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What is the point of working on your writing skills?

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Working on your writing skills may seem like a daunting prospect and an awful lot of hard work. So, what's the point of making the effort to improve as a writer? There are good reasons why you are asked to write at university. Written assignments...

So, writing skills help you learn better, so you can remember more and do better in exams - great! But there are other ways of memorizing facts and, let's face it, you will never need writing skills in the 'real world': there's not a single job that requires you to be able to communicate through writing, right? Wrong, of course! True, at work you'll not be required to produce 2000 words on Charlemagne's achievements as Holy Roman Emperor; however, there's an awful lot more to writing than just the subject matter. Written communication skills are Transferable Skills, and ,as you no doubt know, Transferable Skills are what get you a good job.

Investing in becoming a good writer is an investment in your future: when you start university you are told to take an active part in uni life and to develop a full CV. President of the SU, Rag week fund raising, and Chairperson of the Dirty Dancing Society are all impressive achievements, but employers want and expect graduates to have excellent written communication skills.

Read this extract from Working on the 3 Rs , a report from the Confederation of British Industries:

"A functionally literate employee should be able to observe the basic rules of grammar, be able to spell everyday words correctly, use capital letters and basic punctuation correctly, and use a style of writing appropriate to the situation."

This is the bare minimum expected by employers, and they'll expect a lot more from graduate employees. If you lack confidence or skills in any aspect of writing, take the opportunity to sort it out now; you'll stand out from the crowd when it comes to job hunting!

Activity: Why bother improving your writing skills? - 10 minutes

Investing in becoming a good writer is an investment in your future: employers want and expect graduates to have excellent written communication skills. This activity will give you some added motivation to work on improving your skills.

1. Use the links below to access articles on the importance of developing good written communication skills.

University of Leicester: Employability and Written Communication

CBI Press Release

2. If you struggle with any aspect of written communication, it's very important to start to make changes NOW.

Recommended Further Reading

On the next page, we explore the different kinds of written assignments you could find yourself doing at university, and the different skills they help to develop.

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