It’s normal these days to use symbols and abbreviations, but have you ever wondered how technology could be affecting the way kids are writing in school? Would their essays and book reports contain as much LOLs and emoticons as their social media posts? Well, you’ll be relieved to find out that today’s college student writing has the same number of errors as it did back in 1917.
This is according to a national longitudinal study on student writing conducted by Andrea A. Lunsford and Karen J. Lunsford. In fact, the study also found that students nowadays are even writing longer essays and are using more complicated rhetorical techniques.
The study entitled, “Mistakes Are a Fact of Life: A National Comparative Study” was undertaken by Lunsford and Lunsford, rhetoric and composition professors at Stanford University and the University of California Santa Barbara, respectively. This is in response to government studies worrying about the decline of students’ literacy level back in 2006.
The two professors did not find evidence that students are using instant messaging (IM) jargon and abbreviations in their papers, no “text speak” and not a single emoji was found. What’s surprising is that the researchers found text speak and some of the anticipated digital-era errors students would make in notes and comments teachers made on the students’ written works.
The study, published in 2008 involved information from research undertaken in the last hundred years and it replicated the process of analyzing hundreds of papers to identify errors in students’ writing.
Read more: University Herald