The skills of tactful writing are essential for achieving career and business goals. Apart from the workplace, writing is essential in many other areas as well; communicating with friends and family, as well as with organisations and people who provide a service (everything from dentists, teachers and tax offices to libraries and gyms).
But are writing skills being neglected in language courses? Writing exercises are often included in language courses, but if you’re in a group lesson the chances are that you will rarely (if ever) get individual, regular feedback on your writing. Giving feedback on writing takes time and many teachers simply don’t have time to correct written texts in details.
Why are writing skills are so important?
Here are three important reasons for why writing skills are important.
By writing, you express your thoughts and communicate ideas and views to others
By writing, we can express how we feel and what we think. It can be a way to get our private thoughts onto paper (like in a journal or a diary) so we can reflect on them. But we can also express and communicate our ideas to other people. And by writing, we can reach a wider audience and spread our ideas.
When you write, you have to take care to express what you want by using the right tone, correct grammar and suitable expressions for the audience you’re writing for. By practicing writing, we begin to focus not just on what we want to say, but on how we want to communicate with our audience and what is appropriate in different situations.
We often judge people based on their writing skills (whether you like it or not)
This is perhaps not something that we like to admit, but let’s be honest: we very often judge people based on the quality of their writing. It can be at school, in a workplace, ahead of a job interview, or in society as a whole (including on social media).
Just think about the reactions when a public person makes a mistake when they write, or when there’s a mistake in an advert or in a marketing campaign. We immediately make judgments about people’s knowledge and intellectuality.
If we come across someone who writes well, we think of them as careful, responsible and sincere.
By writing, we can keep a record of ideas and communication
Being able to keep records for future reference is an important skill in our society. Science is based on written records (research papers, etc), but there are also many situations in everyday life where writing skills are vital; filling in forms, surveys, writing marketing material, business proposals and emails, job applications or just keeping records of things we do in our lives.
5 quick tips for how to write better
- Avoid excessive stuffing of words, and try to make sentences simple and precise.
- Do not use complex language or vocabulary (unless it’s required in your workplace).
- Try to avoid the usage of jargon or slang (unless it’s a very informal situation).
- Do not be repetitive as it may put off the reader.
- ALWAYS double check grammar and spellings. (for example, check for the typical Swedish word order, the correct form of adjectives and verbs)