4 years, 6 months, and 5 days. Work on writing clearly.


My dearest Shosh and Jaialai:

Critical thinking is for naught if you are unable to give voice to your inner thoughts.  But, beware, you communicate something about yourself by everything you do: your words, your writings, your actions, and your attire.  Here, let’s talk about written communication;  I fear it may be a dying art in this age of Twitter, texts, and emoticons.

You cannot afford to allow your writing skills to be under-developed or weak.  Good writing is critical to academic and professional success.  In my days, I always gave a writing test to narrow down the number of job applicants I would interview.  From the hundreds of applications, I chose the top 10 and tested their writing skills.  Based on the results of their writing test, I would interview the top 3 and offer the job to one.  Writing is that important.

In school, teachers often use your written responses to gauge (1) how much you understand the course material, (2) your ability to analyze and synthesize what you learned, and (3) your ability to effectively communicate your thoughts.  Thus, your writing is the vehicle through which your teacher gauges your comprehension and analysis.  If you cannot write well, that may obscure how well you understood or analyzed class material.

The good news is that writing is a skill.  You can master it with time and effort.  Practice the art.  Keep at it. You’ll get better with practice.

Read books like Strunk and White’s The Element of Style, and William Zinsser’s On Writing Well.  In fact, read voraciously.  Good writers are also voracious readers.  You can no more be a great chef without tasting fine food than be a great writer without sampling the fine writings of the masters.

All my love, always,






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