Writing Apprehension in Beginning Accounting Majors

By Faris, Kay A.; Golen, Stephen P. et al. | Business Communication Quarterly, June 1999 | Go to article overview

Writing Apprehension in Beginning Accounting Majors


Faris, Kay A., Golen, Stephen P., Lynch, David H., Business Communication Quarterly


The objective of this research was to determine whether accounting majors, who consider writing to be relatively unimportant in the accounting profession (Rebele, 1985), are affected by a greater level of writing apprehension than other business majors. Also of interest was whether gender, age, and grades in Freshman Composition were related to the level of writing anxiety.

Accountants spend a significant amount of time in written communication, and a number of writers have documented the need for effective writing skills in the profession (AICPA, 1988; Arthur Andersen & Co. et al., 1989; Heimstra, Schmidt & Madison, 1990; National Association of Accountants, 1987; Northey, 1990). The Accounting Education Change Commission (1990), the AICPA (1988), and the senior partners of the world's largest public accounting firms (Arthur Andersen & Co. et al., 1989) stress the need for accountants to have both effective written composition and oral communication skills. They emphasize that schools should ensure that students demonstrate these skills in each course. In fact, beginning in May 1994, the CPA exam began including writing skills.

Because of changes in the business environment, accountants will need to receive and provide more written information (Mueller & Simmons, 1989). Many academicians and practitioners in the accounting field have expressed dissatisfaction with the communication skills of entry-level accountants (Andrews & Koester, 1979; Andrews & Sigband, 1984; Nelson, Moncada, & Smith, 1996). Seeing a need to improve accounting students' writing skills, they have recommended strategies for addressing the problem. Academic institutions have put increased emphasis on writing in the accounting curriculum (Gingras, 1987) and writing assignments in accounting courses can enhance students' writing skills (Mohrweis, 1991; Stout, Sumutko & Wygal, 1991).

Interestingly, although writing skills are exceedingly important in the accounting profession, and practitioners are calling for increased writing skills, accounting students perceive these skills to be relatively unimportant in the profession (Rebele, 1985).

Because accountants need writing skills to succeed in their profession, educators need to examine the impact of various barriers or obstacles on the writing process. Several researchers in composition have identified a significant barrier known as writing apprehension or writing anxiety. Daly and Miller (Daly, 1979) use this term to describe a psychological condition of some people that causes them to avoid doing writing that is likely to be evaluated; in this situation, these people tend to find the experience of writing more punishing than rewarding and thus they avoid this task. Many individuals experience the effects of writing apprehension, which can affect their academic, career, and personal choices.

In different ways, people find that their lives are affected by apprehension. Daly and McCrosky (1975), for example, studied the effect of communication apprehension on occupational choice and desirability. Their results indicate that people who are apprehensive about communicating tend to select occupations that present low communication requirements, while those without such apprehension seek jobs with high levels of communication. Accounting majors have been shown to have higher levels of oral communication apprehension than do other business majors (Stanga & Ladd, 1990), a finding that could mean they believe accounting to have lower communication requirements. A study by Daly and Shamo (1978) reported that students tend to select majors according to the writing requirement. Students with high writing anxiety select majors having lower writing requirements. Students with low writing anxiety select majors with higher writing requirements.

Apparently, people choose an occupation in business or industry based in part on their level of communication apprehension. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Writing Apprehension in Beginning Accounting Majors
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.