Think back to your first free-write in this class when you were asked to reflect on the question “Who are you?” Did any of you answer by saying “I’m a writer”? What about your professional goals…does anyone want to BE a writer after they graduate? Most of you (probably all of you) are answering “no” to these questions. But, it might come as a surprise to you just how much “writing” is expected in a variety of work environments.

Skim Brumberger and Lauer’s (2015)View in a new window analysis of job postings to get a sense of the diversity of writing tasks across a variety of professional environments. This is a full length academic study so, for the purposes of this assignment, pay particular attention to the abstract, all the figures and tables, and the conclusion. The goal is to get a sense of the breadth of positions in the professional world that require writing skills across various formats.

Once you have reviewed this data, compare it with what you read in Blythe, Lauer, and Curran’s (2014)View in a new window data. Focus your reading on pages 272-280 to really get a snapshot of the kinds of writing professionals are describing in the survey results.

After reviewing these findings, try and come up with a variety of professional positions that are not represented in these studies which you feel probably involve a lot of writing. No idea? Google is a good resource here. Practice those research skills!

By this point, you should have a pretty detailed list of professional positions that require writing/composition in various formats. Here’s the fun part. Choose three positions (examples could be graphic novelist, social media specialist, medical writer) and search for examples of them on an “ask me anything” forum. Reddit (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. has very rich and involved AMAs but there are other sites as well such as topiama.com (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. that would work. For instance, by googling “graphic novelist ama” I found this link:

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/57ys6u/im_gene_yang_im_a_graphic_novelist_who_is_writing/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Pick your three positions and find three AMA forums where you can read through questions and responses to learn more about these positions. Once you feel like you’ve accrued enough data, post a response (around 250-300 words) that compares and contrasts some of the data you reviewed. For instance, how do the findings in Brumberger and Lauer (2015) or Blythe, Lauer, and Curran (2014) differ from some of the opinions of writers in the AMA forums? Are the observations of the academic studies more closely related to some positions (like technical writers) than others you may have investigated (like screenwriters)? You had to review a lot, so try to focus your response on what you thought was the most interesting connections/differences between your sources. This is good practice for the kind of work expected in Project 2!