Why writing skills are important?

Writing is an art that people of every age must grip. In this article, the importance of writing skills for students and writers has been discussed.

Importance of Writing Skills

Literacy, as a linguistic term, means reading and writing. A person who can read and write is literate. Great intellectuals and philosophers use their writings to express their lofty ideals. Any material which is in the written form becomes significant for preservation and record.

Even the plays of the Elizabethan age receive appreciation today based on written texts preserved as great works of literary giants. From the first scratch of a schoolchild to the composition of scientific theories and research theses, we have written material in some other forms.

Giving a proper definition of the word ‘write’ is not easy. However, we shall take some explanation of this term.

Explanation of term Writing Skill:

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines the word ‘write’ as “to make letters or numbers on a surface, especially using a pen or pencil.”

According to Donn Byrne, Writing involves the “encoding of a message of some kind i.e. translation of thoughts into languages.” Reading involves the “decoding” or interpretation of this message.

Use of graphic symbols in Writing:

When we write, we use graphic symbols or combinations of letters that relate to the sounds we make when we speak. Writing can be the act of forming those graphic symbols making marks on a flat surface. Just as speech is more than the production of sounds, Writing is much more than the production of graphic symbols.

The symbols have to be arranged, according to certain conventions, to form words, and words have to be arranged to form sentences keeping in view the syntax rules.

Composing of Text:

A purposeful mental effort is required to compose a text. To view Writing according to White and Amdt, we may have:

“Writing is a form of problem-solving which involves such process as generating ideas discovering a ‘voice with which to write, planning goal setting, monitoring and evaluating what is going to be written.”

Writing Vs. Speaking:

Writing has a disadvantage compared to speaking, where the recipient of the communication faces the speaker and therefore requires various methods to compensate for this deficit. The use of such technologies is referred to as “writing mechanics.”

What is Brainstorming in Writing:

Brainstorming is a method for generating fresh ideas. It is a technique for identifying options, compiling a comprehensive list of objects, and solving difficulties. The basic idea behind brainstorming is to lay aside constraining thought processes to produce a large number of ideas.

When to use brainstorming?

  • When working on a project, brainstorming might be helpful in:
  • i. Developing the solution definition, particularly in identifying alternative solutions.
  • ii. Identifying all potential risks on a project.
  • iii. Developing the Work Breakdown Structure (identifying all the deliverables and work items).
  • iv. Dealing with complex problems that arise during the project.

Brainstorming can:

  • Breakthrough traditional thinking about a problem.
  • Generate new ways of thinking.
  • Provide an environment for building on new ideas.
  • Reduce the temptation to dismiss new ideas too quickly.
  • Facilitate team building.
  • Encourage team problem-solving.

Brainstorming is not a structured meeting:

Brainstorming is:

  • Idea generation
  • Issue generation
  • Divergent thinking
  • Open format

The process of brainstorming:

  • The environment
  • Setting the scene
  • Running the brainstorming session
  • Affinity analysis
  • Summary and further action

A brainstorming technique:

• Explain why you’re using brainstorming to solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity.

• Set 3-6 minutes to jot down as many ideas as possible on post-it notes — one idea per note.

• Everyone rapidly jots down their ideas on post-it notes, no matter how impractical, outlandish, extreme, or crazy they are (do not filter the ideas).

What is a Controlled Writing?

In this stage, the teacher designs activities much easier for the students who have just begun to write. Such activities can be divided into substitution table exercises and copying activities.

Substitution Table:

By using grammatical units placed on a table, the students construct simple sentences without changing the patterns of sentences.

My friend My cousin JohnOften sometimes frequently rarelyPlays Reads writes Watches- T.V.in the evening on Sunday in spare time at 8: p.m.

The students may form sentences such as:

i. My friend often plays in the evening.
ii. My friend often plays on Sunday.
iii. My friend often plays in spare time.
iv. My cousin sometimes plays in the evening.
v. My cousin sometimes reads at 8: p.m.

By substituted the subjects and predicates as given in the table a sentence-pattern practice can enable the students to write sentences in the correct manner.

Substitution tables can be designed in a more challenging way:

Locus didn’t go to theMarket stadium Office universityBecause heFelt sickness had another appointment remained asleep

The sentences may be contracted such as:

Locus didn’t go to the stadium because he had another appointment.

Copying activities:

Students may be given a passage to rewrite, But copying exercise should not be passive work, rather it requires the imagination of the students. The passage provided to the students may contain the sentences in jumbled form and the students will require to rewrite them in an orderly manner.

The passage in a jumbled form:

Then the girl met a watchman. Suddenly her bicycle broke down. The watchman didn’t say anything. She asked the watchman how much time, it would take to walk to the nearest town. One day a girl was driving her bicycle in the countryside. The girl got angry and started walking. The girl didn’t know how long she had to walk to get there. Then the watchman said: “By the way you are walking, you can get to the town in 30-minutes. The girl decided to walk to the nearest town.

Guided Writing:

In this stage, the students are guided by the teacher to do more demanding exercises such as:

i. Completion items
ii. Reproduction exercises
iii. Transformation activities
iv. Summarising the given texts
v. Expansion tasks

Practice Activity:

A) Write each name correctly:

i. Mr. George
ii. Mr. Brown
iii. Queen Elizabeth
iv. W.A. Richards
v. Ms. Franklin D. Roosevelt

B) Write each sentence by using capital letters correctly:

i. Did Raymond name his day lassie or ginger?
ii. The horse is named liberty belle.
iii. The letter Joanne wrote is addressed to Ms. Arlene d. Chiang.
iv. Both Mr. tom a. Perry and miss Diane Jackson applied for job
v. When will Matt introduce ray to Elizabeth?

Some of the other activities are designed here:

Completion Activities:

Complete the following sentences:

i. I could not come yesterday because
ii. Joe is my neighbour but we seldom ___
iii. He is a hardworking student but _
iv. Could I be fortunate enough to __
v. My parents have gone to America for __

Complete the following story:

An old farmer …… sons quarrel ……..a bundle of sticks …… asks them to break it ……. Non succeeds ….. unties the bundle ….. sticks broken in no time….. moral …….

Reproduction and Summarizing Activities:

Read the following texts and rewrite in your own words first and then summarize the text also.

Following the curves of the beautiful valley of the River Moselle, they arrived the next morning at Koblonz. Once more they turned southwards and travelled all the way through the Black Forest to the town of Basel on the Swiss frontier. This part of the journey, through some of the finest scenery in Europe, took them two days. The car was running smoothly, the weather remained fine, and both Roger and Sheila were feeling very pleased with themselves when they crossed the border from Germany into Switzerland. But Roger was a bit tired of driving-his wife didn’t drive at all and so they decided to have a day’s rest in Switzerland and not do any driving at all.

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