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The Importance of Student Writing Skills

August 8, 2012

Did you know that research has linked the use of modern technology to low GPA? With 87% of students using text messaging, social media, and other modern devices to communicate, student writing skills are seeing a decline.

Today I want to talk to you about the importance of writing skills for students.

Social media, text messaging, blogging, mobile devices… 87% of teenagers use some kind of social or informal communication on a regular basis. Sad to say, researchers have found that student writing skills and GPA are negatively related to how often students use this type of technology. That is, the more they use it, the lower their grade achievement will be.

If you ask the students, over 60% of them don’t think texting and social media counts as “writing,”, and they admit the casual style they use bleeds into their school work.

And once these students start taking college entrance exams, their lack of writing skills becomes more evident.

  • 33% of test takers are not prepared for college level English courses
  • 47% are not prepared for college level reading requirements
  • Over 50% of college freshman cannot complete writing assignments without significant language errors

A study from the National Commission on Writing says that two-thirds of salaried workers have jobs that require writing, while one third of them fail to meet the writing requirements of their positions.

These numbers make it clear that you owe it to your pupils to know where their student writing skills stand when they walk through your door and that, during their time with you, you adequately prepare them for the world they’ll encounter after they graduate.

Not convinced yet about the importance of writing skills? How about this… Day to day communications require professional writing skills. Even something as simple as email, by far the most popular form of written communication in organizations today, is sent to supervisors, suppliers, and of course – customers. Unclearly or poorly written communications cost companies billions of dollars each year in potential sales, wasted time, errors, and lost productivity. In fact, it’s estimated that companies will spend over three billion dollars per year in training costs, just to bring employee writing skills up to par.

Writing matters in EVERY job no matter the level or industry, and the writing skills your students graduate with will affect their employability for the rest of their lives.

Do your students have the skills needed to satisfy employer needs? A simple writing evaluation at any point in the student lifecycle can let you know what level they’re at, and will demonstrate to employers that you’re serious about producing the best possible graduates.

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