There are many different kinds of writers: screenwriters, playwrights, novelists and journalists, to name a few. All of them tell stories, but only one kind of writer tells a story about a brand — a copywriter.

Drawing from diverse sources such as art, literature, history, cultural trends and current events, copywriters set out to arrange words in ways that will persuade people to buy a product, use a service, watch a network, support a cause, vote for a candidate or even adopt a healthier way to live.

Of course, persuasive writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Copywriters must first pore over the research, assimilate insights, understand industry trends, become familiar with the target audience and collaborate with an art director. Ultimately, copywriters must artfully communicate the truth about a brand using a “big idea.” In this way, a copywriter compels the audience to take action.

A copywriter’s words might take the form of a radio spot, a print ad, a pre-roll video or a digital ad; and the words themselves might appeal to a reader’s heart, mind or sense of humor. At any given moment, a copywriter might craft a funny headline, an inspiring tagline, a catchy jingle or a gritty, first-person narrative.

Students who focus their coursework on the copywriting interest area will learn to think strategically, write creatively and express ideas coherently. In the process, they will develop a professional portfolio or “book,” which is the passport into the creative side of the communication business.

Skill sets valued in copywriting

  • Imagination
  • Creativity
  • Mental dexterity
  • Clever wit
  • Non-conformity
  • Fearless thinking
  • Divergent thinking
  • Strategic thinking
  • Having a way with words

Careers in copywriting

Recommended elective coursework

Alumni profiles