In college, you do not always learn how to operate in a real life work atmosphere. Most times, you learn skills without much application. This class teaches you not only how to produce documents for clients, but how to manage deadlines and communicate professionally with team members, supervisors, and subordinates. I was able to learn how to manage others while also managing myself. The class is a life lesson. Dr. Gonzales taught me that sometimes you must first fail to ultimately succeed.
To future students, I urge you to be absolutely certain that you understand what the project is asking you to do. When you can say you’re 100% sure, still email Dr. Gonzales or one of your coordinators. The number one mistake that I made time and time again was miscommunication.
After completing this course, I can confidently say that I could never have worked as a professional writer without taking it. I learned so much about writing in a professional environment as well as what a professional environment looks like. Teamwork is essential, and it is okay to take control when your team needs guidance.
Shortly after I began this course, I entered a real life professional writing environment that pretty much mirrors everything required here. Collaboration, critique, unexpected events, deadlines, and realizing that everything is a learning curve. While a seemingly insignificant “skill,” learning to communicate when help is needed has been crucial to myself both in this class and in my real life work environment. At its core, professional writing is all about communication, so becoming more confident with “blurting it out” has helped me tremendously.
My advice to future students? Never be afraid to ask for clarification. Once you’re being paid to do something, falling flat on a project or failing to deliver because you did not entirely understand the requirements becomes a huge motivator to ask as many questions as possible. Ask for critique on everything you do, and do not be afraid to challenge ideas or criticisms. Sometimes, great ideas come from fresh, inexperienced minds, and no one is correct 100% of the time. Collaboration is what makes organizations strong.
As the social media coordinator, it was interesting thinking about Twitter’s professional uses. Until this class, I had only ever used it casually, but I was very familiar with its features and how some companies use it. To avoid being too similar to the blog, I chose Twitter over Facebook. Furthermore, the character limit posed an interesting challenge and forced me to think about how to convey hundreds to thousands more characters from just 140. Being forced to work with such a narrow scope forces you to think more the quality of the content and what marketing tactics work. Given more time and experience with online marketing, I would enjoy operating within a social media team.
Overall, what I learned about professional writing is that professional writers can do and learn anything needed. Since the goal is outlined to you from the beginning, you just have to work on bridging the gap between start and completion. This can involve anything from developing a rudimentary skill, having to research something you never knew existed, or collecting data. What matters in the end is that the project is finished, the client is satisfied, and all collaborators (if applicable) had input. Professional writing is rarely a deal between just two people.
This class was truly one of my favorite classes during my tenure at UL. I have always been comfortable writing, but my style of writing is extremely academic and doesn’t always work well in professional circumstances. This class taught me the benefits of writing professionally, as well as helped me become comfortable in the workplace setting. I enjoyed not only the topics we wrote about, but also working in a group. Usually group work in an online class doesn’t work well, but it was perfect for this class.
My first document had some major issues in regards to clarity and conciseness. Once I learned what mistakes to look for, I felt as though it really helped my writing. During my second phase, I focused intently on writing clearly and concisely, and just focusing on my audience, and that made the biggest difference in my professional writing. The work that I have done this semester is the beginning of my professional writing portfolio, and I am excited to use the skills I have learned in the future. For anyone considering “working” for ProfWrite.com, and taking ENGL 472, I truly recommend it.
This class was by far one of the more challenging ones I’ve taken. Not difficult or unfair, mind you, but something that took me out of my comfort zone and made me work harder than I’ve had to in a long while. The assignments may look or sound simple, but do not take them at face value. They will be much more in depth and build off of each other more than you may expect. Always keep the goals for each assignment close by, or you may get off track.
This may sound overly simplified, but this course helped me improve my writing. I’d never written documents quite like the ones required for this course, or written with groups. It was a good simulation of the type of work we as students may be working when we graduate.
For the alumni group I was in, we had to find and interview a UL alumni and create a document from that interview. The interview itself was simple enough, but finding the words to properly put all that was shared into a document is not such a simple task. It really sets one up for working with clients.
Professional writing isn’t just “proper writing” or “business writing.” It’s a style all its own with rules to adhere to and things to learn. It is a skill, one that takes practice to learn and master, which I hope to do as I continue to work at it.
Taking on the role of Blog Coordinator taught me more than I imagined it would. While my professional writing skills were improved and constantly tested I also learned how to manage multiple people on different projects. Having this leadership role required me to change my perspective, learn how to better communicate in a professional setting, and develop a level of confidence I otherwise did not have.
When you think of a professional writer, you may think of someone who writes for the daily news, an author, or perhaps a freelancer. While these are the most common career choices, there are so many more options for professional writers. If a writer can simplify complex information and communicate it to an audience, the career opportunities are boundless. In English 472 you come to realize that every field of study needs someone to clarify and supply quality information: who better to carry this communicative torch than a professional writer? It is the duty of a writer to gather, analyze, and provide data that will advocate and progress a vocation or cause. Of course, it’s imperative to know your data, your business, your logistics, etc; but to choose the correct word to promote these elements is the purpose of a writer.
If you are looking for a class that is challenging yet practical, English 472 is it! English 472 has provided me with examples of how an actual collaborative workplace is conducted. Professional writing gave me practice with skills like communication, time management, and design. I had to often think critically about the application of a document to the platform, audience, and subject. For one of the projects, I had to source my subject, conduct interviews, write content for different mediums, edit collaboratively, and wait for approval from management. For future students/employees, I would advise starting early with group projects. Read all material thoroughly, multiple times, and make sure the entire group understands what is expected out of the assignment.
When I signed up for this class, I was not very worried about it since I used to be an English major and have taken many English classes. But I must admit, when the class started, I was very intimidated and almost dropped the class. My advisor talked me out of it, and I am glad she did. In this class, I have learned a lot about professional writing, including research, editing, and design, especially when creating my blog post on design for Phase 1. In this class, I also improved my ability to communicate and work within a group. Although this course was not easy, I feel like I learned a lot.
In my years of college I have taken online classes, but never an online English course. English 472 was a course that I had scheduled at the last minute, and I didn’t really know what to expect. Professional writing has helped me improve my writing skills, learn to prioritize, and improve my communication skills. I feel more confident in my writing since taking this class, for I have had fellow students give me the feedback needed to learn from mistakes I had been making in my every day writing. Online classes aren’t easy. In order to succeed, you must stay on top of your work. I have learned to check my courses daily to make sure that I haven’t missed anything important. Alas, proper communication is also imperative when taking this course. There are many group assignments, and staying in touch with one another will help tremendously when completing assignments. I was fortunate enough to have such sweet and helpful group members to successfully accomplish the tasks given for English 472.
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