By Randy Snyder
Consciousness of a generation or generations LOSING THE WAY TO WRITE RIGHT becomes self-evident when many of us, including myself are in the midst of our grandchildren, our own children or simply members of those generations!
WRITING RIGHT can be defined as a method of penmanship or as a process of expressing one’s self or informing other(s) on a subject. The three R’s refer to the foundation of a basic skills oriented education program in schools defined as reading, writing and arithmetic! Upon doing some further research I discovered that in the 17th century, the curriculum in the elementary schools of New England consisted of four “R’s” or reading, writing, arithmetic and religion! We all know how the separation of church and state has affected the last “R” or religion!
Thankfully reading is still taught and encouraged due to necessity in the learning process at most levels of education. Religion as aforementioned has been for the most part disappeared from the curriculum at the early levels of the education process. Arithmetic, other than the basic skills of addition, subtraction, division and multiplication is not emphasized. Students use alternative methods of math available on their computers, phones, or “old fashioned” calculators. However writing as in penmanship, cursive or print style has all but disappeared from the curriculum. Cursive writing was something remembered as part of our education growing up for those of us in the active and silent or Baby Boomer generations and rarely taught if at all, to the generations thereafter.! Cursive, also known as longhand, script, handwriting, looped writing was a method of conjoined writing. We were taught cursive by repeat cognitive learning often duplicating cursive letters repeatedly, letter by letter, line by line on yellow paper with wide spaces created by blue lines separating each line.
Middle and High School students can’t read cursive! They are unable to read teacher’s assignments or comments on their papers. Historical documents, reading letters from Grandma, family love letters are lost to this generation. They call this generation the Cursive illiterate! It is interesting that cursive writers score higher on SAT and AP tests and become quick note takers. They have a personal signature.
WRITING RIGHT can also refer to “creative writing” encompassing letters written to family and friends or articles for print such as the writing undertaken for print media such as the BREEZE. A few helpful tenets to be remembered when choosing to write creatively in letter form or journalism connecting you with the “target” of your writing are as follows:
- Tell a story that connects with the subscribed audience, or a friend or family member
- Do not overuse the word “I” or refer to yourself, but refer to you or them as you are trying to provoke interest and emotions in your audience and what they can relate to.
- Engage your audience with particular tips by illustrating your writing with relative stories engaging all five senses of the audience or individual.
- WRITE RIGHT with a purpose, whether it’s to presell your readers, teaching them something, solve a problem, overcome a challenge or just develop a good relationship with them.
- Enumerating by letters or numbers, becomes an excellent way of capsulizing your main points.
WRITING RIGHT, either referring to penmanship or creatively is too important to disappear from our self-taught or institutionally taught skills. Perform and discourage compulsive texting, tweeting, Facebook, Instagram, and use and encourage phone conversations, face to face conversations, letter writing and penmanship more so we don’t totally lose the innate ability to more personally communicate now and in future generations!