Why Is Good Writing Important by lih18327

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									Why Is Good Writing Important?
Overview In order to be successful in college and in the career world, good writing is a required and necessary skill. In fact, in the online environment, the only way to communicate with your instructors and classmates is through written communication. It is how people get to know you, it is how you are seen and judged, and it is what you are graded on. Your written work is a reflection of you. And because of that, it is of utmost importance that your work represents the true you. Take your time with your emails, projects, and discussion board postings. Use the spelling and grammar check in Microsoft Word, use the spell check in the discussion board, and proofread everything. Good, clear writing not only helps us express our thoughts; it puts us in control of our lives and helps us become successful students and workers. Here at Kaplan, you will be asked to communicate your thoughts in the discussions, seminar, email, projects, and papers. To be able to express yourself successfully, and achieve good grades, you must learn good writing skills. Three Choices All Writers Must Make Authors are faced with many choices when going through the writing process. They must choose something to write about, which is called the topic. Then, they must determine how to write the piece, which is called language. And lastly, authors must figure a way to connect all of their thoughts to convey meaning, which is called organization. Topic What are you going to write about? The choice of topic may seem like the easiest choice an author has to make. But, sometimes it can be the hardest choice of all. Have you ever sat there staring at a blank screen or a blank piece of paper and just could not come up with a topic to write about? Well, it happens to many people. This is when reading the directions carefully, researching, and starting the brainstorming process comes into play. These three areas are critical when deciding upon a topic. And, even if you are given the topic to write about, you must make sure your approach satisfies the directions completely. When you do not read directions carefully or are unclear about the expectations, it is easy to misinterpret the directions (which in turn can have a negative impact on your grade). A good way to double-check your content prior to submission is by using the grading rubric in your syllabus. Language Once you have selected a topic to write about, choosing the language for your project is of utmost importance. And, this choice is not simple. What voice do you want to speak in? First or third person? In most cases, you will want your writing to be in third person. For more information on the distinction, and the reason for these different approaches, please review the following link available in the Writing Center: http://kucampus.kaplan.edu/Platform/AcademicSupport/AcademicSuccess/PeerTutori ng/Writing/pdf/style/formal_vs_informal.pdf

After you select a voice, you must think about your audience. What do they need to know about this topic? How can I best explain this content? Once you know your voice and your audience, you must know what type of paper you are writing. Is it a persuasive essay (do you want to influence your audience)? Is it an argumentative essay (are you sharing your opinion on a topic)? Is it a descriptive essay (are you describing something)? Is it a narrative essay (are you writing a story about yourself)? So, selecting the language for an essay depends on what type of essay you are writing. Once you know what your topic is, and who your audience is, you can select how to best transcribe the information. The choice of language affects each and every thing you write in your classes, in your emails, and in your career. In every area of your life where you write something down, you are affected by the choice of language. How are you going to write your message? Are other people going to be reading it? Are there certain things you must write or a certain way you must write for them to understand? Writing a message for a six-year-old is much different than writing a posting for your Academic Strategies class. All of these decisions are language choices. Organization All of one's choices in writing are important. First, you need a topic and then when writing, you need to choose your words to convey meaning. But, if you do not set up your paper to flow properly, your topic and language can get lost in the confusion. If you have a two page paper due and turn in one big paragraph (instead of a separate introduction, a few paragraphs in the body, and a separate conclusion), you may lose your reader right in the beginning. Content set up in this manner is not only confusing; it is intimidating. Here is another example to describe the choice of organization. Let's say you wanted to make a pizza and the first step you read was, "Put the ingredients on the pizza crust." If you never made this pizza before, you might ask, "What ingredients?" The ingredients are very important to the organization or structure of the recipe and they must come first before the steps are mentioned. This can be compared to the organization or structure of a paper. You must explain what the project is going to be about (the introduction) before you get into specific details (the body). And, this all must be completed before your sum up the project (the conclusion). Lastly, as you review your work, and hopefully see your own “good writing,” ask yourself the following questions to help you think about the writing process: Questions Every Writer Must Ask Themselves 1. Why am I writing? (i.e. purpose) 2. What is my point? (i.e. the intended message) 3. Who is my audience? (i.e. rhetorical purpose) 4. What type of language will best reach this group? (i.e. what is the most appropriate level of formality and language use for this group)

5. How can I arrange this information in a way that appeals logically to this group? (i.e. What's the best may to make this understandable to this group?) As you can see, the organization of your projects and essays are extremely important for the project's flow and your reader's comprehension. Having a good handle on project organization will also help you to earn the best grade in your Kaplan classes.


								
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