National Writing Project

Writing: A Ticket to Work . . . Or a Ticket Out

Date: September 2004

Summary: The National Commission on Writing, which published the landmark report The Neglected "R," focuses on the American workplace in its second report. According to this report, as technology's role continues to grow, good writing skills are increasingly valued by big business.


As advanced technology in the workplace plays a more significant role, good writing skills are increasingly valued by big business, according to the second report from the National Commission on Writing.

As one executive noted, "[T]he need to write clearly and quickly has never been more important than in today's highly competitive, technology-driven global economy."

The numbers back up that statement. According to survey responses from 120 major corporations affiliated with Business Roundtable, an association of prominent U.S. corporations, employers spend billions annually correcting writing deficiencies.

To prepare students for rewarding work in the future, the National Commission on Writing calls on schools and colleges to focus on writing across the curriculum and at all grade levels.

Excerpt from Report

In today's workplace writing is a "threshold skill" for hiring and promotion among salaried (i.e., professional) employees. Survey results indicate that writing is a ticket to professional opportunity, while poorly written job applications are a figurative kiss of death.
- Writing: A Ticket to Work . . . Or a Ticket Out, September 2004

For more, read Writing: A Ticket to Work . . . Or a Ticket Out (PDF). The National Commission on Writing for America's Families, Schools, and Colleges has published four reports, all of which are available here.

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