August 26th, 2012
The New York Times article, “What Corporate America Can’t Build: a Sentence” takes a look at the writing skills of some of the most educated people in America. The billions of dollars a year being spent on writing work shops to educate professionals in America beg the question, why are the college graduates at the big companies in America not already masters of communication through writing? Another question being asked is what is being referred to when someone speaks of students writing poorly. We need to examine these questions because there are tons of reasons why being an excellent writer is one of the most important skills to have in the modern business world.
When a company hires a student after graduation they are expecting the student to come into their workplace with a very solid education that will allow them to excel. Unfortunately many companies are finding that some college graduates are coming to then unprepared in certain areas. One of the most common areas companies are finding college graduates lacking skill is in writing. Communication is vital for the successfulness of a company. The two most common ways of communication are through speech or writing. So with writing being such a key part to the successfulness of a business, companies are now having to fork over outrageous amounts of money annually to fund writing workshops. The high price for a college education in America ought to provide a student with a more then sufficient amount of knowledge on how to write. At some point writing has been put on the back burner of University leaders and professors. When some professors start having trouble packing all the education requirements for a certain major in four years they let some subject slip. Unfortunately it seems writing has been a very popular subject to be done away with. Now leaders in the corporate America world have to deal with the effects of a lost focus on writing. This lost focus on writing causes workers to have a variety of issues when it comes to putting together e-mails, presentations, letters, and many more vital pieces of communication in business. One major issue is a lack of getting to the point. When it comes to business time is money. A boss is looking for you to be straight and to the point. A sentence needs to get its point across in the least words possible. For instance, if you were writing an e-mail that said, “I double checked my calendar and I am glad to inform you that I am free to attend the meeting on Saturday” you could instead be much more efficient and only say, “I am available to meet Saturday.” Both sentences get the same point across, but one gets the point across without the hassle of reading through pointless words or phrases. Another big issue bosses are having is with workers use of punctuation. Anything written for work should be as formal as possible. Informality can be caused by a few things such as excessive use of exclamation points or question marks, incorrect use of commas or semi colons, and even misspelled words.
Being able to write well is not an incredibly difficult task. Good writing takes a combination of knowledge and practice. One way to achieve brilliant writing is to spend a lot of time reading books written by highly acclaimed authors. The best people to learn how to write from are the people in our world who are solely paid to write. Practice in good writing mostly comes from our time spent in high school in college. During both of these time periods we learn that good writing has a few qualities. First,…