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Research Paper Final Draft

Research Paper Final Draft

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Published by Cameron Bolin

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Published by: Cameron Bolin on Mar 11, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Connection: Literacy and Technology
Throughout the history of language and literature, writers have progressed and adapted tothe newest or latest version of literacy technologies available to them. Writing has nearlyundergone a complete evolution with the multitude of changes it has experienced. KarenBromley supports the idea of a complete evolution in her article,
Picture a World Without Pens,Pencils, and Paper 
. She describes the process our ancestors used 100,000 years ago when theydrew portraits on cave walls as a way of communicating and she compares that to the numerouswriting styles we have today, which include emails, blogs, twitter, and text messaging (98). Thewriting utensil that was used to
sign the most important document in our nation‟s history, the
quill pen, was certainly an important writing technology, but it has been long forgotten since thatera. Scholarly authors have had contradicting views on whether technological changes havehelped or hindered people's writing; however they should understand that these changes aregoing to happen and should think more of how we can help people adapt to these changes, ratherthan worry about the pros and cons of this matter. Prior to adapting to these changes, teachers
have been wondering “whether these technologies will improve children‟s literacy skills or take
them forever away from traditional reading and writing
(Bertram 289). These are some issuesthat need to be addressed. This 21
century media-based writing has changed how, why, where,and how much we write as students and the mass public; however we have experienced similaradaptations in the past so why should these technological changes be any different?According to Dennis Baron, the
 pencil was once the “state
art technology,” but
most people would never consider it a form of technology nowadays. (422). Today the mainform of communicating in literacy terms is done by means of a keyboard and screen instead of pencil and paper. Very few people agree that the pencil was a writing technology, so this same
disagreement could happen when a new technology overrides the computer. Each form of writing should be known as a writing technology because I am sure most people agree that acomputer is a technological apparatus. Even though, writing is a lot easier with the use of computers, it is simpler to look for
a text, such as Emily Dickinson‟s poetry that is stashed away
in a box, than to attempt to
find someone‟s article on
an outdated floppy disk that is not evenapplicable with our new computer systems (Bromley 100). When a new technology is invented,old inventions are forgotten, just like the example of the floppy disk. Being able to save a file orwritten text on a square shaped disk was a great innovation, but newer computers only havespaces to insert flash drives or CDs. As new products continue to rise, older ones will continue tobe pushed to the side. So no matter how different these writing technologies are, they were eachdesigned for the same purpose and they have progressively helped writing become easier for usto do. Christina Haas described the similarities of these different literacy technologies in herarticle when she attempted to provide m
ore “interesting understandings about how old and new
technologies coexist and influence one another in distinctly nonlinear ways
(226). So do newertechnologies influence different, less productive ways to write than the original pencil and paper?My plan is not to dwell too much on the issue of whether or not newer technologies
influence people‟s writing skills negatively, positively, or neutrally; however I think the
argument should be addressed to help provide each point of view. Advancements in writingtechnologies happen all the time and how we adapt to it is very important.
Scholarly authors‟
opinions are nearly split right down the middle with some believing newer technologies arebeneficial, while others are completely against the use of online sources, such as blogs andemails. Baron
expresses his feelings of the invention of the computer by stating that “my
contention…is a modest one: the computer is simply the latest step in a long line of writingtechnologies” (425).
 Many authors and teachers believe that the invention of communicating through socialnetworking sites, emails, and text messaging hinder their students ability to produce credibletexts. A college professor described the normal college freshman as a
student “accustomed to
writing in the unstructured, chatty style of e-mail discussions, but not in formal prose. Students
submit essays that are longer but not better written than those in years past” (Leibowitz 1). This
debate consists of three major concerns for those who oppose writing becoming part of the
electronic realm, according to Mark Warschauer. He believes that “it is informal, it is graphic
(rather than text) dominant, and it facilitates plagiarism (916). I am only going to expound on thefirst two issues since they fall into the discussion I am currently addressing. Electronic textsnormally consist of poor grammatical uses that will never be acceptable in formal writing, suchas repeated letters or extra punctuation marks for dramatic affects, the use of emoticons (
),reduced capitalization, and a popular use: the abbreviation of acronyms (916). The use of computers as a writing technology also upraises the concern of fraud, in which we have to trustthe mass public.The other side of this argument is full of optimistic authors and teachers who aredelighted with the latest writing technologies that have become ever so popular to writers. Theuse of the computer and ability to post written texts online provides students with a much moretime efficient way of finishing assignments and
gives teachers the freedom to grade their pupils‟
work online without having to haul home boxes full of papers that still need marked up. Some
scholars believe that the new writing style is “more engaged and more connected to an audience,
and that colleges should encourage students to bring lessons from that writing into the

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