ANIS AKTER

Importance of Writing and Common Mistakes of Our Students

Reading makes a full man, writing an exact man, speaking a ready man" - says Francis Bacon. The written records survive longer than the spoken form. "Verba Volent, Scripta manent", "The spoken word flies away, the written words remains" says the Latin proverb. Thus a written message or a text is relatively permanent whereas speech is quite transient. It is by means of writing that language is made capable of transcending the ordinary condition of time and space.
What is more remarkable that the written form of a language changes more slowly than the spoken form. Besides, the written form is often more homogenous than the spoken. What is more remarkable that it is the language of education, which tends to be the same all over the country. Whereas speech differs and is represented by various dialects. And then writing is more grammatical in the sense that it often indicates grammatical relationship and understanding more clearly and vividly. That is to say the writer is generally more careful about grammar than the speaker.
If we have a highly integrated technologically oriented civilization, it is mostly because of writing. Without writing culture which has been defined as a communicable intelligence would not exist except perhaps in a rudimentary form. Law, religion, commerce, poetry, philosophy, history all those branches of knowledge and human activities which depend upon a degree of permanence and transmission would be, not possible but incalculably reduced. If all written records and representations of language were to disappear permanently, there would be a chaotic state of affairs in the world and the world would certainly fall into quagmire.
Elimination of writing would obviously eliminate all post offices, libraries, printing presses, magazines, books and newspapers. Reading, research and any form of studies would certainly be wiped out. What is more prominent that everything related to knowledge would have to be worked out in our heads. Without writing, even the administrative machinery would come to a halt. Electronic communication devices could have hardly been flowered had men not first learned the art of writing which made possible the accumulation and transference of a large body of scientific and technical mechanical knowledge.
Indeed, the words we use in our practical life, either written or spoken, can have powerful effects and impacts on our readers and audience, if we use them carefully and skillfully. Whether our goal is to inform, to persuade, to call for action, or to entertain our words and our stories can be exquisitely powerful. They can be engagingly powerful in that language is software for the minds we expect to deal with.
Writing is about saying something concisely, exactly and worthwhile. If our writing is faulty, screwed up, in disreputable, messy, unorganized, our readers would basically have no notion what contention we are endeavouring to interpret, scrutinize or analyze.
Writing assists us express ourselves whatever we expect. Writing prepares us to school and employment. Writing, actually, is how much of the world communicates, if we do not write we could cut ourselves off from a large community, Writing can be a great tool to co-operate us and to know more about the way we think or perceive. Writing can solidify ideas, thoughts and allow us to reflect on them better than if the ideas remain evolving in our heads. Writing is one of the ways that we translate our thoughts for other people. So to say, some people are much better at expressing themselves in writing than any other way and we, thus, get a better translation when we peruse what they have to say rather than hearing them speak.
Writing assists us with other languages tasks as well. Writing helps us learn how to form language, how to spell, how to put together a plot. We indeed, learn to make a logical argument or how to persuade mainly through writing. Speaking can help us learn those things as well but it is easier to self-examine and evaluate how to improve when we have something concrete in front of us and can revise and reshuffle.
The above discussion, however, does not intend to revere written messages more than oral ones. Linguistically, oral communication is more important than writing which is still a secondary representation of language. But in practical life the written word is commonly considered with great emphasis and excessive respect. If a deed is written and properly signed, it becomes a legal document; oral assurances have little or no recognition in law. As writing is itself of tremendous prominence and importance in human life, linguists have been seriously interested in the study of nature and history of writing.
Since we have so far perceived the prominence of writing, we have to scrutinize the errors commonly committed by our dear students in their examination scripts. Our students, whether they are supposed to write to attain good grade or to gain general purpose, mostly do not write their own correct English rather they write their memorized sentences in their examination scripts. Such kind of writing practice does not embellish their writing skill and creativity. Because in approaching to write this type of writing, they generally do not undergo any sort of brain-storming which is a pre-requisition for students' enhancement of enriching mental faculty. Furthermore, if they are to write any answers which they have not memorized before, they fall into a staggering problematic plight. They are to basically write summary, paragraph, short answer, application, personal letter, report, short composition and story in their English tests. If they are to write those types without memorization, they just write their answers disorderly, incoherently and above all most inaptly and half-heartedly. However, most common grammatical errors they occur in their writing are as follows: (i) Spelling errors ; (ii) Subject-verb agreement mistakes; (iii) Number errors (Singular and Plural agreement); (iv) Agreement in Noun and Pronoun; (v) Uses of articles (Definite article is problematic for the students) ; (vi) Uses of Idioms; (vii) Punctuation (Comma is highlighting) and Capitalization; (viii) Structural errors and (ix) In Tenses.
Those are the common errors that our students commonly commit in their Examination scripts. In addition, stylistic errors, common linguistic and etymological errors, diction errors are also available in their writing. To make error is human instinct No one in this mundane world is angelic. Hence, Our dear students would certainly commit mistakes. And they will obviously learn through their mistakes. But, what is more essential for our students that they must be always on guard against all sort of errors and mistakes.

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ENGLISH DEPARTMENT, MASTERS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
RANGPUR, BANGLADESH|English
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