How Do Good Writers Become So Good?

Are we all born to write or do grammar, sentence structure and even creativity come more easily to some than to others? Or is it some combination of innate skill, excellent instruction and other factors? One fact is clear: About three-fourths of students in 8th and 12th grades come up short in writing proficiency, according to the 2016 National Assessment of Educational Programs. And a recent article from Dana Goldstein in The New York Times questions why kids can't write. Theories range from getting back to basics of grammar to promoting reading so that writers learn by example. Teachers say that efforts to educate students in core writing skills or looser approaches such as freewriting (le

Reconsider Before Hitting "Send"

The tone and intent of email is more difficult to predict without the verbal and body language cues people pick up in conversations. As a result, it’s easy for recipients to misunderstand or feel defensive when reading business emails. Now that email messages have become a preferred internal and external communication mode, it's critical to practice slowing down and gathering composure before writing or replying to an email message. Try these tips: First, prepare an email message in your mind or on the screen before composing a final email. When replying, re-read or reconsider the email, conversation or other matter you’re responding to. This is important for all messages, and especially whe

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