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Writing Literacy

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at

OK, I know, it’s more like this


Learning Outcome

Writing literacy for chosen audiences, including the ability to draft and format an essay in an appropriate citation style.


Everything on this blog.

The 88 (or so) discussion posts I’ve written.

The additional inquiry projects and short papers in the program.

Real Examples

COMM 629: 629 Discussion Question Week 6

COMM 624: From Bytes to Flesh: Bronies as a Fringe Community

COMM 664: Top 10 Best Practices for Communicating Organizational Identity and Brand

COMM 664: Break Out and Be Yourself: Entrepreneurs and Employee Identity (Podcast) 


Obviously, you do not get through a MA of communications program without being able to write; however, this program takes writing to a new level. As this is an entirely asynchronous online program, all course discussions and most major assignments are in written form. (I’ve included a discussion response above to illustrate how this works.} When writing in discussion forums and in formal assignments, the audience (even with classmates) is an academic audience. However, we’ve had opportunities to write for non-academic audiences on academic audiences. With these audiences, we make sure to include citations and references in APA style.

While there are many examples in my digital portfolio of  academic writing, my first example above, From Bytes to Flesh: Bronies as a Fringe Community, is an example of  a short paper assignment written in an essay format. I include it to illustrate competency in this literacy, as well as to be able to include “Bronies” on my blog.

The next two examples highlight writing targeting non-academic audiences. The blog post Top 10 Best Practices for Communicating Organizational Identity and Brand is an example of taking an academic theory, Narrative Paradigm theory, and tailoring it to a mainstream audience (in this case, a business audience). The post Break Out and Be Yourself: Entrepreneurs and Employee Identity (Podcast)  is an example of how writing literacy translates to digital platforms. For this assignment, I wrote a script that I then delivered via podcast. Again, the material targeted a business audience, yet still included references (in the text of the blog and in the closing credits of the podcast).

Entering the program, I had to reprogram my writing style to accommodate an academic audience. It took several classes to develop a “discussion” style that involves three paragraph (or more) essays and two paragraph (or more) responses with citations; however, I got there. Through assignments in the program, I’ve been able to craft content for the academy and beyond the academy. I have learned to adapt theoretical concepts to strategic plans, articles, videos, and podcasts. This is a valuable skill, and I feel, a differentiator in my professional field.

I employ a caregiver for a sick family member, and she commented one day that I seem to think through my fingers (on the keyboard). Perhaps that’s the greatest takeaway–I type like a beast, and I can get an idea down on paper (or down on Word) in no time.

Favorite APA Resource: APA Syle Blog


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