Is the ability to read and write more important today than in the past?

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Is the ability to read and write more important today than in the past?
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Since ancient time, human beings have considered reading and writing the most effective way to enhance intellectual and spiritual capacity. Today, as our world is coming into the Information Age, as our world is changing more quickly than ever before, the importance of reading and writing has increased significantly, especially in acquiring knowledge and getting a good job.

In our era, reading and writing ability is more critical to acquiring knowledge than ever before. In the past, knowledge was only changed after decades. Nowadays, it is updated faster than all previous eras, especially information of high technology subjects such as computer science and astronomy. To keep up with this rocket-fueled change of knowledge, students should be able to read quickly and effectively to get the most up-to-date information; otherwise, they would be left behind their peers. Writing ability is also important in the academic world today. Surrounding by myriad of information from various sources, students have to gather, analyze and synthesize information to show their professors that they have insight into the subject. Without good writing skill, students cannot demonstrate their understanding, thus they would fail to get good marks. Writing also enhances students’ ability to think logically and organize coherently, which is important to their future career.

In the labor world nowadays, the ability to read and write is more important than it was in the past. In the old days, illiterate people or people with limited ability to read and write could still easily earn their livings; they could work on the farm, on the construction site, or in heavy industry factory. Today, such kinds of work are decreasing fast: machines have taken over many kinds of heavy work. Furthermore, many seemingly manual jobs require reading and writing ability. For example, a farmer today must be able to read and understand instructions on how to use pesticides and fertilizers effectively. Similarly, workers in factory must be able to read and understand the instruction on how to operate machines. Reading and writing are also more critical for the knowledge-based employees than in the past. Nowadays, the labor market has become more and more demanding. In many company, there are usually dozens of candidates with a Bachelor’s degree competing for one vacancy. In such severe competition, only people with excellent reading and writing ability can get good jobs; others would become unemployed.

As quick changes of the world have increased the difficulty of academic work and the demand of the labor market, reading and writing are becoming more and more important. To excel at school or flourish in life, people should hone those skills as sharp as possible.

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