Knowing how to elaborate and support opinions, reasons, and explanations is critical for conversational literacy. In addition, competencies achieved in face-to-face interactions may transfer to the written domain where providing supportive information is always necessary.
Here are a variety of responses to the question "What is your major and why did you pick it?"
In this example the student does not provide enough information. Specifically, she does not explain how the major would enable her to help people.
In this example the student does a good job listing reasons, but the reasons sited are weak and incomplete. She does not explain how or why the area "fits."
In this example the student follows her reasons for choosing a major with a comment about switching to social work at a later time. She does not explain why she wants to make the change and leaves the conversational partner wondering if business is what she wants.
In this example the student provides reasons for majoring in radiology, but does not explain why she is in health code billing instead.
In this example the student's explanation that "business matches her" is vague and incomplete.
In this example the student gives reasons for selecting a major but never indicates which major.
In this example the student provides a good answer. In explaining why she picked the major, she sited some of her experiences and interests.