I often speak with students about careers in math and computing and the most common question I hear is “what should I study?". My answer often surprises them.

They’re expecting an answer like Machine Learning or Linear Algebra, something based on current technology trends. But my answer is to develop a decidedly untrendy life skill: learn to write effectively. I’m convinced that being able to express yourself in a clear, concise, and compelling way is the single most valuable professional skill you can cultivate.

The article cited below provides, in a ten minute read, a simple guide to writing in plain english. The key points are:

  • Keep your sentences short
  • Prefer active verbs
  • Use ‘you’ and ‘we’
  • Use words that are appropriate for the reader
  • Don’t be afraid to give instructions
  • Avoid nominalisations
  • Use lists where appropriate

My favorite quote:

You can end a sentence with a preposition. In fact, it is something we should stand up for.

Click through to read this brief and valuable resource for yourself. It might just change your life.

If you spend more than an hour a day writing, you are to an extent a professional writer. So it's vital that you get it right.