Sunday, October 21, 2012

Writing Well Always Counts!

Can I tell you something? Math is not my strong suit. I mean, I know I'm not the only one. Mathphobia is embedded in our popular culture. Some of us are great at it, some of us are so-so at it and some of us... are really bad at it. Me? I'm pretty bad at it. Sure, I can do basic math to balance my checkbook without making my brain hurt but figuring out a 20% tip on a restaurant bill gives me a slight brain ache, and anything more than that turns me into a stressball.

Let me tell you something else. In graduate school, I scored the highest grade on a midterm in my statistics class, and one of the highest on the final. No one was more surprised than me, trust me. Okay, so maybe statistics is more about data analysis than crunching numbers but still... it's numbers and there is math involved. *Cue Brain Ache*

It was my writing skills that saved me and made me the star. In statistics, there is a surprising amount of writing involved. The data is not just analyzed in conversation--you have to be able to describe the analysis in writing, using clear, precise language, then develop a sound argument that supports your analysis of the data.

When I was a high school teacher, at a vocational high school, a question I fielded frequently was really a complaint: "Why do I have to know how to write? I'm going to be an IT professional!" My husband is a Systems Administrator and he writes almost everyday, since he has to write documentation for the systems he builds and manages, I would tell my students, sometimes to their dismay. I love winning an argument!

Whether you are a data analyst, an IT professional, a businessperson, or in countless other fields that require some form of writing, solid writing skills pay off. Technical writing, qualitative writing, letter writing-- your ability to communicate is important.

Nancy Cavillones is a writing coach based in West Redding, Connecticut. She is available to coach students on application essays and AP English essays as well as general academic tutoring in ELA and Social Studies for grades 5-12. Coaching is available online and in person. Tutoring is only available in person. Contact her today for rates and availability.

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