National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Spring/Summer 2016).


Copyright © 2016 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


Learning to write well is a significant outcome of higher education, as confirmed and illustrated in the Written Communication VALUE Rubric of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). Bennett notes that writing well is a singularly important capability, indicating that virtually all higher education programs intend for students to write better when they graduate than when they enrolled. Moskovitz refers to an AAC&U survey of member institutions in which writing topped the list of learning outcomes for all students.

Scholars agree that writing and thinking are linked. Oatley and Djikic discuss how writing externalizes thinking by using various media in the processes of manipulating symbols, and Kovac suggests that connections between writing and thinking express the metaphorical interactions between language and thought. Menary notes that the creation and manipulation of written texts is a fundamental component of our cognitive processing, such that writing transforms our cognitive abilities.