Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Download this course

Share this free course

English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

1 Everyday writing

For many of us writing is a daily activity. In a morning, for example, I might write a text message to a friend, make a ‘to do’ list and email a colleague.

Three images:a to-do list, a CV and three Post-it notes on a fridge door.
Figure 1 Examples of writing

Activity 1

Timing: Allow approximately 5 minutes

Think about the types of text, that is any piece of writing, you have written in the past few days. These can be as short as a few words scribbled on a Post-it note or as long as a letter or a workplace report. Note your thoughts in the box below.

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


The answer is personal to you. Here are some of the texts I have written lately:

  • professional emails
  • a shopping list
  • comments on my friends’ Facebook pages
  • a birthday card
  • feedback on my students’ assignments
  • a page of my personal diary
  • a cheque
  • a note to my neighbour
  • a workplace report
  • a recipe I heard on the radio

Most people do not consider themselves to be writers, yet they write something every day. There are many types of text. Some texts may appear easy but others seem more complex to write. In the next activity you will compare some texts to understand how they differ and why some are harder to write than others.