Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Importance of Writing

By Sean Scarpiello

Writing is very important for students but often seems to be overlooked by many professionals in the education field. These days, there seems to be a large variation in the importance of writing among colleges. In general, many colleges do not stress the usefulness of writing.

One of the reasons that students do not have sufficient writing skills is because many of the large universities do not focus on writing as much as they should. Since there are so many students being pumped out of these large universities and state schools, quality is overlooked in educating quantity. All schools have special requirements that students need to meet. For example, some schools require two years of English and/or Writing courses. When these schools are one of the goliaths like Ohio State or University of Florida, many of the students were in classes with hundreds of other students. When professors are teaching classes with such a high number of students, they will not assign the same amount of essays to write. Neither professors nor teacher aids will want to grade such a large number of papers. Plus, there is a lack of feedback for students when they are in very large class sizes.

Smaller colleges generally address the importance of writing more than larger colleges. That is not to say that if you graduated from a large institution you are a bad writer. Smaller class sizes allow professors to assign a sufficient amount of papers and to grade them individually. Also, professors can then meet one on one and address any strengths, weaknesses and comments for the paper. Feedback is crucial to learning and becoming a better writer. The feedback allows students to directly improve their writing for future assignments and the workplace. This same lack of feedback that can be found on college campuses may also be prominent for many online college students. The sorts of writing assignments that are done by online students may not be up to par with other students. There are ways where students can receive feedback from their online course assignments, but it cannot be as useful or meaningful as a one on one conference over an assignment.

One other factor about writing that is constantly overlooked is the form of writing which students study. A science major’s form of writing will be very different from the form of writing a political science or an English major has. Scientists are very direct in their writing and avoid using flowery wording in their literature. A scientist will have an extremely different style than that of a journalist or professional writer. It is important that people studying to work in these different types of occupations are taught the correct ways to write literature in their field.


Vadim said...

A very good point. Part of the problem is the ubiquitous word processing. I write for a living and these days I feel uncomfortable handwriting materials in case I make spelling mistakes. Embarrasing but true.

emily said...

A good writer has to have a good mind to see things that aren't there, things that are different from his or her reality, but also able to convince the readers that those things are true or relatively true.

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