States spend nearly a quarter of a billion dollars a year on remedial writing instruction for their employees, according to a new report that says the indirect costs of sloppy writing probably hurt taxpayers even more.
The National Commission on Writing, in a report to be released Tuesday, says that good writing skills are at least as important in the public sector as in private industry. Poor writing not only befuddles citizens but also slows down the government as bureaucrats struggle with unclear instructions or have to redo poorly written work. —Justin Pope —Poor Writing Costs Taxpayers Millions (AP|MyWay)
Writing is hard work.
You have to learn to find the point of diminishing returns… yes, another draft will improve this text, but taking that coffee break, or going home on time, or starting on the next task all seem far more immediately productive tasks than checking a draft yet again for wordiness or inaccuracy.
You’re never “finished” — you just run out of time.
And the “right answers” aren’t in the back of any book.
I was a bit worried this article would end up being a valentine to the new writing component of the SAT, but the author acknowledged the limits of that test.