It’s very easy for teachers and professors to complain about “kids these days” who seemingly can’t write or look up from their phones. It’s easy to shake our proverbial canes at the younger generation and bemoan their lack of skills.
But there’s more to it than that.
Research suggests that students aren’t learning how to write at the appropriate level and it is costing them and the economy a lot in the long run.
So we have a strange situation where students aren’t able to craft academic prose, even with basic linguistic aids; this limitation ends up being an expensive proposition for businesses who hire these students; and ultimately students neither know nor care that texting will not prepare them for the types of writing tasks required both at school and out in the larger world.
What do we do with this data?
I, for one, do not want to be the type of educator who just shakes her cane at “kids these days” and, rather, I have worked hard throughout my academic and professional life to help people be empowered by the written word. EssayJack is one expression of that passion for education and the power of language that I have, but I’ve also listed some other suggestions to help you master writing, because it’s not just about getting a good grade in school (although, that’s part of it), but it’s also about being able to communicate effectively at work, being able to engage critically with the world of text around you, and being able to think and write in a way that engages substance and nuance.
Here are some of my top suggestions to help improve writing:
- Seek out your college’s or university’s writing centre. Most of the time your institution has resources available to you. You’re paying for them, so make use of them!
- Practice writing academic prose. Find sample essay questions and practice writing them, or at least writing practice outlines for an essay you could write if you wanted to.
- Use to help you make the conventions of academic writing natural and automatic for you.
- Read, read, and read. Most humans are mimics to a certain degree. If you read good writing, some of it will sink into your own writing.
I believe there’s a time and place for a text message, just as there’s a time and place for a silly conversation over coffee. But I also believe that there’s a time and place for serious and complex written communication, just as there’s a time and place for more comprehensive conversation at work or school. If students are only equipped to text message and chat superficially, then they will never be able to move up the corporate ladder professionally or engage with any degree of sophistication with politics or culture.
And wouldn’t that be a shame?
So don’t be one of those statistics. Be one who knows how to write, how to think, and how to communicate.