Interpretive Writing

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This course explores the reasons we write and teaches the basic elements of effective interpretive writing.

Please note:

This course is currently being revised with the National Association for Interpretation. The revised version will be released in October 2017. If you have any questions, please contact Project Manager Nona Henderson at or 812-855-0864.





Why do you write? Is it to inform, instruct, or persuade your audience? Or do you write to help your audience think or feel something new? To be an effective interpretive writer, you must possess basic skills in writing and understand the art and practice of interpretation.

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Course Schedule

This course is self-paced, allowing learners the flexibility to complete the course as quickly or slowly as they need. While exploring course content, learners can investigate topics in greater detail through enrichment activities that link to real-world examples, original source materials, and policy documents. Learners can easily move from section to section as they navigate through the course, revisiting concepts as needed. This course includes the following elements.

Elements of the course:

  • Informational text
  • Interactive practice activities
  • Learn More opportunities
  • Supplemental reference materials

After completing all course activities, you will complete a brief assessment to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts. Upon successful completion of the assessment, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.

Course Chapters

  • The Basic Mechanics
  • The Write Tool
  • The Set Up
  • The Draft
  • The Revisions
  • The Final Product

Be able to:

  • Distinguish between different types of writing.
  • Identify why and when to use interpretive writing.
  • Craft interpretive opportunities for readers.
  • Use an intentional organizational strategy to present interpretive opportunities in a way that cohesively develops a relevant idea.
  • Demonstrate awareness of bias and respect for multiple perspectives.
  • Use the editing process to produce polished interpretive writing products.
  • Articulate a basic understanding of libel, copyright, and other legal issues.

Recommended Background

Successfully completing the free Foundations of Interpretation course provides essential background information for this course.


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