Whether for the benefit of your academic or professional life, or even for your personal life, writing is an effective tool to help you to be understood and to influence others. Much of what we’ve talked about so far regarding the value of writing has been about its ability to help you understand yourself and to help you understand the world. But writing also has an important power to help you to get others to understand your message.
As we’ve already stated in discussing its creative potential, writing gives you a voice. Writing can help you to state your position and support it in a way that might persuade others not only to understand your perspective, values, and beliefs, but also to adopt them. And when you’re unsure about something, you can even use writing as a method for self-persuasion, to help you make up your mind about an important topic.
From resumes to term papers to work-related documents to journaling and self-exploration, writing is an important and powerful tool to have at the ready. This text can help you sharpen that tool and to use it to the best of your ability.
Take two or three minutes to list as many of your own current goals that you can think of. These might be academic goals, professional goals, or personal goals. For instance, you might want to learn more about a certain academic subject or achieve a degree or certification. You might want to advance yourself in your current career, or you might want to find a job in a completely new field than the one you’re working in right now. You might want to gain a new skill that will help you with a hobby that you enjoy.
Now, consider how writing might be a useful tool in helping you to achieve some of these goals. Can writing help you to explore, to create, to understand, to persuade, or to share in ways that can help you reach some of these goals? Discuss your thoughts with some classmates in a small group, and if class time allows for it, your small group might share some conclusions about the value of writing with the whole class.