Getting the mail was the best part of the day. The thrill of opening the mailbox door and seeing a letter with your name was both incomparable and indescribable. Writing letters made writing fun. For centuries, letter writing has been a significant form of communication- regardless of social class, age, and gender. In fact, letter writing “remains one of the most pervasive literate activities in human society” to this day (Barton and Hall 1). When looking closely at the foundations of literacy, it is impossible to ignore the influence of letter writing. Not only does writing letters influence a person’s writing, but it changes the way a person looks at writing. Writing suddenly becomes less of a chore, and transforms into an enjoyable activity. Since people tend to engage in activities they appreciate and see the value in, does this logic suggest that letter writing drastically affects literacy by encouraging writing? This question, along with the curiosity to discover if others felt that writing letters was as important in their literacy growth as we believed it was in ours, lead us to begin researching this topic. The study we designed aimed to determine to what extent people see letter writing as influential in their personal literacy development, and to prove that even informal writing molds communication ability.
Participants involved in this survey were reached through Facebook and on campus at the University of North Georgia (UNG). A total of 18 people were surveyed through Facebook. Eight people were surveyed in person at UNG. Participation in the survey was completely voluntary. The Facebook survey included a short description of the nature of the ...
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...ommunication abilities and provide a valuable means of expression. The fact that informal letter writing is not bound by traditional grammatical rules gives the opportunity for unlimited creativity to express what is important to a writer. Patricia Austin’s work also helped show how things like letter writing can benefit people by connecting them and encouraging positive relationships between people of different ages, genders, social statuses, and races. The Barksdale reading helps to show that the creative writing in letters does not have to be limited to letter writing and informal writing, but can also be used to improve communication and critical thinking in academic writing if writers allow their writing skills to transfer. Overall, our study and resources show that most people see the value of letter writing or other forms of informal writing in their literacy.
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