Mastering a Skill
William P. Shobe
Mastering a Skill: Effective Writing
It would be a totally different world if everyone learned to master the skill of effective writing. Effective writing involves itself in our lives professionally and socially. Professionally, we need to be able to effectively communicate to compete and win against our peers. Socially, we all need to be able to go beyond placing a few scribbles on a postcard, and become effective writers. And, despite the modern internet with its myriad of social-networking website such as Twitter, Facebook, and Skype, effective writing is a skill that still seems to elude the average person.
This topic is not new. In 1773, Ben Franklin wrote, “Good writing should proceed regularly from things known to things unknown distinctly and clearly without confusion. The words used should be the most expressive that the language affords provided that they are the most generally understood. Nothing should be expressed in two words that can be expressed in one, that is, no synonyms should be used, but the whole should be as short as possible consistent with clearness, the words should be so placed as to be agreeable to the ear in reading, summarily it should be smooth, clear and short for the contrary qualities are displeasing.” (Goldbort, 2001, 1) Even in those times, Franklin recognized the power of effective writing.
In today’s professional world, a person’s success and credibility directly depend on their ability to effectively communicate their ideas to others. Business uses the internet to exchange ideas and concepts in all vocational fields. The ability to communicate effectively will determine whether people will have enough confidence in a person to accept their ideas. People tend to judge other people not only by the way they dress, but also by the way they express themselves in verbal and written communication. The challenge in business is to ensure that we write with...