Why So Much Emphasis on Writing?

Writing is an active thinking process, a way to develop new knowledge for yourself. Your teachers will deliberately create various occasions for learning new subject matter through writing. For example, you may be asked to keep a journal, write a financial analysis, present a formal argument, create a mission statement, perform a strategic analysis, or even write your own case study. As you write about your subject—describing it from as many angles as you can think of, comparing it with other knowledge you have, tracing its history, and discovering its relationships to other subject matter—you are helping your mind to work. As you write, you are recording how your mind works and stimulating your thoughts and ideas. The written record of your thinking becomes part of your new knowledge.

In addition to creating new knowledge, writing can help you explore and discover problem-solving strategies. As you progress in your academic specialization, you will be expected to address more complex problems associated with learning new subject matter. For example, you might be asked to address the issue of whether global warming is actually occurring. You could be asked to critically evaluate the unemployment statistics posted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You could also be asked to decide the feasibility of starting a new business in an international setting. Because these issues require more complex reasoning, you will find that "thinking in writing" about these problems facilitates your efforts to find solutions.

Although college writing assignments differ somewhat in emphasis from your workplace writing, the methods and strategies these assignments teach you will be useful in your workplace writing. For this reason, this guide focuses on college writing. Fortunately, the processes writers follow enable successful writing in many different environments. In chapter 2, you will discover some of these writing processes that will work for you in college and in everyday writing as well.

Writing is an active thinking process that allows the writer to explore ideas, stimulate new thoughts, and discover new ways to solve problems.

 

Student Services: 1616 McCormick Drive, Largo, MD 20774
Mailing Address: 3501 University Blvd. East, Adelphi, MD 20783

Copyright © 2011 University of Maryland University College (UMUC). All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the copyright holder.

All links to external sites were verified at the time of publication. UMUC is not responsible for the validity or integrity of information located at external sites.