National Writing Project

Writing: A Ticket to Work . . . Or a Ticket Out

By: NWP Staff
Publication: www.nwp.org
Date: September 1, 2004

Summary: In its second landmark report, the National Commission on Writing for America's Families, Schools, and Colleges, calls writing a "threshold skill" for salaried employment and promotion.

 

"In today's workplace writing is a `threshold skill' for hiring and promotion among salaried (i.e., professional) employees. Survey results indicate that writing is a ticket to professional opportunity, while poorly written job applications are a figurative kiss of death."

National Commission on Writing for America's Families, Schools, and Colleges, September 2004

In its second landmark report, the National Commission on Writing for America's Families, Schools, and Colleges argues that good writing is taken as a given in today's professional world.

"With the fast pace of today's electronic communications, one might think that the value of fundamental writing skills has diminished in the workplace," said Joseph M. Tucci, president and chief executive officer of EMC Corporation and chairman of the Business Roundtable's Education and the Workforce Task Force. "Actually the need to write clearly and quickly has never been more important than in today's highly competitive, technology-driven global economy."

"Writing is both a `marker' of high-skill, high-wage, professional work and a `gatekeeper' with clear equity implications," said New School University President and Commission Chair Bob Kerrey. "People unable to express themselves clearly in writing limit their opportunities for professional, salaried employment."

To prepare students for rewarding work in the future, the Commission calls on schools and colleges to focus on writing across the curriculum and at all grade levels.

The National Commission on Writing is a blue-ribbon group of university presidents and other educators dedicated to improving the writing skills of America 's young people. The Commission's first report, The Neglected "R," was released in April 2003. For more information on the National Commission on Writing, or to download copies of either Commission report, visit http://www.writingcommission.org.

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