Monday, November 19, 2012

Everyday Correspondence--Why Everyone Should Love to Write

By: Corinne Boyer

          Writing is a vital element of everyday communication.  Whether emailing your professors, your boss, or answering a discussion question, proper grammar will accurately portray your message.  No matter what your major, writing is always a required component of most courses.  So, take your time, think about what you are writing, and be sure to proof read.  No matter who you are addressing, learning to express yourself via written word and demonstrating your knowledge of the English language help you effectively communicate. 

Consider the following tips:
1. Do not use slang.  Forget your favorite song, unless you are writing a song, and use complete sentences.  Spell out words entirely; after all, you are not replying to a text message.  If you believe something is funny, say it’s funny.  LOL is not a word.
2. Completely answer discussion questions.  When professors post questions on D2L, these questions usually consist of more than one part.  Answer the entire post.  Sometimes, it is necessary to write more than one paragraph.   Expressing your well thought out opinion to your professor  will usually guarantee full credit for your discussion answers.  Even if you believe you are answering a yes or no question, respond with a paragraph supporting your reasoning.
3. Take charge of the English language.  Now that you are in college, you will have to write.  No matter how much you dislike writing or do not believe you can do it, you can.  The only way to get better at writing is by writing, rewriting, and reading your writing aloud.  If you struggle with writing, Trident Technical College offers free writing assistance.  Use the college resources to your advantage; that is why you pay tuition. 
4. Email your professors properly.  When responding to an email, write in full sentences.  Address the person as Professor, Dr., or simply Ms. or Mr., and use the person’s last name.  Addressing a person properly is polite, and the person you address will be more likely to remember a polite email as opposed to a poorly written email.
5. Review grammar and punctuation.  Instead of panicking when you receive your first English 101 assignment, be prepared.  Look through your English 101 MLA format guide.  In this guide, review the basic grammar and punctuation rules.  Everyone should own a copy of The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.  This small, indispensable guide provides valuable grammar, punctuation, and writing rules. 
6. Use your spell check option.  I see misspelled words every day.  With the access we have to technology, this is an unacceptable mistake.  Install a dictionary application on your smart phone.  If you don’t have a smart phone, keep a pocket dictionary handy.  When typing a paper, use the spell check option.  Careless mistakes will result in point deductions. 
         Being a college student is hard work, but eventually, your education will help you continue your studies, or add to your resume.   No matter which path you choose, writing will be necessary.  If it isn’t a major element of your job, you never know when you will need to add to your resume, serve as a juror, or write an email.  English is also spoken around the world.  International business meetings are conducted in English.  A great command of the English language and proficient writing skills will facilitate your academic and professional careers.


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