From a New York Times op-ed about the reading and writing curriculum, specifically the decreasing emphasis on prose fiction:
David Coleman, president of the College Board, who helped design and promote the Common Core, says English classes today focus too much on self-expression. “It is rare in a working environment,” he’s argued, “that someone says, ‘Johnson, I need a market analysis by Friday but before that I need a compelling account of your childhood.’ ”
But isn’t it also rare to have to write a market analysis?
When we say, in brief, that someone “can write” I hope we are not saying they’re good at creating bureacratic documentation; I think we mean they can share information about a series of facts, events, or assertions concisely and clearly, while maintaining control over tone and diction so as to convey the right emotional relation to the material, and the right status relation with the recipient.
In other words, we are saying they can write e-mail that gets the job done and doesn’t waste time.
I see no reason reading novels wouldn’t teach you how to do this.