There is no doubt in my mind (and many other people’s, too) that good writing and critical thinking go hand in hand. In order to effectively get our message across in writing, we have to start with a base.
- What is important?
- To whom is it important?
- Why is it important?
- What does our audience need to know about this?
- What is the most effective way to get the point across?
- How will people use this information?
In order to answer these questions in our writing, we must investigate, sort, sift, organize, and present our information. We must decide what to include and what to leave out. We need to understand the needs of those receiving our message. If writing is becoming a lost art, is critical thinking far behind? About a year and a half ago, Mark James Miller wrote “Writing, thinking: A critical connection” for the Santa Maria Times. He pointed out that the highest rated ability employers are looking for is critical thinking. The good news is that critical thinking and writing skills can be taught; the bad news is that emphasis on teaching them is waning. It’s time to stand up for good thinking and good writing!