How to Become a Smarter Writer by Solving Word Puzzles

Which skills are most in demand to meet the challenges of the 21st century?

Trending news reports have led many people to assume that business, government, and nonprofit organizations are primarily interested in hiring and promoting employees with backgrounds in the STEM disciplines. Without question, opportunities for aerospace engineers, computer programmers, physicists, and data analysts will continue to grow in the foreseeable future.

But in annual surveys conducted since 2000 by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, communication skills — clear writing and speaking — have been at or near the top of the list of capabilities that employers value most. In the 2017 survey, for example, employers ranked “communication skills: written” (80.3%) right after “problemsolving skills” and “ability to work as a team” (both at 82.9%). Good writing was viewed as more important than “leadership” (72%), “technical skills” (59%), “computer skills” (48%), and “creativity” (29%).

“Over and over,” the surveys found, employers complained about “the lack of writing skills among college graduates.” The colleges, of course, have blamed the K-12 teachers. What has been widely misunderstood by educators at all levels, from grade school through graduate school, is how the nature of work has changed since the dawning of the Age of the Internet. Today, regardless of their job titles, professionals in the workplace are spending most of their day engaged in fundamental literacy activities. They are sitting in front of their computers, reading and writing all day long. For those workers, writing is not an academic exercise. It’s their job.

The kind of writing that business, government, and nonprofit organizations need has nothing to do with self-expression or creativity or displaying an extensive vocabulary. They need people who have learned how to translate good ideas into plain English: clear, direct, grammatical sentences and well-organized paragraphs that are easy to follow.

The free 90-minute online class provides a simplified, 21st-century approach to understanding how the English language works. We will begin by taking a close look at the first four steps of the Write Smart 12-Step Blueprint, an innovative system based on the language patterns that skilled professional writers and editors in the publishing industry rely on to communicate clearly with their readers. Participants will learn how to treat sentences as word puzzles — and how to solve writing problems by putting the pieces together.

Writing Programs for People Who Need to Communicate Clearly

Write Smart is currently offering a free 90-minute online class (10 to 60 participants) for organizations in the United States and Canada. For details about the free class – or for any of the other programs offered on the Write Smart website – please complete the information below:

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