STEM Disciplines

Since the advent of the Internet, the demand for people who can write concisely and persuasively has grown dramatically. Annual surveys conducted between 2000 and 2010 by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that communication skills — clear writing and speaking — topped the list of “the skills that employers prize most.” Communication skills ranked above analytical skills, technical skills, and leadership. Many employers complained that most college graduates “lack writing skills.” Nowhere is this problem more troubling than in STEM-related organizations.

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, a high-tech CEO in California explained why everyone who applies for a job at his company must “take a mandatory grammar test … Yes, language is constantly changing, but that doesn’t make grammar unimportant. Good grammar is credibility, especially on the Internet. In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. They are a projection of you …”

The How to Become a Smarter Writer by Playing Games video is an introduction to the plain English techniques used by top professional writers and editors in the North American publishing industry — including time-saving techniques related to grammar, syntax, and usage. Instead of plodding through a tired litany of “rules and exceptions,” we will focus the architecture of English: How to treat the operations of the language as a series of word puzzles, and how to turn good ideas into good sentences by putting the pieces together.

How to Become a Smarter Writer by Playing Games

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