Why Is the Writing of Recent College Graduates Subpar for the Workplace?


While we may decry texting and instant messaging as the enemies of proper writing, there's a far more insidious foe at work. Many people enter the workplace unprepared to think critically and write well , because writing is a learned skill that colleges often don't teach.

According to The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy , students at most colleges aren't asked to produce much writing over the course of their college careers, and the writing they do produce often isn't assigned or graded in a way that promotes the technical skills of writing. Classes in workplace writing for recent college graduates and jobseekers are sadly uncommon. 

What's responsible for this disappointing state of affairs?

  • Low volumes of work. College students may write 20 pages over the course of a semester-long class. On the other hand, writing done in the workplace, from quarterly reports to quick emails , can quickly exceed 20 pages.
  • Skewed criteria for grading. Many instructors grade only on the philosophical content of written assignments, paying little attention to how well ideas are communicated. While this may work as a rough barometer of students' understanding, it's not an effective strategy for teaching skills required for workplace communication .
  • Insufficient feedback. Most student reports, even in composition classes, garner only broad summary notes at the end of the paper – often little more than a sentence or two. Very few instructors give line-level edits that help students learn the nuts and bolts of writing.

Effective communication is a necessary skill in the workplace. However, with the lack of attention to compositional skills in college, many companies find that professional training in workplace writing for recent college graduates is necessary to make up the skill gap. 

If you're interested in improving your employees' workplace communication skills, contact us at Hurley Write, Inc . to learn more about our customized writing courses.