By Dale Basye
With the advent of computers, tablets and smart phones came the misconception that the days of writing as an essential skill were numbered. We would soon be unencumbered from the bother of having to organize and craft our thoughts. We would simply talk into our devices to have our words magically appear and all our questions answered.
As anyone who has argued with “Siri” can attest, it is our knowledge of and ability to effectively use the written language that prevents the spread of miscommunication due to carelessness, ambiguity or outright misinformation.
In fact, not only hasn’t technology rendered writing skills obsolete, it has made them even more vital as young college graduates (as well as many modern adults) utilize the web as a platform to launch their careers through websites, blogs, and forums. We may not be handwriting letters, but we are sharing language like never before through typing, texting, blogging, and e-mailing. Whether it’s sending cover letters and resumes to potential employers or exchanging e-mails and networking with connections, people are judging others and, in many ways, deciding one’s future by writing skills alone.
To be a strong writer you need to first be a strong thinker: an essential skill no matter what professional path one chooses or the technology a young writer chooses to utilize. This takes knowing the rules of good writing as well as thinking critically and creatively. It also requires a strong grasp of the “purpose” of your writing and an understanding of its intended audience, as all audiences require different styles of communication.