7 Reasons Why English Composition Is the Most Important Course You’ll Ever Take Part 3
6 - Data Can’t Make Sense of Itself; You Need to Provide the Words
You may think English Composition is about writing, but it’s really about developing critical thinking and communication skills. And no matter your major or career path, you will need to be able to think critically, and communicate your thinking effectively, in order to be successful.
Here’s how a mastery of words can help you even in the most data-rich career fields:
- In finance, words allow you to move colleagues and customers beyond the numbers on a spreadsheet to what those numbers mean.
- In the health-care field, you will need to critically assess a diagnosis, develop a plan of action (often with imperfect data), and communicate a plan of treatment to patients.
- As an engineer, you will need to develop project plans that enable people to understand what steps to take to make your vision happen. You will also need to critically assess the fundamentals of your designs and processes.
- As a scientist, you will need to write papers that discuss the results of your research. You will also need to be able to critically assess your research results to determine which areas to study next, and which data points are the most meaningful, and why.
This list above could easily be as long as the number of professions out in the world. In fact, you will be hard pressed to find a professional career where critical thinking and effective communication skills aren’t highly valued and necessary.
7 - Effective Communication and Writing Skills Continue to Grow in Importance
As you progress in your career and education, you’ll find that the ability to write and communicate well only grows in importance. In fact, writing skills are considered so important that even top MBA programs are increasing the number of writing courses that MBA students are required to take before earning their advanced business degree.
For example, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania doubled its communication coursework to 12 classes in 2012 and the University of Rochester’s Simon Graduate School of Business hired two writing coaches last fall after employers complained about graduates’ writing skills.4
Communication and Writing Skills are “Real World” Skills
How many times have you found yourself asking, “When will I ever use these critical thinking skills?” or “When will I ever have to write something?” Probably not too often.
But every day – in your personal and working life – you will find opportunities to build on the skills introduced to you in English Composition. From grammar, to persuasion, to presentation, to punctuation, to argumentation, to resolution – these are all concepts that you will learn in the ultimate “real world” course: English Composition.
4Middleton, Diana, Students Struggle for Words: Business Schools Put More Emphasis on Writing Amid Employer Complaints, 3/2011, p.1