[Pssst! Wanna make a fast buck, or maybe even a fortune? Read this through to the end and check out the nice offer I have for you at the end]
Poor writing is nothing new, nor is there much concern about it.
In an August 2017 article in the New York Times, Dana Goldstein reported that “more than half of first-year students at Harvard failed an entrance exam in writing — in 1874.”
It’s little better today.
“Common Core State Standards, now in use in more than two-thirds of the states over the past six years, were supposed to change all this. By requiring students to learn three types of essay writing — argumentative, informational and narrative — the Core staked a claim for writing as central to the American curriculum. ”
So far, however, the Core has led to pitifully little measurable improvement. Students continue to enter colleges needing remediation in basic writing skills.
And leaving college in no better shape, I might add.
Woe unto those entering the working world, hoping to influence, persuade and sell themselves and their capabilities to employers or customers of their own start-ups.
If I had my way, reading, writing and comprehension would be all that are taught from kindergarten through at least 6th grade.
With verbal and writing skills, along with reading and understanding texts with critical thinking, students would be motivated to study and better understand any subject whatsoever–from mathematics to history to psychology, and more–that struck their fancy.
And self-motivation is far superior to the kind of enforced “motivation” that takes the form of rote memorization and regurgitation (testing) that comprises the vast bulk of today’s education methodologies.
While it’s true that you can be an illiterate and still reach millionaire status by opening a franchise of car washes or massage parlors, people who can learn faster and communicate better through literacy are the one’s who can and will best adapt to a world in constant flux.
Data drives everything today. Understanding data, or information in the form of concepts and technical tracts–and being able to profit from that understanding–is priceless.
So, what does one do now, today, post-school and in the working world?
• Read voraciously about non-fiction subjects that fascinate you
•Read about the latest developments in the field of your choice
• Read and study above your head by tackling subjects that are “above your head” until your “head is above” what you read
Then, learn how to write:
• A news story (find out what the pyramid method is before it’s too late)
• A sales letter that really sells
• An essay that persuades an audience to embrace a new concept or way of thinking (think white papers)
By pushing yourself to read, write and comprehend a minimum of two grade levels above your actual grade level while you’re in school, you will place yourself ahead of 99% of your competition.
By doing the same post-school, or college, you will place yourself ahead of 99% of your competition for the rest of your life.
Not only is this process enjoyable, it’s addictive, and you will learn things that will amaze you as well as prove utterly practical in your everyday life.
I learned to build homes, fly airplanes and write books…all by beginning with reading how to do them.
You can too.
And hey–learn a new word every week, right? Keep a dead-tree dictionary by your side. You’ll learn not only the meaning of a word but its etymology (path of its history) as well as its synonyms and/or antonyms. My mother instilled this habit in me and it’s a great habit to have.
Beats smoking cigarettes all to hell.
Get the full-monty run-down on how to hack the world to your benefit in my cynical but highly rewarding book, Nobody Cares: The Ultimate & Only Self Help Book You Will Ever Need, available now on Amazon (link.)
If you don’t win, I don’t win.