Writing Skills: Why They Matter in the Digital Age

While the history of written language is subject to debate, its significance to humanity is absolutely clear. Writing has played a vital role in modern human development and progress. As an essential component in human communication, written language allows a writer to preserve and transmit a message throughout time and space. The reader, then, is afforded greater opportunity to contemplate the message, internalize it, and formulate a response.

Serious Male Student Writing



According to Fischer (2001), written language “is the single most important and far-reaching technology available to humans and has served as the foundation for virtually all other information technologies from early etchings in clay to the world of digital access that we enjoy today.”

Think about that for a second. The implications of this type of technology are actually quite remarkable! Imagine a world without it. Imagine a world without texting, let alone one without great literary works that fill our hearts, give us new perspectives, and inspire change. Writing permeates human life, now both physically and digitally, and it’s here to stay.  

With the digital age transforming our lives and the ways we communicate at a dizzying rate, strong writing skills have taken on a new level of importance in our globalizing world. New careers and economies of the 21st century will demand a workforce that is proficient in the art of written communication. Despite this growing demand, there has been an alarming trend in the last 5 years that shows national averages in this key skill area are actually plummeting.  In fact, national SAT scores have dropped to the lowest levels in a decade on the Writing section, according to the most recent study by the US Department of Education (2016).

Connor (2014) claims, “Poor grammar and writing is an epidemic in the workplace. While the era of social media and texting has caused many to believe it’s a problem they couldn’t resolve, a number of businesses are finally finding the nerve to crack down."

What can be done to combat this epidemic?  Quite simply, students need to build a solid foundation in “Usage and Mechanics” of the English language. As a tutor for Vogel Prep for the last two years, I have seen students struggle the most with grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Through our test prep courses, we teach students not only how to increase their score on standardized tests but also how to directly transfer this knowledge to help them become better writers. After all, the true objective should not be limited to scoring well on the ACT or SAT; rather, the ultimate goal should be to lay the foundation for success in college, the workplace, and beyond.

Vogel Prep offers grammar reviews, test prep, college essay writing and advising, and more. To view an extensive list of programs, please visit: https://www.vogelprep.com/about-our-academics/

—Alex Sircy, Education Specialist and Vogel Prep Instructor

Conner, C. (2014, May 22). I Don't Tolerate Poor Grammar. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2012/10/21/i-dont-tolerate-poor-grammar/#6f8d88886d54

Fischer, S. R. (2001). A history of writing. London: Reaktion Books.

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2016). Digest of Education Statistics, 2015 (NCES 2016-014), Table 226.10.