Writing is a critical life skill. Almost all of us write in some capacity every day. And in an increasingly virtual-based society, it has become our primary form of communication.
As a parent, you want to ensure that your child develops the writing skills to express themselves well. But to teach them effectively, you must be able to answer this question they’re likely to ask: “Why is writing important?”
3 Reasons Why Writing is Important
Here are three reasons why knowing how to write well will significantly benefit your student:
1) Essential for Academic Success
Students must be able to write clearly, concisely, and intelligibly to succeed academically. This is true whether your child attends college, trade school, or another post-secondary program.
Students pursuing a degree in any academic discipline will have to write in just about every course—be it for a research paper, lab report, or slideshow presentation. Therefore, they’ll need to know how to write competently to successfully complete their coursework and present themselves well for higher education.
University professors across the U.S. have expressed concerns about their students being unprepared for college-level writing. Many of these students begin their college careers having to take remedial writing courses without gaining credits. (Source) Others may even slip under the radar, struggle through their studies, and get thrust into the world without the skills needed for employment in their chosen field. This leads us to our next point.
2) Essential for Employment
When your child starts applying for jobs someday, they’ll likely need to submit a resume and cover letter. Potential employers will form their first impression of your child from reading their application materials. A well-written cover letter is more likely to earn your child a callback for an interview.
Additionally, even if your student doesn’t want to become a journalist or copywriter someday, most jobs still require some level of writing. This is why employers seek applicants who demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication skills.
According to a 2016 National Association of College and Employers study, over 73% of employers desire a candidate with strong writing skills. Honing these skills now will give your child an upper hand when applying for competitive positions. Furthermore, once they acquire a job, continuing to exhibit quality writing can open up doors for advancement opportunities.
3) Essential for Communication
Of course, being able to write well isn’t just important for school and work—it’s also an invaluable skill for personal communication.
Take a moment to consider how many times this week you communicated through writing. So far, you’ve probably drafted dozens of text messages, a handful of emails, multiple social media comments, and maybe even a handwritten card or letter.
Depending on each type of writing and its intended audience, you likely had to adjust the style and tone you used. And even if you didn’t realize it, you probably chose your words carefully to ensure that your reader didn’t misinterpret your point. These are all signs of a strong writer and communicator.
By learning to write well for various contexts, your child will better understand how to convey their thoughts, feelings, and ideas for optimal understanding. This will serve them well both now and in the future.
3 Ways to Promote Strong Writing Skills
So, how do you help your child develop the writing abilities they need to excel in the real world? Follow these three simple tips to get started!
1) Encourage Your Child to Read Regularly
Having your child read a variety of content on different subjects is one of the most effective ways to improve their writing skills. Reading exposes them to new ideas, vocabulary, sentence structures, and styles that they can learn from and potentially mimic in their compositions. The more your student reads, the more their writing skills will develop.
2) Begin Writing Instruction Well Before High School
Don’t wait until high school to begin a formal writing curriculum with your student. If you’re confident your child is ready for writing instruction, you can start cultivating their skills at a young age. This will help them build a solid foundation for more advanced writing in the future.
3) Encourage Your Child to Write Often
Learning to write isn’t as natural as learning to talk. Writing skills grow incrementally and require a great deal of practice. So, if you want your child to become a strong writer, you’ll have to give them plenty of opportunities to write. Of course, the expectations and length of time they spend writing will vary by age. However, we suggest having them write in some capacity for at least 2–3 days per week.
Starting a writing program and practicing at a young age will help your child develop the foundational skills they need to become a successful writer in the future.