Three Key Skills

At Vohra, we know that real writing skills matter more than most math skills. So, we built our writing training program to reflect that. We systematically build both creative and technical writing techniques, enhancing both thesis paper writing and rhetorical writing skills.

In school, students need three main skills for writing:

  • the ability to critically analyze a passage, text, book, poem, or other document,
  • the ability to express complex ideas in writing in a clear, concise, and organized way, and
  • the ability to convince the reader that the thesis is true.

The first skill is built through our critical reading program. You can learn more about that here.

The second skill is built through our rigorous grammar training, and a program of worksheets that will build brevity and direct language skills through editing practices and independent writing.

Both of the two skills above are extensively covered in most standardized tests outside of school (AP exams, SAT subject exams, and the SAT and ACT).

The third skill is often the hardest of the three to build, and that's where we bring in the useful practices of creative writing.

Creative Writing for Rhetorical Assignments

Creative writing is more approachable for most students, or at least less annoying. When writing creatively, students must be able to communicate not just a single idea, but an entire world full of ideas and rules and characters and simultaneous events. In doing so, they have to learn to convince the reader of an alternative reality. As students become more comfortable with this, we can shift the same skill into more technical writing projects.

In technical writing, the goal is to convince the reader either that your thesis is correct, or that you deserve a good grade on an assignment. While we don't support the structure that enforces begging for approval (that second type of essay), the skills you learn here can still help you with such an assignment.

When you are trying to convince your reader that your thesis is correct, you need to understand their mindset, their potential objections, how far you can jump from one logical idea to the next without losing their connection. Those things have obvious parallels in the world of creative writing. 

When you are trying to convince your reader that you are definitely very smart and should get an arbitrary letter on your paper that will mean nothing to you in two years (or two weeks), you need to understand what your reader thinks is "good", why they prefer some phrasing to another, what ideas they currently believe and how you can mimic those as best as possible, etc. Understanding these things is also built through a general study of the opponent's psyche.

What Not To Do

When training to become better at writing, don't just train in one area, and forget the others. As a corollary, don't skip leg day at the gym, make sure you cycle through all the necessary areas.

If you focus solely on critical reading skills, your writing will likely be dense, full of long quotes, verbose, and unfocused. This won't convince your reader of your aptitude or rightness, and no one will enjoy reading it.

If you focus solely on convincing the reader that you are right, you will likely sound desperate and disjointed. It will be clear that you do not fully understand the passages that you have been asked to analyze, and your writing will lack the necessary polish it needs to be truly convincing.

The Grammar Section

Most people like to skip the grammar part of the program because it feels unnecessary. After all, your English teacher, and the SAT, aren't asking you to identify direct objects in sentences. But this entirely misses the point of the grammar training. If you don't study grammatical structures within the English language, your writing will often have numerous errors, be difficult to read, and come out clunky and wordy. You'll always miss points on the "Command of Language" section on the rubric, and you'll be worthless to any employer that ever needs you to write anything for any business.

Having spoken with many entrepreneurs and business owners for over a decade now, I can tell you that the number one desired skill that just cannot be found on the market is writing. Not complex, flowery, amazing writing. Just plain and simple, grammatically correct, non-embarrassing writing that conveys a clear and concise message. That's what most industries need, and that's what is truly worth study.

If you have any questions or you want to get started with our writing program, email us.