The Importance of Writing Skills

Once the sentence-diagramming and short-essay days of grade school and high school are behind you, it can be easy to think you have all the writing foundation you need and no further perfecting is necessary — especially if you choose a major in college that doesn't require extensive writing. Once you reach college, however, you may be surprised at how many non-English programs do require a great deal of writing (communications, history, and political science, to name a few). This writing may come in the form of lengthy essays, research papers, exams, projects, and proposals.

Below, you will discover the key reasons writing skills are vital — and just how you can enhance those skills:

Proper writing skills can carry you through a variety of tasks

Believe it or not, no matter what major you choose, you will at some point be required to write something. Every major will have testing in its courses — some of which will be short answer or essay exams, which require well-rounded responses. This is where skills you learned in middle school come into play; the importance of structuring your essays, having a beginning, middle, and end, and utilizing proper transitions are all important. These are all elements that, whether you like it or not, follow you into your college courses, and having proper writing skills can help you make a great impression on any professor or class.

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With confidence in your writing skills, you won't have to rely on others

Hypothetical situation: The dreaded group project of the semester rolls around and you’re dividing up the tasks. You see the perfect opportunity to let another student in the group take on the task of writing the paper or proposal involved. However, that person doesn't turn in what they were supposed to on time and your group is docked points. In situations like these, having confidence in your own writing can come in handy. You shouldn’t compose the entire project yourself, but you will have more freedom to take a leadership role in the group to ensure everything is packaged and turned in on time. Your confidence can also allow you to provide helpful feedback to your group members as you work together to achieve your goals (after all, you shouldn’t be doing the entire project yourself!). Don’t forget to also openly be receptive to feedback, too — another group member may feel just as confident in his or her writing and be able to exchange valuable notes with you.

Less revisions = more productivity

As we have established, writing some form of content will be inevitable in your college career. This means that the less you work toward building confidence in your writing, the more time you will inevitably spend editing and revising your work. If you can learn from the critiques, you will eventually be able to spend less time fixing your work and more time being productive in other aspects of your life and education. This isn’t to say that revising will never be necessary, because even the strongest writers go through a few proofreads! The idea is simply to minimize the need for extra rewrites. The more you refine your skills, the closer you’ll be to your final product with your initial writing drafts.

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Writing is a lifelong skill

The skill of writing doesn't end when you graduate college. Most job fields will require some type of writing, even if that is simply your resume and cover letter to apply for the job. Whatever it may be, writing skills can make you a more well-rounded job applicant. Don’t forget about the ever-so-frequent art of writing emails, as well! This comes up every day in most jobs, and being able to compose well-written emails on a whim will only help you (whereas poorly-written emails could taint your reputation).

Bonus Tip: Take advantage of resources!

As long as you’re on campus, you might as well take advantage of the many campus resources available to you (you’ll miss them when you graduate!). Check out the writing center on campus or meet with your professors during their office hours. Taking initiative in either of these capacities can help you figure out where you are going wrong and steer you in the right direction. Also note that many TAs may accept rough drafts of papers (if they are delivered far enough in advance) to look over and give you guidance on, which can help you get an idea for what your final draft should look like.

It is easy to simply say writing is not your skill and feel sufficient leaving it at that. The ability to properly transition paragraphs and organize thoughts on paper is something that will follow you throughout your life, not only in schooling, but in the job field as well. The good news is there are always resources, such as writing tutoring, and other ways to practice this skill so you can feel more confident in your abilities.


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