Analyzing Writing in Your Field*


You are preparing to apply for a job/internship/graduate program, and one question you know you will be asked relates to the type of writing you will be required to do in the career area you are applying for. So to prepare for the interview, you need to do some research on what kind of writing is done in your career area. You need to be familiar with the types of writing and be able to discuss in detail about each type of writing.


There are three goals or objectives for this assignment (SLOs? 1,2,3) and more specifically

  • Learn the characteristics of the kinds of writing you will typically do in the workplace,
  • Identify ethical/intercultural and global issues that can impact the kinds of writing in your field,
  • Think about the writing you will do in the future as you create something you can use later in your career



  • First decide on the career area. Be as specific as possible.
  • Find examples of writing in the career area. We will gather these together to help you with this part.
  • The work you did for the Style Heuristic worksheet is not the same thing as the Document Chart. We completed the worksheet to help you prepare to put the Document Chart together.
  • There is no magic number for how many documents you should have on your Document Chart. You must think of the audience and reason for putting the chart together. In this case, you need to be familiar with the documents used in your career area. Your teacher is not your audience!!!!! So to get the job you need to be familiar with the document types, and that number will vary depending on your career.
  • You do not have to use the same documents you used for the Style Heuristic worksheet as some of those might not be the best choice for the final Document Chart. Or you may not be happy with a document you used for the worksheet and you've found one you like better.
  • Using the info you are reading in the TETC text, and other info you will gather, fill in all of the sections in the example chart for the documents you identify for your career area.
  • It is your choice what program you use to create your chart. MS Word is really all you need, as there is much you can do with charts that most aren't familiar with.
  • But make sure to save your final document as pdf so it will transfer easily and you won't lose any of the visual elements of your presentation. The final chart should show that you have used what you learned about visual design in the TETC text.

Notes About Documents

  • Remember, not everything you find on the internet is a document. A website can be considered as one type of document. However, you would not choose a website example unless that is one of the types of writing that is done in your career area. You can, however, find examples of documents on the internet, and you generally will access those documents through a website. Make sure you review the links on the example chart to help you get a good idea of how to look for documents.
  • Choose your documents well. You will be asked to analyze and write about these documents in many ways. Pay attention to the headings in the sample Document Chart and the areas in the Style Heuristic worksheet. If you can't discuss most of the elements covered in the chart and the worksheet, you probably won't receive full credit. You can't just say the document doesn't have this or that. So choose carefully. It may take some time, but it will pay off in the long run.

We will use the info in this project as the starting point for the next project :)

Adapted from Technical Writing, English 3764 @ Virginia Tech-Spring 2016 by Traci Gardner and licensed under a Creative Commons license