Academic Writing: a Torturing or Rewarding Experience?
by Matheus Santos Melo (Brazil), the third winner at the Fifth NinjaEssays Writing Contest
Education has come to the point where writing has become one of the most used assignments given by educators. This has made many students bemoan the essay part of the educational system and question its relevance for the future. The question that arises from this is whether promoting academic writing does well to the students or is simply a torturing experience?
The truth is, there are people who are ‘born to write' and probably find these tasks to be their easiest and their favorite. I am one of those. As for those who do not really enjoy writing, developing the expressing skills can really bring enormous benefits. This does not mean that one is expected to become a writer or a journalist because he wrote a couple of academic texts at the time of studying, but it means gathering expressing skills and academic proficiency.
I have always been good at expressing myself and writing, so this task has never presented me a problem. On the contrary, I have so enjoyed the tasks from my teachers that I think I would not be able to write in such professional matter if it weren't for them. As for those who did not have the advantage of being a talented writer but were talented singers, managers or perhaps biologists instead, learning to write only helped them prepare for what may come next.
Learning to write is not simple and does not only mean that you should scramble a couple of words on a piece of paper or on the computer. It means to research and capture the main idea of what you should write about and this is not an easy task. I have heard many essays from my college friends that are so out of line that you won't even guess what the topic was if it was not introduced when the task was given. You can not be a good writer if you do not read attentively and with care. There is no way that you can support an argument or elaborate an idea if you do not research and look for clues in other sources. You may be the most innovative and creative person out there, but finding sources can only help you think of new ideas. A little help has not hurt anyone.
Now you have the topic, the ideas and the relevant information. You read them carefully and with the utmost attention. Again, it is not enough. When I think about it, maybe all these small factors contribute to people understanding academic writing as a torture instead of the pleasure I find it to be. You don't have to do this. The point of academic writing is not to torture you, but to teach you to be analytical. You have the thoughts and ideas you need and the thing you must learn is how to put them together and base them on a certain argument. Sometimes the ideas are complex and need breaking down and simplifying. After all, you are an academic and will often write for people who are not introduced to the subject on the level you are.
I have come to a point in my life where I find academic writing to be the most important factor in my future employment. When I learned to apply the skills I have gained into my work, I learned about character and persistence. Academic writing is a simple process that only needs understanding and time. After all, writing does not end when I end my education here. The world outside is all about writing, especially with technology advancing and Tweeter, Facebook and smartphones existing at our reach and in our homes. One may find this strange now, but I can easily communicate with people my age or older when I am on the same academic level as them. And even for those I pass with my academic capabilities; does it not feel great to be someone people look up to or a jealous of?
Academic writing captures it all: resumes, cover letters and letters of recommendation. How do you expect to find a job if a simple thing such as a resume seems like a torture to you, an academic? A good resume makes you more eligible for any job out there, so why do you see writing as a torture? What it is actually, is your little helper in the cruel, outside world. An amazing business proposal idea cannot possibly succeed if not presented well and imagine all the money and fame you may lose because you simply did not think that academic writing would serve you in the future.
Your thoughts and the words you use to express them are rarely the same. There are so many situations where you have to rephrase something in order to avoid hurting someone or revealing too much information. Sometimes you cannot truly capture the thing you want to say and people can often misunderstand you. The better you get at analytics and writing, it would be easier for you to communicate and express your ideas. Trust me; it is much easier when people understand what you really want to say.
I did not learn to write for the grades or the fame of being a good writer. I learned to write because this is not only a trait and success in school, but a great investment for my future. Dismissing my academic writing assignments will not save me from torture. Being given this chance means that I have the privilege of investing academic fortune in my future and the only thing to come up from this can only be beneficial.