Colleges Ignore the Most Basic of Skills -- Writing

George Leef

In this week's Pope Center Clarion Call, Professor Murray Sperber points out that most college courses do little or nothing to help students become good (or even moderately competent) at that most basic of skills -- writing. Even though few students have been taught good writing skills in their K-12 years and badly need careful, line by line editing by their professors, they rarely get it. Such editing is too much thankless work for more faculty members and no one compels them to do it.

Ideally, we would go back to seriously teaching children how to write in grade school and continuously polishing their ability through high school. It's absurd that college professors should need to teach students the elements of grammar, punctuation, and so on. But since K-12 can't be magically transformed, colleges need to do as much as they can to ensure that their graduates don't go out into the labor force with writing skills that are weaker than a well-schooled sixth grader's. Simply putting students through a single freshman composition course isn't nearly enough.

This is an opportunity for some colleges to separate themselves from the pack. Those that make solid writing instruction part of the curriculum will get a comparative advantage.  

  • Share

Most Commented

July 16, 2020

1.

An Emeritus Professor Under Siege Once Again

The case of Stuart Hurlbert is a grim reminder that not even emeritus professors are safe from the continual onslaught of heterodox views by higher ed censors....

June 15, 2020

2.

See Clearly, Decide Wisely, Act Justly

An Open Letter to the Converse College Community in response to its administrative decisions relating to diversity and inclusion on campus. ...

July 28, 2020

3.

Exclusive: UT Austin Proposes Political Litmus Tests for Hiring and Promotion

The University of Texas at Austin has proposed the “Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Strategic Plan," exchanging merit-based success for identity-based dive...

Most Read

May 15, 2015

1.

Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

July 28, 2020

2.

Exclusive: UT Austin Proposes Political Litmus Tests for Hiring and Promotion

The University of Texas at Austin has proposed the “Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Strategic Plan," exchanging merit-based success for identity-based dive...

July 16, 2020

3.

An Emeritus Professor Under Siege Once Again

The case of Stuart Hurlbert is a grim reminder that not even emeritus professors are safe from the continual onslaught of heterodox views by higher ed censors....