Why do choices (in writing) matter?

Why do choices (in writing) matter?

In our study, we learned that choices in writing matter because judicious choices reach audiences in different ways.

Because sometimes writers need different ways of reaching their readers.

Written text does not reach every reader in the same way, and not all readers are adept at engaging with only text. When writers make choices to include other modes in their compositions, they are considering different ways that they might reach different readers—after all, good writing reaches as many readers as possible.

Because sometimes writers need to enhance their writing.

Text may be enough to get a message across to readers, but other resources can help readers better understand specific points. When writers make choices to include features like tables and images, they consider what parts of their writing might benefit from different or additional representations. Good writers know when to keep things simple and when add layers of meaning to their text.

Because sometimes writers want to appeal emotionally to their readers.

Sometimes it’s hard to communicate emotion when using just text. Adding a multimodal element can help express feelings and appeal to the emotions of an audience. As Kaitlin says,“for the love of God, don’t be mean to your audience!”

Because sometimes writers want to be explicit with tone in their writing.

Some writing—whether in text, email, or in a paper—makes it difficult to decipher tone. Adding a multimodal component—like a hyperlink, emoji, video, or sound clip—can help convey tone and purpose to an audience.

Because it’s fun!

Writing with all the available means—text, photographs, emoji, figures, memes, gifs, video clips, audio clips—is a fun way to communicate a message to an audience

Because we can!

Writing in the 21st century with the new technology this era affords allows writers different ways to write. Why not use them all?! Check out what Kaitlin says about it:

Comparing traditional writing and new media writing is to me the difference between a printed set of papers and a piece that lives on the web. What made me start to accept new media was its gift of using hyperlinks to forever banish the bibliography to the seventh circle of literary hell. Even better, hyperlinks give you the power to seamlessly provide research and evidence for a point with nothing more than the click of a mouse. With new media you also suddenly have the ability to illustrate writing with pictures and graphics that there previously was never room for. And with new media, pieces truly do live. On the web, you don’t just publish something; rather you have the capability to keep going back and editing what you’ve already put out there.


Writers can make choices in writing because they have the available means, it’s fun to do, and the choices can help them better communicate a message to an audience.