Is Writing Unimportant?

Writing is a staple of any education, whether it be high school or college. We spend much of our high school years perfecting our essays and research papers, and required of nearly every course in a college’s catalog is a certain amount of writing. As high school and college students, our final grades (and thus, our futures) are often directly contingent upon our writing ability.

And yet, many colleges and scholarship programs do not even take into account our SAT Writing scores. They are viewed in a superficial light, or not viewed at all. This is absolutely ridiculous; when our educations are more based upon our writing skills than ever before, how can any institution minimize their importance? Writing is a skill heavily exercised in college, and thus the Writing portion of the SAT is one of the largest red flags (or positive indicators) that a college can receive. However, it is nevertheless often overlooked and downplayed. Many colleges and universities still don’t consider the Writing portion of the SAT when looking at a student’s application.

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Considering the impact that our writing skills (or lack thereof) have on our college experience, this seems irrational. Between in-class essays, research papers, journals, and term papers, a great deal of our college assignments will involve writing. Does it not make sense, then, that the best way to predict a student’s performance at a university would be to consider their writing skills? Furthermore, writing is a skill that has countless practical applications in the “real world.” As opposed to advanced mathematics, which will have little practical use unless one pursues a scientific or technical career, or the sort of material the Critical Reading portion of the SAT tests (which is largely based not upon how well we can comprehend and analyze what we read, but how well we can memorize “big words”), writing is a skill we will always need. It is not only something that can make or break a student’s academic career, but it is how we communicate with the world.

With the Age of Technology in full bloom, writing has become a primary conduit of communication. We write blogs, e-mails, and text messages; the Internet has even inspired a new branch of journalism – online journalism. We rely on our writing skills now more than ever before. It has become one of our most useful tools of communication, and our dependence upon it is not something that should be disregarded. To claim that our performance on the Writing section of the SAT is unimportant is to begin the gradual loss of communicational skills.

If that is lost, what will be left to connect and relate us to one another? Our immense level of communication is what defines humanity. Reading and mathematics are important skills to acquire; but you cannot communicate with a Pi symbol, and while reading serves the purpose of exposing one to new ideas, if you cannot communicate, your own ideas are going to waste. Writing is perhaps one of our only skills that is absolutely invaluable, and it should be treated as such.