How to Become a Smarter Writer by Solving Word Puzzles
Many capable professionals – particularly in the STEM disciplines – struggle with the simple act of writing concise, well-organized sentences and developing them into coherent paragraphs. Scientist and entrepreneur David Porush has described most scientific writing as “unnecessarily dry, difficult to read, obscure, and ambiguous.”
Back in 1997, an article in Science magazine titled Cut-the-Communications-Fog bluntly criticized the frequently mind-numbing writing of physicists:
“In the past, physicists have fretted over their inability to communicate with the lay public. Now, the flood of unexplained acronyms, cryptic symbols, endless sentences, and nightmarish graphs has risen so high, say some leaders in the field, that physicists can no longer understand each other… No one is claiming the problem is unique to physics.”
To be sure, similar concerns have been raised about the writing of chemists, astronomers, engineers, architects, computer programmers, and professionals working in other STEM-related disciplines.
One hopeful note expressed in the article was that colleges and universities could institute stronger writing programs “for undergraduates, before poor writing habits have become irreversible.” But that hasn’t happened.
It’s true that over the last 25 years or so, a variety of remedial writing programs have popped up at most colleges and universities, but questions remain about the effectiveness of those programs. In annual surveys conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers between 2000 and 2020, employers voiced a common complaint: Most college graduates “lack writing skills.” https://www.naceweb.org/about-us/press/2017/the-key-attributes-employers-seek-on-students-resumes/
In the free 90-minute online class, the focus is on translating complex information into sentences and paragraphs that are easy to follow. We will begin by taking a close look at the Architecture of English, based on the “plain English” language patterns that skilled professional writers and editors 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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