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Writing for College and Beyond

Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom


CJ Kent

Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom explains how the many skills taught in the Freshman Composition course apply at work and in life. The composition class is a pre-requisite and General Education course for most colleges and universities in the United States. It reaches students in every area of study. As people wonder about the value of a liberal arts education and question whether colleges and universities are truly preparing students for the workforce, Writing for College and Beyond challenges those arguments by pointing out exactly how classroom policies and writing assignments apply beyond school walls. Professors, lecturers, and graduate students teaching Freshman Composition courses will find this book helpful. Administrators who service the Freshman Composition population, such as Writing Center Directors, will also find Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom a wonderful aid.

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Chapter Four: General Remarks on Writing


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General Remarks on Writing

As we will continue to review throughout this book, workplace writing builds off college writing. College often has you work alone, whereas businesses often have you collaborate with others. In college, your ideas and their development matter; professors want to observe your critical thinking skills through your analysis of the material and then synthesis of it into an essay, paper, or report. At work, most writing is informational or procedural; you will often have to follow a template. Critical thinking skills are nonetheless important at work but they are not emphasized the way they are in college because employers expect you to be able to use them when necessary. You will report on the pertinent parts of a document for your audience, but great employees also subtly include what the information means, what information is missing, and how those elements influence any decision that must be made, just as you do for college papers.

Workplace writing is different from college writing, but only because it assumes the ability to do what college writing demands.

Why Good Writing Matters

Both college and businesses want you to be clear. Many businesses now demand a writing sample. The global asset management firm T. Rowe Price regularly hires ← 59 | 60 → students from the best business schools, but many applicants are disqualified because of their writing samples. It’s a financial firm with locations around...

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