Intellectual Openness

Intellectual Openness refers to a cluster of personality traits related to curiosity, to experimenting with new experiences, and to being willing to change one’s opinion in the face of evidence and reasoning.


Intellectual Openness plays a key role in composition.

Collaborating with co-authors and teams requires writers to experiment with new roles, listen and respond to diverse views and critical feedback. Almost inevitably, there will be instances when you have to open yourself to critique, whether it’s self-critique and the critique of others.

Mastery of different genres and research methods requires openness to new writing tools, communicating channels, and writing tools. Conflict resolution is impossible without embracing the perspectives of all the disputants. Rhetoric requires getting beyond your own perspective and writing instead with a sense of audience.

Invention and Revision: Writing well requires being open to chaos & ambiguity. Sometimes you won’t know what you want to say before you write. Sometimes your research will undercover results that emphatically contradict your thesis or hypothesis.

Mindset: A Growth Mindset is founded on openness–openness to the idea that learning to write well is based on effort rather than a consequence of one’s birth.