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.