Most people think that the main reason we write is to communicate ideas. This is certainly one important use of writing: a term paper lets a professor know that a student understands key concepts of a course; a résumé shows that a candidate is qualified for a job; a love letter declares feelings that need to be shared.
But . . . most of the writing we do in life is actually about remembering things and figuring things out: we take notes in class and when we're reading; we make shopping lists and put reminders in our calendars; we write down an address or a key phrase we want to look up. We do all kinds of verbal "doodling," sketching out our ideas, our feelings, and our hopes—especially when what we're thinking about still feels uncertain. Sometimes, scribbling out pros and cons, or writing our questions down, can help us understand complicated situations or ideas much better. This is true whether we're thinking through a decision about a new job or trying to understand the psychology of violence.
At Bronx Community College, our Writing-Across-the-Curriculum (WAC) program is dedicated to helping faculty and students work together to use writing as a tool to learn more enjoyably and effectively, in every class and in every discipline. We encourage writing activities in and out of the classroom to give students a chance to think through and master the concepts and content of the subject area.
This writing helps students think more critically, remember more effectively, and write more clearly!