“People in my field never have to write anything.”

As a writing teacher, I often hear this. Students who are aiming at nursing school tell me that they will just take temperatures and fill in charts. Early Childhood Education people tell me they will just sit on the floor with the children and read stories. Business majors tell me they will just look at stock market reports and click "buy" or "sell" on web pages. Etc., etc., etc.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

The nurses who say this are thinking of being an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse, a curriculum that takes less than a year), not an RN.

The Early Childhood people who say this are thinking of becoming teacher's aides, not teachers.

The business people who say these things do not intend to ever have clients or to write reports for their supervisors.

Two suggestions for a more realistic view

  1. This webpage from the Nurse Journal, Writing Guide for Nurses, gives a great overview of the kind of writing nurses do. (In fact, it is a great overview of English 102 and the writing most non-literary majors must do.) Even if you do not intend to move forward to an advanced degree in your field, just doing the work of an engineer, chemist, or police officer (nurse, teacher, stockbroker, etc.) requires an incredible amount of writing.
  2. Most college freshmen do not have an accurate view of what people in their field do, week in and week out, to follow their profession. Talk to your advisor. Ask the specific question, "What will I be doing if I go into this field? What's a daily routine like?

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by Ashland University.
Revised 1/8/20 • Page author: Curtis Allen • e-mail: callen@ashland.edu.