Causes and Effects of bad writing skills
Writing is a form of communication which allows one to put ideas and feelings on paper (tangible/ electronic), conveying their beliefs and knowledge to reasonable arguments hence giving meaning via well-formulated texts. Just as children grow while learning new skills, so does their writing skills from simple sentences to more elaborate essays taking into account spelling, grammar, organization and vocabulary. However, there are several factors dictating one's command of writing skills; hence one becomes a good writer while the other not as good as to their expectations.
I happen not to be a very good writer as I would like to be and there are several factors that wove this into place. I believe that parents are the best teachers despite this being a never-ending debate. A teacher is anyone who devotes his/ her time to teach (share knowledge and information) with someone allowing them to advance to the next step. Born in a family of five and with my parents meager earnings, my childhood was never shy of life's ups and downs. I have lived to see my parents work extra shifts just to see us through in school and this meant I didn't have my initial teachers at my disposal before getting into school. This is despite of their approval for writing. I remember writing my parents letters which played a major role in shaping my writing skills. However, with their education level then, they were not keen on my grammatical, tense and tone errors. My siblings, however, did not value writing as most of their free time would be spent with their peers or watching television programs. Living in that dilapidated house we called home; I could almost stretch my two little hands and touch both our sitting-room walls, you couldn't do much of writing even after joining school as the house was small and any noise from the TV would make you lose concentration.
Moreover, my school experience didn't fall short in limiting my writing abilities. An example is lack of enough time to handle the tedious process of planning, drafting, revising and editing our work. Assignments were issued on short notice; an involving assignment is issued today and is due for hand-in two days later. This saw us hand-in not up-to-standard work so as to just get average grades and move to the next level. Also, attending public school meant our class population was large and this saw us not do enough papers. Instead, our teachers opted for short answer tests and this didn't fully sharpen my writing skills. In a nutshell, I didn't have enough practice. I believe that the problem doesn't fully lie with the students; it also lies with the professors. They kept complaining of our poor writing skills, yet they didn't deny our assignments. There were rarely any significant penalties for any bad writing behaviors and I believe this got embedded in our DNA to become just above average. The worst could be getting low marks but rarely would one fail a unit for poor writing performance. The influence of some of my teachers was tremendous, a significant number couldn't write well hence opted not to teach writing or ended up teaching it badly.
The social influence on my writing skills was mostly as a result of my friends take on the writing. Most of my friends from school didn't perform exceptionally in this field as most of them were of the "average mentality". They didn't bother of becoming the best and always argued that as long as the information they were trying to put across was synthesized by the audience. What didn't dawn on them is that to achieve anything in the society you have to convince/ persuade someone to take a certain action and this is only possible with good writing skills. Hence, my friends take on writing was negative thereby not doing well in writing. Other social influences that played a diminishing role in my skill is the use of social media. Apart from texting and chatting via social networking sites, I could do little to no reading during the school holidays. Moreover, the use of social networking sites meant I was practicing the language thereby developing writing conventions and habits that didn't contribute to my academic success. This is because these sites didn't require careful reading or editing, skills important for any literate individual. Consequently, most students do write in fragments and run-ons.
Writing, just like any other skill, is to be nurtured via constant practice and encouragement. Practice can be enhanced with help from friends, school, parents, teachers and our immediate environment. Moreover, students together with the tutors/ lecturers should take up this initiative to see to it that they harness these skills having in mind its effect on the individual. Family plays a major role in molding a child's attitude towards writing and parents ought to create a good environment fit for developing this skill. The second teacher, apart from the parents, is in school and should do more to ensure they pass the best skills to the next generation. Social media should be used with caution and guidance for if not controlled, their effect on one's writing skills are detrimental.
Therefore, good writing skills are really beneficial for students.