Community engagement, in general, refers to connecting students with academic goals, with community members that provide insight into the mechanics of the community. The trend extends from schools to colleges, and it involves course activities not just inside the classroom, but outside of it too. It gives students a chance to engage with the community and learn more about their civic responsibilities improve their problem-solving skills and get involved in volunteering.
Usually, the topic of their work for the community is closely connected to their academic course topic.
Community engaged writing, on the other hand, involves writing for the organizations of the community, which make the very core of the local community. Not only does it help the community, but it benefits the development of certain skills of students, such as critical thinking, analyzing and reflecting on their own experiences and drawing conclusions from the same.
Types of Community-Engaged Writing
There are three types of community-engaged writing, based on what the students write about or how they go about connecting with their community. In essence, students aren’t limited to only one form of writing, and they usually combine all three types in their work.
1) Writing for the Community
Every community has certain professional writing needs, which is where students play a valuable role. Students engage in creating research and draft grant materials, edit workplace documents, create social media content for the community and cater to all needs of the organizations of the community.
2) Writing about the Community
The second type of writing includes writing about certain community issues. Students usually participate in community research or even become a part of a volunteering organization, and then, later on, reflect on their experiences through writing.
3) Writing with the Community
The last type of writing refers to students working together with the community to address certain questions or issues of the community. The most common forms of this kind of community-engaged writing include mentorship programs, community awareness projects and campaigns.
Spreads a Collaborative Spirit
Community-engaged writing isn’t only beneficial for individuals and their academic progress, but for the community as well. This is why this type of a collaboration works on nurturing the team spirit because both parties have something valuable to bring to the table. In essence, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship between the university and the community, which provides meaningful experiences and results for both sides.