Best Defense

Quote of the day: Breaking the chains of PowerPoint and actually learning to write

A look at why learning how to write is crucial to success.


Quoth Byerly:

“By the time I finished up as a company commander, I was very proficient at PowerPoint. I could put together a spectacular briefing liking myself to a PowerPoint Da Vinci, however I couldn’t write.  The year before ILE, it took me four months to write a 1600 word article, and that was with two people helping me edit! Even though writing was painful at first, I kept at it, writing multiple blog posts, articles, as well as helping others edit their articles.  All that practice helped me relearn a lot about writing, which in turn, better prepared me for the steep writing requirements of the curriculum” [at the Naval War College].

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at

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