Studying Effectively

Why do we write?

Reasons for writing

The primary reason for writing anything is to communicate with others, to stimulate interest or action from the reader. You may also use writing to help you to reflect on your experiences and learn from them. While at University a key way of assessing the progress and learning of students is via the written work you produce.When we write, therefore, we are either writing for ourselves or we are writing for others.

Writing for ourselves

When we write for ourselves it helps us to think, learn and understand. Writing for ourselves is a private affair though it may be shared with others.

Writing for others

When we write for others it is usually for assessment or publication for a wider readership.

Benefits of writing

Writing has a number of key benefits:

  • It is fixed and is therefore more permanent. You can keep coming back to a previous piece of writing and you may gain more benefit from reviewing it as a result.
  • BUT... do remember that you do not have to submit your first draft, the writing process may take many forms (visually and textually) and that looking back at your previous experiences of writing can help you learn more about your writing style.
  • Writing offers you time and space to re-draft and re-focus your message. In this way, perhaps, it is easier than spoken communication. When speaking, you have to think of words and immediately release them to the audience, and once spoken there is no opportunity to 'edit' them before they are heard.
  • The process of writing is something that you can constantly learn from, and cumulatively feedback and reflection on your writing can help you to develop as a writer. However, an important benefit of writing is also that as a form of assessment a piece of writing can be self-contained with its own deadline and a particular purpose. You do not have to keep writing the same piece for the same purpose.
  • Writing sometimes has more impact than other communication channels. Through writing, you can select language to influence the thoughts and actions of your reader in particular ways, guiding them through your evidence and argument to convince them of your analysis and conclusions.


Studying in Aroma cafe, Ningbo campus, China


Further reading


Strategies for managing writing

  • Preparation and planning
  • Choosing your words and improving your writing

More from Academic Support study resources

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