Written communication is the development and expression of ideas in writing. Written communication involves learning to work in many genres and styles. It can involve working with many different writing technologies and mixing texts, data, and images. Written communication abilities develop through iterative experiences across the curriculum.

Bronx Community College has developed a written communication rubric to assess writing. The following definitions have been adopted to help further define written communications.

Context of and Purpose for Writing
The context of writing is the situation surrounding a text: Who is reading it? Who is writing it? Under what circumstances will the text be shared or circulated? What social or political factors might affect how the text is composed or interpreted? The purpose of writing is the writer’s intended effect on an audience. Writers might want to, for example:

  • persuade or inform;
  • report or summarize information;
  • work through complexity or confusion;
  • argue with other writers or connect with other writers;
  • convey urgency or amuse;
  • write for themselves or for an assignment or to remember.

Content Development
The ways in which the text explores and represents its topic in relation to its audience and purpose.

Disciplinary and Genre Conventions
Formal and informal rules that constitute what is seen generally as appropriate within different academic fields (e.g., introductory strategies, use of passive voice or first-person point of view, expectations for thesis or hypothesis, expectations for kinds of evidence and support that are appropriate to the task at hand, use of primary and secondary sources to provide evidence and support arguments and to document critical perspectives on the topic).  Genre conventions refer to formal and informal rules for particular kinds of texts and/or media that guide formatting, organization, and stylistic choices (e.g., lab reports, academic papers, poetry, webpages, or personal essays).

Evidence and Sources
Evidence refers to source material that is used to extend, in purposeful ways, writers’ ideas in a text. Sources refer to texts (written, oral, behavioral, visual, or other) that writers draw on as they work for a variety of purposes—to extend, argue with, develop, define, or shape their ideas, for example. Writers will incorporate sources according to disciplinary and genre conventions, according to the writer’s purpose for the text. Through the increasingly sophisticated use of sources, writers develop an ability to differentiate between their own ideas and the ideas of others, credit and build upon work already accomplished in the field or issue they are addressing, and provide meaningful examples to readers.

Language: Control of Syntax and Mechanics
Uses clear, accurate and virtually error-free language that skillfully communicates meaning to readers.

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