A Writing Design: Using Abstracts in the Writing Process
2004, the College Board's National Commission on Writing issued a number of reports to the American Congress regarding the writing skills of today's American university graduates. The widespread perception among many faculty members at America's colleges, universities, and high schools of students not arriving on and/ or leaving the campuses of higher education with the writing skills needed for success in their college and professional careers had seemingly prompted the commission's investigation. According to Budig, this investigation took heightened importance when many leaders of major United States corporations began to share this same perception by "complaining about a serious deficiency in the writing skills" (663) of their entry-level, freshly-out-of-college new hires. The commission estimated that businesses were spending as much as $3.3 billion a year in remedying their employees' writing deficiencies and emphasized in their report the words of College Board president and commission member Gaston Caperton that today's students must "know how to communicate clearly and concisely" (Budig 663). At the time of writing this article (early May 2008), this report still appeared on the College Board's National Commission on Writing's home page (www.writingcommission.org), and no post-2004 updates or subsequent reports or bulletins appeared on the web site at this point in time.
This is an article from French Review 82 (2009): 1255. Posted with permission.