Within the deep, scholarly recesses of their hearts, college students dream of using the semi-colon.
When coming across one in a text, their hearts skip a beat. They yearn to steal it off the page and paste it into their essays to call it their own. They know, after all, that using a semi-colon is the epitome of suaveness, sophistication, and literal sexiness.
I’ve written thousands of incredible essays, brimming with profound notions and creative solutions. But, nobody’s ever read them. Why? Because I haven’t taken the time to transform these ideas into comprehensible prose. So, my insightful thoughts are merely that—thoughts that have never been shared and never been understood by anyone else.
Poor writing is the same. Writers who don’t revise their sentences into clear prose waste their time and words. They confuse readers with unclear sentences and fail to communicate their ideas. Why write at all?
Tess M. Brandt currently teaches English reading, composition, and literature courses at Diablo Valley and Ohlone Community Colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area.