A New Beginning

This past month or so, I discovered an article dissecting the first draft of  Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” speech.  The President refused the help of a speech writer. On the original document his handwriting is a jumble of smudges and scribbles; but I am impressed by his willingness to say something important, in his own words, and revise it until it was powerful enough to evoke emotion and change.

Career Writing

Writing is highly valued as a tool in modern society. Yet, the National Adult Literary Survey recognizes a gap between performance and perception in adult writing scenarios. In other words, as an English instructor, I have become the American Idol judge of student composition. In my role as a Career Advisor, I grapple with convincing students that good writing gets jobs. Like a mantra, I repeat that “Seventy-three percent of all employers rank writing ability in the top ten desired applicant skills.”

While most agree the modern economy demands professionals who can write, few of us know what that looks like.  Even fewer of us know how to elicit it from others. Yet, we do recognize the widening gap between the science of writing instruction and the art of applying composition skills to a variety of labor environments.

To compound the issue, the landscape of work is changing. Email, social media, and other online correspondence tools are redefining literacy and writing standards. The introduction of new technologies means that communication is more visual than ever before. Professionals interacting in digital contexts need to develop multimodal and global literacy.

Fearless partners recognize the current climate as an opportunity to introduce new forms of writing into educational environments. Certainly, this is an occasion for innovative and collaborative thinking that examines patterns and inconsistencies between writing instruction and career application. It is time to revise our idea of what good writing looks like. Together, we can remember that good writing is less subjective than we think it is. Grant applications are awarded funding. Resumes get interviews. Papers extend critical thought in areas of inquiry. Poems and stories capture the human experience. Eloquent texts are knowable. To say less, is to render words inert.

FDR understood good writing is practical and measurable. I agree. Good writing gets results. Join me as I use a patchwork of practical tips, tricks, and tutorials to challenge preconceptions and examine what good writing looks like.

Welcome to Career Write!



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  • Steve Williams

    Wow Tamara, what a clean site! Your posts go so well with your design. Great work!

    • tamaralmitchell

      Thank you, Steve!

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