practice peer editing in small groups or engage in some form of collaborative learning in which essays will be read by other students in the class. Some in-class writing is required in all writing courses.

Technical Writing

Technical writing is common in the contemporary workplace. Students from disciplines as diverse as business, engineering, information technology, law and science benefit from taking technical writing courses.  You will learn how to analyze and communicate special information and to adapt your visuals, formats and writing styles to the specific audiences and needs of the fields. These courses emphasize the precise use of language and graphics to communicate complex technical and procedural information safely, legally and ethically.  We also focus on career-specific writing such as proposals, letters, memoranda, lab reports, and/or work reports. (See the Writing catalog and class schedule for technical writing classes.)

Want to deepen your knowledge? Consider the Creative Writing focus award.

Resources for writing students

PCC’s Writing Centers, available on all campuses, are valuable resources to help you write  papers. They’re open 5 days a week, and staffed by instructors in the Writing program and by peer tutors (students who have completed WR 121, 122, 123, and are enrolled in a tutor-training class.) The Writing Center can provide help from the very beginning (brainstorming ideas) to the very end (editing).

Other useful resources are the Computer Resource Centers, the Library, and the GoPrint Manager that allows you to print documents on campus.

What will you do?

You will find that strong writing skills will aid your professional career as you author well-worded emails and reports that your supervisors and colleagues will welcome reading.

Not quite ready for credit courses in writing?

Developmental Education Writing can help you prepare for PCC’s college credit programs. Many students already enrolled in credit courses take developmental classes as needed to meet the requirements of their degree program.

Next steps

Applying to PCC is free and only takes a few minutes.Apply now

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Related programs

PCC offers more than 90 programs.