Define Successful Approaches Towards College Writing Tasks
Consider this: a recent survey of employers conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 89 percent of employers say that colleges and universities should place more emphasis on “the ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing.” It was the single-most favored skill in this survey.
In addition, several of the other valued skills are grounded in written communication:
- “Critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills” (81 percent)
- “The ability to analyze and solve complex problems” (75 percent)
- “The ability to locate, organize, and evaluate information from multiple sources” (68 percent).
This emphasis on communication probably reflects the changing reality of work in the professions. Employers also reported that employees will have to “take on more responsibilities,” “use a broader set of skills,” “work harder to coordinate with other departments,” face “more complex” challenges, and mobilize “higher levels of learning and knowledge.”
If you want to be a professional who interacts frequently with others, you have to be someone who can anticipate and solve complex problems and coordinate your work with others, all of which depend on effective communication.
The pay-off from improving your writing comes much sooner than graduation. Suppose you complete about 40 classes for a 120-credit bachelors’ degree, and—averaging across writing-intensive and non-writing-intensive courses—you produce about 2,500 words of formal writing per class. Even with that low estimate, you’ll write 100,000 words during your college career. That’s roughly equivalent to a 330-page book.
Spending a few hours sharpening your writing skills will make those 100,000 words much easier and more rewarding to write. All of your professors care about good writing.
What You Will Learn to Do
- identify common types of writing tasks given in a college class
- describe the purpose of writing tasks, and what an instructor might expect to see from your work
- recognize strategies for success on particular types of writing tasks
- define writing anxiety