Writing is one of those skills that is applicable nearly everywhere. Communication is at the center of all relationships, whether it’s emailing colleagues, texting family members, or writing letters to a friend. It’s not surprising then that research says writing is an important skill to develop. What may be surprising, though, is the extent to which writing matters. For example, research shows that writing is key in creating opportunities for success in the workplace.
According to a report entitled Writing: A Ticket to Work…Or a Ticket Out, writing has become a needed skill to navigate the workplace. To quote an analysis of the report:
Writing is both a ‘marker’ of high-skill, high-wage, professional work and a ‘gatekeeper’ . . . People unable to express themselves clearly in writing limit their opportunities for professional, salaried employment.
Whether it’s writing an application, reporting problems, sending an email, or writing manufacturing documentation, writing is often an inescapable part of the workforce, especially for white collar jobs. Being able to write clearly and effectively is an important skill for getting good jobs, advancing in those jobs, and creating opportunities for career transitions.
The workplace is not only the place where writing is important. Writing is also important in the classroom. According to research shared in The Wall Street Journal:
Writing by hand is more than just a way to communicate. The practice helps with learning letters and shapes, can improve idea composition and expression, and may aid fine motor-skill development.” The article also shared that adults “may benefit similarly when learning a new graphically different language, such as Mandarin, or symbol systems for mathematics, music and chemistry.
Writing also has health benefits. In the world of counseling, a newer field has emerged called “writing therapy”. Research has found that expressive writing, such as writing to reflect in a journal, has therapeutic value and can help us cope with emotional trauma or even just the normal upheavals and stressors of life.
When people are given the opportunity to write about emotional upheavals, they often experienced improved health. They go to the doctor less. They have changes in immune function. If they are first-year college students, their grades tend to go up.
In terms of physical health, here are some benefits of expressive writing:
• Fewer stress-related visits to the doctor
• Improved immune system functioning
• Reduced blood pressure
• Improved lung function
• Improved liver function
Writing is a crucial skill to develop and as the research shows, there are many benefits to becoming a good writer. Whether it’s reducing stress and boosting physical health, gaining a competitive edge in the workplace, or excelling in the classroom, it is important for our kids to learn how to write effectively.
A popular phrase says that “readers are leaders” and the same could be said of writers; equipping our kids with the tools they need to be good writers and communicating the value of writing by writing in front of our children and talking with them about the importance of writing will help prepare them to be the leaders of tomorrow.
Part four of a four part series on writing.