There are many different types of writing. Please write:

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  1. A text to your friend to pick you up at noon.
  2. One-sentence to faculty telling them you will be leaving early from class.
  3. An equation that subtracts your age from 220, which yields an estimate for you maximum hear rate. For example 220 - 50 (age) = 170 beats per minute maximum.
  4. Two-sentences for your friend's mom arguing for why she should read the last book you read or movie you watched


Note how your writing changed when writing to a friend than when writing to your friend's mom. Both are effective types of writing, but your audience is different. For prompt #3, your equation had no audience other than yourself, so you were writing to learn, which is different that writing to inform (#2) or to persuade (#4). Paying attention to your purpose (why are you writing something) and audience (to whom are you writing) are two of the most important practices you will practice in college writing.

There is no universal "good writing."

There are different expectations for "good writing" in every course, and it is your faculty members job to explain what those expectations are. An English composition paper has has a different format and vocabulary than a biology lab report, which is different than a scene analysis in theater. Part of learning to write in college is learning the expectations for each course.

Certain elements of writing are expected for all college-level writing. The following list are the minimal standards for college-level writing. Your college may or you may have others standards you would add. Check those that you already do.

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Further resources:

Target Heart Rate and Estimated Maximum Heart Rate