Writing To Communicate

It is easiest to describe writing as communication because this is the use to which school writing is most obviously put. For years, teachers in elementary, middle, and high school classes admonished you to write clearly, correctly, concisely, and objectively about topics they hoped would interest you. In school they put most of their emphasis on writing clear, correct, concise, objective prose. They taught you to use thesis statements, topic sentences, outlines, footnotes, transitions, and titles, but to avoid clich├ęs, digressions, redundancy, and split infinitives. Later, they said, the same principles would be emphasized in your workplace.

In writing to communicate, you probably produced, at one time or another, essays, book reports, lab reports, term papers, five-paragraph themes, and essay answers. You most likely spent many hours in school practicing how to use written language to communicate effectively with other people. Of course, much communicative writing is also imaginative and exploratory, for writing's functions frequently overlap.

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