Word counts, minimum page numbers, mandated source requirements. We have been taught since grade school that quality writing is defined by volume, length, and supporting content. I beg to differ.
Consider writing that has effected you most. Was it wordy? Long? Filled to the brim with quotes? Probably not. In the fast-paced culture of modernity conciseness is king and fluff is forgettable. Effective writers make their points, support their assertions, and get the hell out of your way. With an infinite array of content available to everyone at the touch of a screen no one has time for flowery horse shit. Yet academia insists we write in an outdated, archaic fashion that's boring and pretentious.
Don't get me wrong, I get why they do it. But, in an effort to ensure well-formulated prose, academic instructors are doing students a true disservice. For the first time in history writers have the power to digitally self-publish their work on a free, self-replicating platform provided by the internet. Facebook's recent proliferation of online articles makes it easier than ever to get ideas out there. Unfortunately, academia has bred a generation of young people who hate writing and, honestly, seriously suck at it.
It's time to change the way writing is taught. The world is changing exponentially. The way we write must keep up. Communication is power. The written word is liberating. But if no one reads it, there's no point in putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboards, or thumbs to touch screens.