5 Writing's Purposes for Academic You Cannot Ignore !!!

6 writing's purposes for academic

College is a place for exploration, opening new path-ways for your life. You will travel through many courses, participating in numerous conversations — oral and written — about nature, society, and culture.

As you navigate your college experience, use this article as your map and guide.

As a map, this article will help you understand different approaches to knowledge and see how your studies relate to the larger world.

As a guide, this article will help you write in college and in the other areas of your life: exams, research reports, résumés, brochures, complaints, and business correspondence.

As a permanent part of your device, this article can take you where you need to go in college and beyond.

 Studying the world through a range of academic disciplines

1. Studying the world through a range of academic disciplines

To some extent, each department in your college represents a specialized territory of academic study, or area of inquiry, called a discipline.

A discipline has its own history, issues, vocabulary, and subgroups.

The discipline of sociology, for example, is concerned with the conditions, patterns, and problems of people in groups and societies.

Sociologists collect, analyze, and interpret data connected to that focus; sociologists also debate questions of reliability and interpretation.

These debates occur in classrooms with students, in conferences with colleagues, in journals and books that reach national and international academic audiences, and in conversations, presentations, and publications addressing members of the public, including elected officials.

Most college students take courses across a range of disciplines.

You may be asked to take one or two courses each in the humanities (the disciplines of literature, music, and philosophy, for example), the social sciences (sociology, economics, and psychology, for example), and the natural sciences (physics, biology, and chemistry, for example).

When you write in each discipline — taking notes, writing projects, answering essay-exam questions — you will join the academic conversation, deepen your understanding of how knowledge is constructed, and learn to see and think about the world from different vantage points.

You will also discover that courses and course assignments overlap in interesting ways. This blurring of disciplinary boundaries provides an opportunity for creativity.

Developing the ability to see and interpret experience from different perspectives goes beyond college to success in life.

Every day — every hour — the context shifts. Sizing things up, figuring out what is required, and shaping your responses appropriately will help you to manage any situation.

Empathizing with other points of view, while sustaining the integrity of your own principles, will take you far both personally and professionally.

Using writing as a tool for learning

2. Using writing as a tool for learning

Writing is a great aid to learning. Think of the way a simple shopping list jogs your memory once you get to the store, or recall the last time you jotted down notes during a meeting.

Because of your heightened attention, you undoubtedly knew more about what happened at that meeting than did anyone else in the room. Writing helps you remember, understand, and create.

Lecture notes

Writing aids memory

From taking class notes to jotting down ideas for later development, writing helps you to retrieve important information.

From taking class notes to jotting down ideas for later development, writing helps you to retrieve important information.

Many students use an informal outline for lecture notes and then go back to fill in the details after class. Write down ideas inspired by your course work — in any form or order.

These ideas can be the seeds for a research project or other types of critical inquiry, or you can apply them to your life outside the classroom.

Writing sharpens observations

When you record what you see, hear, taste, smell, and feel, you increase the powers of your senses.

Note the smells during a chemistry experiment, and you will more readily detect changes caused by reactions; record how the aroma of freshly popped popcorn makes you feel, and you will better understand your own moods.

Writing clarifies thought

After composing a draft, carefully reading it helps you pinpoint what you really want to say. The last paragraph of a first draft often becomes the first paragraph of the next draft.

Writing uncovers connections

Maybe a character in a short story reminds you of your neighbor, or an image in a poem makes you feel sad.

Writing down the reasons you make these connections can help you learn more about the work and more about yourself.

Writing improves reading

When you read, annotating — taking notes on the main ideas — and drafting a brief summary of the writer’s points sharpen your reading skills and help you remember what you have read.

Because memories are often tinged with emotion, writing a personal reaction to a reading can connect the material to your own life, thereby enhancing both your memory and your understanding.

Writing strengthens argument

In academic projects, an argument is not a fiery disagreement, but rather a path of reasoning to a position.

When you write an argument supporting a claim, you work out the connections among your ideas — uncovering both flaws that force you to rethink your position and new connections that make your position stronger.

Through writing, you also address your audience and the objections they might raise. Success in life often depends on understanding opposing points of view and arguing for your own ideas in ways that others can hear.

Taking responsibility for reading, writing, and research

3. Taking responsibility for reading, writing, and research

The academic community assumes that you are an independent learner, capable of managing your workload without supervision.

For most courses, the syllabus will be the primary guide to what is ex-pected of you, serving as a contract between you and your instructor.

It will tell you what reading you must do in advance of each class, when tests are scheduled, and when formal assignments or stages of projects (for example, topic and research plan, draft, and final project) are due.

Use the syllabus to map out your weekly schedule for reading, research, and writing.

Recognizing that writing improves with practice

4. Recognizing that writing improves with practice

Composition courses are valuable in helping you learn to write at the college level, but your development as a writer only begins there.

Writing in all your courses throughout your academic career will prepare you for a lifetime of confidence as a writer, whether you are writing a report in your workplace, a note to your child’s teacher, or a blog to express your political views.

Achieving the core outcomes of successful writing

5. Achieving the core outcomes of successful writing

As you work on a project, you will communicate your ideas more effectively if you keep these five outcomes in mind.

Although they are presented separately here, these outcomes work together as you compose. For example, you will use critical thinking (part of one outcome) as you revise your project (part of another outcome).

Rhetorical Knowledge

Rhetorical Knowledge includes focusing on your purpose for writing and the specific audience you are addressing.

It also means selecting the genre and medium to achieve that purpose, employing conventions necessary to the genre, and taking an appropriate rhetorical stance.

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing

Include using writing for inquiry, for thinking about ways to approach a project, and for developing that project, especially as you work with sources.


Processes are flexible strategies for drafting and revising as well as working with others on a writing task, whether through peer review or collaborative writing.

Knowledge of Conventions

Includes working within the formats that characterize different genres (for example, a résumé or a literary analysis) and using the correct requirements — governing syntax, punctuation, and spelling, for example—expected in every writing project.

Composing in Electronic Environments

Includes composing electronically and publishing your work digitally (for example, on a Web site) as well as using electronic sources like scholarly databases for researched projects.

Study Skills and Dealing with Stress

Study Skills and Dealing with Stress

Whether academic pursuits are a struggle or come easily to you, whether you are fresh out of high school or are returning to school after many years, college, like all new and challenging experiences, can be stressful.

Here are some strategies for dealing with the stress of college and achieving success:

Make flexible schedules

Schedules help you control your time and avoid procrastination by breaking big projects into manageable bits. Be sure to build some flexibility into your schedule, so that you can manage the unexpected.

Make the most of your time by setting clear priorities

Deal with last-minute invitations by saying “no,” getting away from it all, and taking control of phone, text, and e-mail interruptions.

Take good notes

The central feature of good note taking, in college and in life, is listening and distilling the important information — not writing down everything that is said.

Build reading and listening skills

When you read, identify and prioritize the main ideas, think critically about the arguments, and explain the writer’s ideas to someone else.

Listen actively: focus on what is being said, pay attention to nonverbal messages, listen for what is not being said, and take notes.

Improve your memory

Rehearsal and making connections are key strategies in remembering important information. Repeat the information, summarize it, and associate it with other memories.

Evaluate the information you gather

Consider how authoritative the source is, whether the author has potential biases, how recent the information is, and what facts or other evidence is missing from the research.

In college, as in life, critical thinking is essential.

Take care of yourself

Eating healthful food, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep are well-known stress relievers.

Some people find meditation to be effective. Stopping for a few seconds to take some deep breaths can do wonders.

Reach out for support

If you find it difficult to cope with stress, seek professional help. Colleges have trained counselors on staff as well as twenty-four-hour crisis lines.