WRITING IN THE FACULTY OF BUSINESS
THE ROLE OF WRITING: Why is writing so important?
Writing is a very important activity and set of skills to develop as part of your academic study. In all programs
of study in the Faculty of Business, and across all levels of study, your capabilities as a writer are very
important. Here are the main reasons why the Faculty considers writing to be so central to your learning.
Writing is a process which helps you to learn more deeply.
When you are engaged in writing for your assessment tasks, you are engaged in
a process of learning. Writing is not just something that happens at the end of
learning. Instead, the process of writing starts from the very beginning of
tackling an assessment task. During the process, you will need to analyse the
task, read material relevant to the task, make notes and clarify your
understandings, draw together different views on the topic, critically weighing
these up, and so on. All these activities contribute to your learning as you go
about solving the problem that the writing task has posed.
The kind of learning that you are expected to engage in at university level is
deep learning, in which you are expected to understand many dimensions of a
topic, and how they are related to each other, to ask critical questions, and to
develop your own perspectives and viewpoints. For many people, the deepest
learning occurs when they try to put their thoughts into words so that others
can understand. A common experience for many people is that they are not
really sure what they think about a complex topic until they start writing down
their thoughts. Thus the process of writing can be seen as a means for
discovering and consolidating meaning and therefore a method for learning
Writing is a product which demonstrates the quality of your learning.
Without being able to ‘see’ your thinking through the words you speak and
write, your lecturers would not be able to assess what is in your head. Thus
your writing is a crucial product of your thinking which provides the evidence of
what you have learned. Your lecturers can use this product to assess the
quality of your learning and give you feedback to help you learn more from the
experience. This is a very important part of the learning cycle in a university
course, and you should aim to learn from your assessment feedback on every
task you undertake.
In most of your subjects for your degree, written tasks will constitute the major
part of your assessment. Even if a portion of your assessment may be for a
tutorial or seminar presentation in class, you will often be expected to prepare
some written material, for example, a Powerpoint presentation, or a class
handout, or even a tutorial or seminar paper. In some subjects, you may be
required to prepare a piece of written work as a member of a group. In other
subjects, you may have exams in which you have to write under more
constrained conditions, or perhaps you may be expected to write something for
a real workplace in which your learning is set.
In all these circumstances, your writing is the product which defines how much
and how well you understand and can put your case, and which will constitute
the substantial basis for your assessment grade.
Writing is a way of engaging in a dialogue with your lecturers/tutors.
As you progress through your academic career at university, your writing
operates as a channel for dialogue with the academic staff you will meet.
Through refining and further developing your writing as an integral part of
learning, the opportunity to engage in deeper discussions with staff can be
enhanced by the written assignments and work you undertake. Academic staff
themselves often find that such dialogue with students is the most satisfying
part of their work and many report on the reciprocal learning that takes place
through students’ serious engagement in writing