Rhetoric and Composition/Advanced Topics
Overview: Advanced Topics
Now that you have learned some of the basics of college writing, it is time to dive into the advanced topics of writing. The tools you have learned from previous sections will help you to be a more successful writer with advanced topics. There are many different reasons for which one writes. It could be for school, work, or even the community. The topics discussed in this section are writing for the humanities, sciences, and business. Each chapter will highlight the unique features that separate these genres and give practical examples of how each uses writing to achieve goals.
Writing in the Humanities
Writing in the Humanities includes theoretical writing, creative writing, interpretive writing, and analytical writing. Each of these qualifies as writing in Humanities, but each uses a significantly different style.
Theoretical writing includes historical and philosophical writing. This topic focuses on the ideas of past cultures and people. It also includes writing about your own theories.
Creative writing uses a more imaginative approach and can include storytelling, personal expression, or even free association. Poetry, song lyrics, short stories, non-fiction, and fiction novels are all included under creative writing. In creative writing, there is more freedom for the writer to explore feelings or ideas. Some forms of creative writing, like sonnets, do include formatting concerns or restrictions. Creative writing is more concerned with personal expression than adhering to tradition, however.
Interpretive writers do more than simply summarize the text they study. Interpretive writing improves understanding by asking a series of good questions. The interpretive writer introduces their own ideas about a text, but they must always back up claims by referring to the text they analyze, or another appropriate source.
Analytical writing is much like interpretive writing, but also goes a bit further. Not only will you provide information, but you will also analyze it. This includes asking “how” and “why.” You will need to take a critical approach to develop an understanding of the topic before writing about it.
This chapter will expand on the differences of theoretical, creative, interpretive, and analytical writing, and will share tips on how to write successfully while using those different approaches.
Writing in the Sciences
Writing in the sciences focuses on informing the reader of new discoveries, and assisting readers in discovering truth through facts. This form of writing should not leave anything open to interpretation by the reader. Information should be presented with solid data given in detail. Science writing is generally written in past tense and should be concise. Common forms of science writing includes lab reports and literature reviews.
Writing in science includes two main categories: natural sciences and social sciences. Natural sciences include pure science and applied science. Pure sciences are life sciences, physical sciences, and earth sciences. Applied sciences include medical sciences, engineering sciences, and computer science.
Social sciences focus on human behavior and societies. Social sciences involve documenting actual events as they happen as with case studies. Categories of social science include psychology, anthropology, political science, sociology, education, business, and economics.
This chapter will explain the distinct features of writing for the sciences.
Writing in Business
Business writing has a practical bent to it. Writing in business often means explaining a situation, event, or change. The author typically has a very specific action they wish the audience to take, and that action often contains time concerns as well.
Good business writing is concise and focuses directly on the stated purpose. A business document needs to be organized in a manner that directs a reader's eye to the most important points. A well-written business document should allow the reader to quickly scan for purpose, time constraints, and a contact person who can answer further questions.
Writing in business can include: memos, cover letters, resumes, project reports, proposals, thank-you letters, emails, and business plans.
This chapter will give you the techniques needed to build a resume as well as many important documents used in a business setting.