A colleague and I ran a workshop this morning with a group of research students. The focus was on different aspects of career planning and as part of this the group came up with a long list of skills they have developed through their research degree. One of these skills was the ability to communicate through writing in an appropriate way for a variety of audiences. For example, writing academic papers, books, reports for funders, to influence policy, and more.
I talk to many research students and they quite commonly say that they enjoy the writing process. While this is generally not true when it comes to writing their thesis (or at least not when they’ve been at it for several months!) hopefully this doesn’t put them off wanting to use their writing skills in a future career.
The ability to write well for different audiences is an important part of so many careers; writing a report for your client as a management consultant, being persuasive when preparing marketing material as a charity fundraiser, writing a policy brief for ministers as a civil service executive, writing a feature for a Sunday newspaper, and even writing a blog for research students as a careers adviser! The style of writing obviously differs from that you will use when preparing an academic paper but the process of research, selecting relevant information, and then writing using appropriate language is the same. To explore different jobs and how writing plays a part, look at the occupations parts of the Careers Service website.
You may also be interested to know that Reuters, the international news agency, are coming to talk about their journalism programme this Thursday, 22nd November, from 1 – 2pm in the Dining Room of Teviot Row. If you have a passion for current affairs and are intrigued to find how you can use your research and writing skills in a different way then why not go along to hear what they have to say? To register for the event click here.