Writing for Communications

The Communication Technologies program attracts three broad categories of student.  There are students interested primarily in graphics and visual arts, students interested in technology and digital design, and those interested in writing professionally in some capacity.  Therefore the range of writing they will encounter in their careers is quite broad.

The selections below show two very different writing activities to which students would be exposed.  The first is copy writing for advertisement.  While not all students will perform this function professionally, they should be highly aware that even short samples of writing for publication are critical elements in any communication project.  The second piece describes the process of using writing as a planning tool.  The portfolio is the primary vehicle through which communications professionals market their skills. What is suggested in this sample is that by honing ideas through a writing exercise, a better communications product can be delivered.


Ad Copy 

Even visually driven advertisements can be dependent on well written copy.  This ad uses less than one hundred words of skillfully written copy to describe six specific products and a shopping strategy to acquire them.  When considering writing in the communications field, it is clearly the case that quality and functionality are far more important than quantity.
print ad




Writing to plan a project:

Portfolio Proposal

This assignment is intended to get you to clarify what you expect from your “published” portfolio.  It asks you express your plan for the details about how the collection will function.  It is a relatively SHORT piece of writing that requires substantial THOUGHT.  The plan will not be set in stone, but it should be the basis of your overall work.   

Your proposal must address the following five parts:

Intent: Describe the intended use of your portfolio and its audience.  WHO will read it and for WHAT purpose.

Impression: Think about the lasting impression you wish to create for your readers.  Identify three qualities about either yourself or your work that you will want your audience to immediately recognize.

Inclusions: List the pieces of your work that you will display.  Consider how each chosen piece and the collection as a whole supports the overall impression you are seeking to make.  Remember that choosing not to include pieces can be as important as choosing to include them!

Supporting Parts – Will your overall work be strengthened by including some or all of the following?


This will speak to the overall style of your portfolio. – should the product look/feel conventional? Edgy? Sleek? Traditional? Eclectic? Professional? Classy? Is there a design style to which you want to adhere? Grunge?  Art deco? Pop Art? Industrial? Steam Punk?  Most importantly, HOW are you going to achieve that look?

Size: Traditional 8 ½” X 11” paper is only one of MANY options!  Remember that pages can be cut and bound in nearly any size or shape.  Is a smaller or larger book going to work better for you?  Should your book be square instead of rectangular, or should your pages be landscape instead of portrait?  Thoughts on page layout, font choices, artwork or decoration are useful.

Paper:  Do you imagine the work on plain paper or on something else?  Do you want glossy pages, or colored or textured paper?

Binding & Cover: For goodness sakes let’s not use three ring binders! (unless that is a conscious design choice)  Possibilities:



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