The Writing Crisis In Brief…

  •  Two thirds of salaried employees now hold jobs with writing responsibilities.[1]   
  • U.S. employers rate more than 80 percent of high school graduates entering the work force as “deficient” in written communications skills.  Although four-year college grads do better, the numbers are still alarming — nearly 28 percent can’t write basic memos and other communications critical to day to day office operations.  
  • Instant Messaging is not to blame.  According to a 2008 Pew Research poll 60% of teens consider texting as “writing.”  The same survey found that 86% of teens view writing as important to success in life (56% find it essential to success) and eight out of ten teens feel their writing would improve with more in-class writing!  
  • But the Internet may be part of the problem. Public figures are well aware that anything they say can be taken out of context and wind up on YouTube or blogging sites—and remain there forever, easily accessible through a Google search.  And so they are more wary than ever of speaking clearly.  So kids are growing up forgetting that words are meant to communicate, not hide a point of view.   

There are many causes of the writing crisis in this country, but the solution i that we must teach kids to think.  But to do that, you have to first clarify your own thinking.

[1] The National Commission on Writing. “Writing:  A Ticket to Work or a Ticket Out  A Survey of Business Leaders.” September, 2004.  http://www.writingcommission.org/prod_downloads/writingcom/writing-ticket-to-work.pdf

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