ESPM Student, Environmental Science, Class of 2021
At our wonderful University of Minnesota, the Environmental Sciences, Policy & Management (ESPM) participates in a great program, Writing Enriched Curriculum (WEC), that aims to raise student awareness of the different writing abilities they experience in their ESPM courses. The WEC team members and I held a panel event, consisting of three very informative professional panelists. Having the opportunity to attend this unique event, I was able to learn about two key aspects of writing, preparation and communication. From a government perspective, the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) panelist mentioned that it is essential to get comfortable with drafting, revising, and the editing process. From a Minnestoa Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) perspective, the panelist said to start with an outline by laying out ideas and reasons for communicating those ideas. As for the communication aspect, EQB panelist's insight was being able to draft good arguments and make them persuasive for the audience. Conveying a compelling argument to influence people by using the 'So What?' method that helps demonstrate writing abilities in assignments, but also job application writing samples and cover letters. The Cargill, Inc. panelist urged students to write to make anything interesting with reasoning to capture attention. How to effectively tell a story through writing also makes the argument stand out. Finally, the DNR panelist encouraged the use of plain language to make ideas easier to understand and to think about how to be direct and clear. Being a conscious writer by rereading, editing, and asking others to edit work leads to improved writing abilities for the future. Overall, the panel provided an opportunity for me to ask questions and discuss writing with professionals. I will take more advantage of the university writing assignments to help me with the learning process and to become a better writer.