In her essay, “The New Literacy: Stanford Study Finds Richness and Complexity in Students’ Writing,” Cynthia Haven claims that writing, for the modern college student, has changed due to recent technology, specifically the internet. To prove this claim, the author turns to a study that began in 2001 at Stanford. This study’s goal was to analyze the writing habits of college students; however, the results yielded more than just that. The study found that students are writing much more than was expected, and much of what they write is not for a grade. So, these students write almost as much for their personal gain as they do for an academic one. Due to this, students are able to understand and utilize higher-level writing techniques, such as epistemic writing. Furthermore, they have the ability to connect with modern audiences. Communication nowadays is less about theses and conclusions than it is about connecting and conveying information to the reader. As such, the next generation of college student have been raised to embrace this communication style. Haven concludes the essay with the thought that while this versatility is a great quality, some things just cannot be communicated in this way. In other words, while there may be a new method of writing out there, the traditional essay will not be replaced so easily.
Summary of Keller’s Essay:
In “Studies Explore Whether the Internet Makes Students Better Writers,” Josh Keller investigates whether or not online media is corrupting the writing skills of today’s students. He references a study that began at Stanford in 2001, specifically focusing on a student named Mark Otuteye. Otuteye is one of the participants in the aforementioned study; in fact, he wa...
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...t Haven does not think the newer version of writing will replace the tried-and-true version. Keller, on the other, hand leaves his conclusion open-ended. In fact, much of his essay is like this. Throughout the essay, he goes back and forth between people who believe in the writing changes and those who do not. To the reader, his essay seems far less decided than Haven’s. Another way these two authors differ is by whom they choose to refer to in the essays. Haven primarily focuses on the opinions and ideas that Lunsford has as the director of the study. Whereas Keller uses a more diverse set of sources to convey his message. Keller used a writing professor from Emory University, an English professor from Florida State University, and an author of this Stanford study, among others. Even with these few differences, these essays were, overall, very similar to one another.
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