- Free Newsletters
- News & Views
- Student Success
- Teaching & Learning
- Letters to the Editor
- Career Advice
- Hire Faculty & Staff
- Reports & Data
- Become an Insider Log In My Dashboard
- Microcredential Confusion
- Who Should Run Tennessee State?
- Aftershocks of the Asbury Revival
- Cardona vs. ‘U.S. News’
- The ‘Denaming’ of a Law School
- Admissions Insider
- Diversity Matters
- Events & People
- Capital Campaigns
- Community Colleges
5 Types of Workplace Writing Students Can Practice in Class
From memos and reports to self-assessments and slide decks, writing skills often needed on the job don’t tend to be taught in college. But professors can incorporate workplace writing into course assignments.
The skill of boiling down ideas into concise, compelling communications is crucial to success in many careers and workplaces. That’s why professors should consider designing writing assignments that align with what students will face in the workplace. Martha Coven, author of Writing on the Job: Best Practices for Communicating in the Digital Age (Princeton University Press, 2022), spoke on this topic at the recent conference on general education, pedagogy and assessment organized by the American Association of Colleges and Universities.
Coven, a trainer and consultant who teaches public policy and writing at Princeton and New York Universities, shared the many differences between workplace and academic writing—including that workplace writing tends to have short paragraphs and bulleted lists. In the workplace, collaborative writing is valued and generally expected, while in classes students are trained to write independently.
College professors not modeling good writing for students is also a problem. Their writing tends to be “terribly laden with jargon,” and “we also often hide the bottom line,” she said. That main point? It’s often very hard to find—even in academic journal article abstracts.
Other common issues include: packing slide decks with too many words, presenting data visualizations that “feel like intelligence tests” and have unhelpful titles, and adding footnotes to everything. While there are good reasons for footnotes in the academy, in an internal work memo, one is just trusted to have the facts straight.
Student pursuing careers outside academia (that is, the vast majority of students) need practice on common types of workplace writing. Here are a few types writing done at work with tips from Coven about how assignments in college courses can provide that practice:
- Reports, memos, proposals and plans. Students could be asked to turn in a cover memo with any assignment or write a tweet or LinkedIn post that summarizes the idea and “shows that you’ve really gotten to the heart of it,” Coven says.
- Materials for the media, such as press releases or commentary. At some companies, notably Amazon, employees pitching something new are asked to write a press release and FAQ highlighting what they might get asked about the proposal. This is another potential assignment add-on. Or students can be asked to write about 700 words of perspective on a topic to influence the reader, mirroring a LinkedIn article.
- Résumés and cover letters. Coven finds that students, when asked why a particular job appeals, will focus on their own personal interests. Related assignments can get them into the mind-set of selling themselves as a good fit for the role.
- Self-assessments and performance reviews. When asked on the job, most people have no idea how to attack this kind of writing, Coven says, adding that “it’s a great thing to simulate” as related to class performance.
- Slide decks. While students are generally comfortable creating slide decks, one area for growth can be teaching them to have a headline on each slide that conveys the bottom line, Coven says. “If you just read the headlines, it should tell a story.”
In a recent Inside Higher Ed opinion piece, Martha Coven offered tips to academics for using numbers in papers and reports more effectively . Put into practice, the advice can help faculty members model good writing to students.
Melissa ezarik, inside higher ed careers.
- Faculty Jobs
- Administrative Jobs
- Executive Administration Jobs
- Jobs Outside Higher Education
Browse Faculty Jobs
- Arts & Humanities
- Engineering & Mathematics
- Health & Medical
- Professional Fields
- Science & Technology
- Social Sciences
- Technical & Vocational Fields
Browse Administrative Jobs
- Academic Affairs
- Institutional & Business Affairs
- Student Affairs
Browse Executive Administration Jobs
- C-Level & Executive Directors
- Other Executive Administration
- Presidents & Chancellors
- Vice Presidents
Browse Jobs Outside Higher Education
- Businesses & Consultants
- Government Agencies
- Museums & Cultural Organizations
- Non-Profit Organizations & Associations
- Public Policy
- Publishers & Presses
- Other Jobs Outside Higher Education
- Research & Development
- Software & Technology
- University of California system bans fully online degrees
- The 'Asbury Revival' comes to a close
- New Education Department guidance targets risky colleges
- The Secrets of College Success | Higher Ed Gamma
- Student survey reveals gaps in core academic advising functions
Resources for faculty and staff from our partners at Times Higher Education.
- Six ingredients for successful digital transformation
- The House Cup: promoting qualitative grading in mathematics
- The library and the metaverse: a match made in heaven
- Design a student-centred curriculum for dynamic learning
- Creating an impactful visual abstract with no design experience
Most Shared Stories
- A small college needs $2.6M to survive. It's raised $178K
- Frustrated DEI staff are leaving their jobs
- Faculty member issues dire warning to grad students about jobs
- Education Department to review rules for online program providers
- Microcredentials confuse employers, colleges and learners
You may also be interested in...
- Management principles to help colleges meet today's challenges (opinion)
- Centralization Is Not the Objective
- Review of Peter Burke's "Ignorance: A Global History"
Today’s News from Inside Higher Ed
Inside Higher Ed’s Quick Takes
Columbia u goes test optional permanently, onondaga community college offers $75,000 retirement incentive, msu dean resigns over alleged failures on sexual misconduct, lsu reacts to student’s viral tiktok promoting ai essay tool, stanford sues county for tax exemptions on faculty homes, asbury revival spurs prayer services at secular universities.
500+ Paper Writers for hire. But if you have any problem with ordering your paper, dont hesitate to contact our support team for any help you need! Writing college essays takes time and many hours, and then only the best papers will be accepted by the academic authorities. Mosan Cameron, Executive of fedex
At paperwriter.Com you can also buy essay, term paper, and research paper from real writers who are experts in their domains. We are proud to offer to our customers excellent academic essay, research paper, and term paper writing services.
While writing paper for students, we provide the easy-to-follow instructions. Albert Doe Team Lead, Design Studio Contact Feel Free to Contact Address:308 Negra Arroyo Lane Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87111. Cell No:1-800-133-456 Email:paperwritinghq.com 2022
This is another potential assignment add-on. Or students can be asked to write about 700 words of perspective on a topic to influence the reader, mirroring a LinkedIn article. Résumés and cover letters. Coven finds that students, when asked why a particular job appeals, will focus on their own personal interests.
We can write a school assignment, homework or term paper for any academic level. We can also give you the type of paper you need for a school subject like history, math, economics, psychology, law, nursing, sociology or english. Online essay writing service for students 85% 500+ Paper Writers for hire 95% 24/7 Support 90% Full Confidentiality 85%
Cheap Essay Writing Service Students are usually under a lot of pressure at the time. They need to achieve both their academic and career goals in a short time. The huge amounts of work and the fear of failing at everything may push students to seek for a solution to their problems. Fast & Top Quality Unlimited Revisions Only verified services