Writing helps improve students’ academic performance for several reasons. Student success can come from mastering writing skills because they call for creativity, decision-making, researching and presenting. Regardless of the career path you follow after you graduate, if you are a good writer, you can excel in your classes and other areas of your life where you express yourself.
If you are a good writer, you actively exercise your mind. First, you engage in brainstorming, an activity that involves generating ideas when you start a project. Next, you use critical thinking, making decisions about what to write about, where to seek information about the topic and how to word the papers. A study published in "Life Sciences Education" in February 2007 said writing has a positive impact on critical thinking. The researchers experimented with two groups of general biology education students, one with writing assignments and the other without, and found that the writing group’s critical thinking skills significantly improved.
When you write a piece of work that requires references, you acquire experience in investigating. You look up information from publications to interviews. Once you gather the materials, you quote the sources or paraphrase. Depending on the type of work you are writing, you also may need to comply with a certain style, such as American Psychological Association for research papers or Associated Press for journalism.
Your written communication skills can extend to another form of communication: speech. When you put words on paper, you have your readers as your audience, just as when you deliver a presentation, you have your listeners and viewers as your audience. In “The Art of Public Speaking,” Stephen Lucas wrote that preparation for a speech is just as important as the speech itself. Unless a speech is improvised, with little time to prepare, it must be written before it is presented. Writing what you plan to say will help you clearly articulate your message instead of being at a loss for words when you speak to your audience. Furthermore, writing guides your use of proper language, so you will demonstrate correct grammar in your papers and your speeches.
From essay test answers to research papers, you show your teachers and other readers that you are an expert in the subject you are writing about. For example, if you are taking a subjective test that seeks open-ended written answers, as opposed to an objective test that has alternative choice answers, you are expected to explain the material instead of simply memorizing it. You can be proud of the written work you produce in school and your future writing endeavors.
- American Society for Cell Biology: Life Sciences Education: Learning to Improve: Using Writing to Improve Critical Thinking Performance in General Education Biology; Ian J. Quitadamo and Martha J. Kurtz
- “The Art of Public Speaking”; Stephen E. Lucas; 2011
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