Our culture is dominated by short, punchy and often sloppy messages – think Twitter and text messaging. Most high school and college-age kids are experts in this type of communication and – not suprisingly – less comfortable with situations that require a more professional and mature tone of writing.

Don't underestimate the importance of good writing - sharpening your skills now will not only improve your coursework but also prepare you for communicating properly within a more formal work environment.

Follow the tips in this story from USA Today College the next time you need to e-mail a teacher or professor and you'll be sure to get in their good graces.