The worth of writing and study skills

By Kevin Lubuulwa, :: 31-01-2012

 Many of us unconsciously shake our bodies to Judith Babirye’s lyrical “Maama!” Isn’t she just wonderful? When I listen to music, some songs move me instantly and yet some do not even amuse me. There are many reasons for some songs to immediately become hits and others to fail. The major reason is that the particular musician is a highly skilled one.

 In life we all need skills to excel at what we do. Although many of us can sing or hum a tune, how many can record a major hit instantly? For any musician to become famous, he or she must work tirelessly to develop that skill.
In the same spirit, for us to become real professionals, we need the writing and study skills. Some students here have ignorantly dubbed this course “Writing and Stupid Skills” because, like the pig with a gold nose ring in Proverbs 11:22, they fail to realize its true value. Let me try to enlighten you about the value of Writing and Study Skills.
  This is a course that we all need regardless of our intended professions. All job adverts today require good writing skills.  At a workshop, the human resource manager, Anny Katabaazi, expressed concern about the kinds of application letters she receives. Some are almost incomprehensible. Poor writing skills tend to lower your reader’s estimation of your worth. Your core courses will not show you the right way to construct a sentence or an introductory paragraph. It is in Writing and Study Skills that you will get to sharpen your writing skills.
Some students are prevented from the exploitation of their full potential because they lack basic reading skills. They may be deficient in word-by-word reading, resulting in low speed, poor habits of comprehension accuracy, inadequate vocabularies, or inability to concentrate while reading non-fiction.  The reading skills are handled in the reading comprehension unit where you are given the formulae for reading and lots of practice.
Since you are now a scholar, you need other study skills to successfully go through university and beyond. You will get the psychological strategies like motivation for your studies, concentration and wise use of time. You will also be taught the note-taking skills that you need after a long time of copying teachers’ notes at the lower levels.
As you wind up the course, you are given the professional communication skills. In this unit, you will have the hands-on practice of writing winning curriculum vitae, application letters; a memo and its electronic sister the email; writing minutes, and many others. Since you are planning to be a professional, there is no way we can deny you this course.
By the way, Writing and Study Skills is a skills-based course. Everything is done practically. Your instructors make you write and rewrite words, sentences, paragraphs and essays. It is equated to learning how to drive; you learn with your hands on the wheel! Missing is not tolerated and retaking may be required if you are to acquire these very necessary skills.

The writer is a lecturer in the department of Languages and Literature.

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