Does social media ruin student writing?

DIRECTIONS: You have three hours to read the articles provided and write your essay. This assignment asks you to respond to the topic both articles address with an argument of your own in an essay that is 5 paragraphs in length. The essay should be at least 3 pages in MLA format. You must use at least 6 quotes in the essay.

Here is a basic outline you can follow when writing your exam:

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I. Intro: hook, background information about the topic (it’s fine to introduce the two articles, including the titles, authors, and main idea in your introduction), and your thesis statement

II. Body 1: first reason to support your thesis, evidence from the article you agree with, explanation of the evidence and why it supports your topic sentence.

III. Body 2: second reason to support your thesis, evidence from the article you agree with, explanation of the evidence and why it supports your topic sentence

IV. Body 3: third reason to support your thesis, evidence from the article you agree with, explanation of the evidence and why it supports your topic sentence

V. Conclusion

***The essay must have at least two quotes in each body paragraph, for a total of 6 quotes.
OMG: Social Media May Wreck Your Kid’s WritingBy Ruth Campbell published in Opposing Viewpoints in Context, 2015 [1] Convertible laptop computers are being loaded with software Friday for Central High School students to begin using in January [2014]. Teachers say the usage of computers and social mediaon smartphones has caused students’ writing skills to wither. [2] The prevalence of Facebook, Twitter and texting has all but obliterated punctuation, capitalization and apostrophes in schools, threatening the future of formal writing, educators say. Immersed in Technology[3] And it’s no wonder. Cape Girardeau public school students, for example, start learning keyboarding in kindergarten to get them used to technology, curriculum coordinator Theresa Hinkebein said. But she noted kindergartners already know how to operate smartphones and have computers at home.[4] Keyboarding itself doesn’t have an effect on grammar and formal writing, but with people relying more on electronic devices, physical handwriting also is disappearing.[5] Hinkebein said students are taught cursive writing the second semester of second grade, and kindergarten through 12th-grade students are taught when it’s inappropriate to use informal language.[6] “Our teachers really try to help our students understand the difference between formal and informal writing,” she said.[7] But students come to school “already immersed in technology,” Hinkebein noted. [8] Students are more likely to commit certain grammatical errors because they use the conventions of texting, tweeting and Facebooking in their formal academic essays.[9] Assistant superintendent for academic services Sherry Copeland said though spell-check and grammar software exist, students still need to know how to spell and use correct grammar. Copeland said she has been on job interviews where a prospective employer has asked her to sit down and write something longhand.[10] Southeast Missouri State University writing instructor Eric Sentell said in an email to the Southeast Missourian that since he began teaching six years ago, he’s noticed a difference in the quality of students’ writing.[11] “Students are more likely to commit certain grammatical errors because they use the conventions of texting, tweeting and Facebooking in their formal academic essays. Occasionally, I see actual ‘text language,’ like using the letter ‘u’ instead of the word ‘you,'” Sentell wrote.

[12] Most of the time, it’s lack of capitalization, punctuation and apostrophes, Sentell said. Code Switching[13] “Everyone speaks and writes differently for different audiences, but some students struggle to switch between the informal codes of texting and social media and the more-formal codes of standard written English and academic or professional writing. After noticing increases in text language and other grammatical errors, I began emphasizing ‘code-switching,’ or adapting one’s writing to one’s audience,” Sentell wrote.[14] “I observed a significant reduction in those errors and an increase in the overall quality of my students’ writing. But some capitalization, punctuation and apostrophe errors still creep in every now and then.”[15] Central High School principal Mike Cowan, a former English teacher, said texting language has become so commonplace, he even noticed a billboard between Cape Girardeau and Oak Ridge that used “U” instead of “You.”[16] “If we have a disciplinary situation in school, we always invite the student to write a statement about what happened to try and get down to the facts of the situation. They’ll write in that kind of informal expression. I see it more all the time. I think it is indeed an academic battle that faculty teachers are fighting …” Cowan said.[17] For a while, Cowan said he fought texting, but he’s doing it himself now. [18] “Often I’ll get comments that I’ve been texting in complete sentences. Now I’m going for declarative sentences. I guess I’ve even relented to some degree,” he said.[19] The bottom line, though, is over time people lose writing skills.[20] “I guess you could argue it’s not a loss, but it’s a displacement, a change. I’m not so sure how far you can change and still continue to communicate accurately,” Cowan said

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