Why writing classes?
We need to write clearly and convincingly to achieve our goals
High school essays, college research papers, statements of purpose for college, cover letters for jobs, reports at work, applications for grants, business and project plans, marketing materials...there are countless situations in our lives where our success depends on how well we can express ourselves in writing. Learning to write is not just about basic literacy nor is it only about creative writing. And like all other skills, the ability to write clearly and convincingly comes with training and practice.
Writing develops critical thinking skills
Critical thinking cannot be taught without a context, and writing is a discipline that uses and develops it naturally. By its very nature writing requires we synthesize knowledge, analyse information and question beliefs and theories. Without engaging in such processes it isn’t possible to develop, logically support and clearly present ideas.
Writing develops creativity
Creativity relies on divergent thinking—thinking which connects seemingly unrelated ideas to generate as many new solutions or options as possible. Writing forces us to examine one single thing from numerous angles, and it asks of us to find different ways to describe one single thing—both of these acts require divergent thinking. Further, in addition to the fact that writing naturally uses divergent thinking and creativity, in Speak Up! writing classes we also do targeted writing exercises to build our “creativity muscles”.
Writing classes are fun
People often think that writing is done in total isolation, but this is not true. Writers gather ideas from the world that surrounds them, discuss them with their friends and family members, and communicate with their editors during the writing and editing process. In Speak Up! writing classes, we put an emphasis on this social side to writing. In pairs and in groups we discuss and debate our ideas to develop theories and arguments, give each other helpful feedback to outlines and later versions of our texts, and offer each other support in a friendly environment where we work together, learn together, and explore together the world around us and the worlds inside us.