Whether you are in a class that takes a writing-about-writing approach and asks you explicitly to conduct research or one in which the instruction focuses on writing in specific genres, adopting the habits of a writing researcher will serve you well. For example, if you were asked to research a job that you would like to apply for and then put together a job portfolio, research on what kind of writing that position would require (beyond the information provided in the job description) could help you craft a stronger cover letter. Moreover, the habits of a writing researcher will continue to serve you as you produce writing in your future profession(s). Experienced medical professionals, for example, recognize that the charting they do impacts not only the health of their patients, but also how they are billed by insurance.
The success of all writing requires an awareness of one’s audience and context. With a greater understanding of the methods and strategies that professional researchers use to explain how audience and context work around and through different forms of writing or genres, you can apply your knowledge explicitly in each new setting you encounter rather than assuming that what worked in one situation is likely to work in another. While it is true that many writing principles hold true no matter when and where you are writing, it is also true that the strongest writers know when and how to vary those principles to achieve their objectives.
CHAPTER ATTRIBUTION INFORMATION
This chapter was written by Allison Gross, Portland Community College, and is licensed CC-BY 4.0.