Written expression is a crucial part of communication and critical thinking. For high school students, developing strong writing skills not only helps their high school grades but also prepares them for their academic and professional futures. Whether writing essays, taking notes or applying for scholarships, high school students must learn to develop their ideas and proofread their written work before sharing it.
Grammar and Punctuation
Clarity in writing is crucial to how the reader receives the text. Therefore, high school students must employ proper grammar and punctuation in their writing. A student will write an essay assignment differently than an e-mail to a friend because the audience for each text is distinct. Understanding audience and learning to adjust to the needs of the reader is an important aspect of written expression. To create professional and mature writing, students must learn to proofread their work before submitting it, whether in the classroom or for scholarship or job applications.
Note-taking is an important form of written expression for both high school and college students. Marquette University states that "writing ideas down preserves them so that you can reflect upon them later." Note-taking also prepares students for exams, helps them interpret written and oral material, and helps plan and organize essays and projects. Sweet Briar College states that key note-taking skills include identifying main points, sub-points and supporting details, and structuring the written material into a logical format. Prioritizing and organizing are essential to written expression at any level.
High school students should learn to expand, explain and develop their ideas through their writing. Marquette University states that "writing stimulates you to extend a line of thought beyond your first impressions or gut responses." This process can deepen students' critical thinking skills, challenge their assumptions and strengthen their overall writing. Examples of written development include providing specific examples, identifying the relationship between two seemingly unrelated ideas or events, and analyzing the causes and effects of an issue.
For many high school students, strengthening their writing skills prepares them to apply for and succeed in college and university courses. For example, students must write an essay for the SAT exam, and they must compose a personal statement as a part of their college applications. The better they do on the written portions, the higher their chances of admission to a good college or university. Once in college, students will have to employ their written expression skills on assignments ranging from lab reports to research papers. Therefore, creating a strong foundation of writing skills in high school prepares them for success after graduation.
Soheila Battaglia is a published and award-winning author and filmmaker. She holds an MA in literary cultures from New York University and a BA in ethnic studies from UC Berkeley. She is a college professor of literature and composition.