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Writing for College and Beyond

Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom


CJ Kent

Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom explains how the many skills taught in the Freshman Composition course apply at work and in life. The composition class is a pre-requisite and General Education course for most colleges and universities in the United States. It reaches students in every area of study. As people wonder about the value of a liberal arts education and question whether colleges and universities are truly preparing students for the workforce, Writing for College and Beyond challenges those arguments by pointing out exactly how classroom policies and writing assignments apply beyond school walls. Professors, lecturers, and graduate students teaching Freshman Composition courses will find this book helpful. Administrators who service the Freshman Composition population, such as Writing Center Directors, will also find Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom a wonderful aid.

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Chapter Two: The KISS of Classroom Behavior: Knowing Important Soft Skills


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The KISS of Classroom Behavior

Knowing Important Soft Skills

Forty-six percent of new hires fail within 18 months, and 89% of those are terminated for attitude problems.1 That means approximately 41% of all new hires fail because they don’t know how to behave. I’ve seen it. The employee doesn’t engage with the job beyond the limits of the job description, won’t learn new skills required for the job, can’t get along with others, refuses to stay late, slacks when needed, or doesn’t manage their emotions.

You are responsible for your attitude no matter how well you do the job.

If you don’t take charge of what you do and how you do it, you’ll get overshadowed very quickly by those who are making that effort. School might have pushed you along, helping you get to the next step. No one at work will.

Employers list “soft skills”—like personal accountability, self-motivation, punctuality, time management, and work ethic—as the main traits missing in today’s employees.2 Many job positions that have applicants with the necessary technical skills don’t get filled because employers aren’t satisfied by applicants’ apparent soft skills. Arriving on time, being personable, communicating well, having a good attitude, showing interest are the type of soft skills you need for the rest of your life. In other words, people know how to do jobs, but they don’t act like it.

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