Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Emily Isaacs

Committee Member

Jessica Restaino

Committee Member

Jonathan Greenberg


Although not all college students will become professional writers, many, if not all, will need to learn to write professionally. The ability to write well is an essential skill in any profession, and while few would dispute the importance of being able to write well, the ways in which one’s academic writing experiences inform her ability to write successfully in professional settings remain a mystery to many.

My thesis begins with a discussion of attempts made to bridge academic and business writing and a review of the history of efforts made by advocates of professional and workplace writing instruction and their influence on academic writing pedagogies. I then discuss characteristics of successful academic and business writing. After defining the characteristics of successful writing in each of these discourses, I examine the ways in which they are similar and dissimilar. In doing so, I conclude that while there are many writing values that are unique to academic or business contexts, there are also three significant attributes that are shared by these two discourse communities.

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