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Why Writing Matters

Why Writing Matters in Communication

"Writing in Communication seeks to influence people. Such influence is possible only when a writer writes well."

~David Schneider, Chair, Communication Department

 

Why Writing Matters in Communication

Writing is an essential part of what we do in Communication every day. Communication majors go into many professions and must learn to adapt their writing to the profession they enter. They may find themselves writing speeches and researched reports for executives; public statements and press releases for organizations or government officials; legal statements for investment companies or banks; many types of business correspondence (good news/bad news letters); newsletters for corporations or organizations; webpages for community groups; proposals for non-profits; and many other types of documents.

Typical Writing Assignments

COMM 105 (a General Education course): Students write speeches in multiple genres, arguments, researched reports on intercultural communication, and the like.

Communication majors: Majors write many different types of documents: researched reports; literature reviews; personal journals (in Family Communication or Interpersonal Communication); letters, executive reports, resumes and cover letters (in Business and Professional Communication); critical analyses of media; client proposals; press releases.

Qualities of Good Writing

Whether communication is oral or written, certain qualities are essential:

  • Strong content - people are influenced to accept your perspective only if you are credible and the information you present has importance
  • Good organization - logical structures allow readers/listeners to connect the ideas you are presenting
  • Careful editing - readers expect you to care enough about them to "clean up" your writing.

Appropriate Types of Evidence & Support

Communication is convincing when the supporting evidence is strong: 

  • Authoritative opinions, from primary or secondary sources
  • Statistics and other quantified data
  • Narratives
  • Analogy and metaphor
  • Real and hypothetical examples

Citation Conventions

Because Communication is a merger between rhetoric and social sciences, both MLA and APA documentation styles may be used. Consult the instructor for further information.

Special Comments

Learning to write to the needs of organizations is both an art and a skill. Writers never stop seeking the best way to accomplish their purposes.

Faculty Perspectives 
on Writing:

Jennifer McCullough

My Writing Story

Why Writing Matters in Communication