Ways to Improve Writing

Question: My junior-high son is a terrible writer. With all of today's technology, is it really important for him to become a good writer when he is able to express himself so well orally? -- Curious

Answer: Even today, with all our advanced technology, it remains necessary to express one's thoughts in writing. For example, think of the importance of email in so many professional fields and the need to write memos, reports and instructions.

Unfortunately, for most children, writing is the weakest skill of the traditional 3R's. This is not good news, because with each year in school, children's skill in putting words down on paper plays a larger role in the grades they receive.

Since you say that your son expresses himself well orally, have him try using a computer program that turns speech into writing. First, he needs to think of what he wants to say. After he has finished, he can then edit his work.

The old adage that practice makes perfect holds true here. The more your son writes, the better writer he will become. It would be a good idea for him to write in a journal for practice every day. Because reading and writing are tied closely together, encourage him to read.

** *