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DefiningWritingInAModernWorld

Abstract:

Thereisasignificantamountofdifferentformsofwritingthatareactuallyconsidered
writing.InourWhitePaperCollaboration,weaskedstudentsofSinclairCommunityCollege
WhatQualifiesAsWritingToYou?.Ourgroupmadeasurveyconsistingofalistofgenresof
writingthattheycouldcheckmarksayingwhatonesqualifyaswritingtothemindividually.All
fourofuswentaroundcampusandsurveyedrandomstudentsinsideandoutsidethebuilding.
Wealsoaskedforgender,age,andmajorforamorespecificresult.Wesentoutsurveyson
SurveyMonkey
throughemailtoSinclairCommunityCollegestudentsformoreresults.Atotal
of78
SurveyMonkey
surveyswereanswered.Foraspecifictotalweused22randompaper
surveystogetagrandtotalof100surveysaltogether.Ourresultsconcludedthatschoolpapers,
workdocuments,andemailweretotopthreetypesofwritingthatactuallyqualifiedaswritingto
StudentsatSinclairCommunityCollege.

Keywords:(TagsandLabels)
1. WritingEvolution
2. Writing
3. WritingDefinition
4. IsTextingWriting?
5. StudentsDefinition
6. StudentsDefinitionofWriting
7. SinclairCommunityCollege
8. SurveyonWriting
9. IsSocialMediaWriting?
10. WritingDefinitionAsDefinedByStudents
11. ModernWriting
12. DifferentWritingForms

Basedon
AWIDESurveyandWhitepaper
conductedinSeptemberof2010,thestudy
showedthatstudentsattendingtwoyearuniversitiesstatedthattextmessages,emails,and
lecturenotesweretheirtopthreemostfrequentlyusedformsofwriting.Basedonthat
information,wewereinspiredtodeterminewhatourowncommunitycollegestudentsdefinedas
writing.Itisfairtosaythemethodofwritinghaschangedoverthecourseoftimeandwill
continuetochange,sothispaperservestorecordhowstudentsatSinclairCommunityCollege
viewanddefinewritingtoday,comparedtotheinformationrecoveredin2010.Toretrieve
information,wesurveyedstudentsfacetofaceaboutwhattheyqualifiedaswriting.Tofurther
reachacrossthestudentbodyandgeneratemoreresponses,weelectronicallysoughtout
informationthroughanonlineversionofoursurvey,whichwerepassedouttostudentsenrolled
inEnglishcoursesthroughoutSinclair.

Ourhopeinproducingthisresearchpaperandgatheringresultsistoprovideanyoneand
especiallyprofessorswithinformationaboutwhatcollegestudentsthinkisconsideredwriting.
Hopefullythroughtheseresultswecanbegintoofferawidervarietyofwritingopportunitiesor
wecanbegintocombatthecurrentdefinitionofwritingandredefineit.Didyouknowthatfour
outoffivestudentsarenotproficientwriters?Thisisincrediblyconcerning.Partofourdesirein
collectingtheseresultsisbasedonhelpingindividualstounderstandhowandwhythedefinition
ofwritingisevolving.Whenourdefinitionofwritingbeginstochangeitmeansthatour
proficiencycancertainlybeimpacted.

Themajorityofourdesireincollectingtheseresultsistoseeiftheresultsfromthe
A
WIDESurveyandWhitepaper
arelegitimateandifthosesameresultsholdtrueforSinclair
CommunityCollegestudents.TheresultsfromtheWIDEpaperconcludedthatstudentsdeemed
texting,emailing,andlecturenotesasthemostcommonformsofwriting.Therefore,they
definedtextingandemailingaswritingforms.

Bytheveryendofthispaperwehopetohavepresentedyou,thereader,withquality
informationthatwillhelpyoudeterminehowandwhystudentsaredefiningwritinginnewand
evolvingways.Additionallywewillbepresentingyouwithpotentiallyconflictingdataresults
fromtheoriginalWIDEpaper.

Wehopeyouenjoytakingalookthroughourcollecteddatathathelpsusclearly
understandwhatthestudentsofSinclairCommunityCollegedefineaswriting.

TheMethodsofOurMadness:

ThemethodsthatweusedtocollectourdatafortheWhitePaperresearchpaperwerea
varietyofdifferentwaysofcollectingdataresearch.Westartedourjourneyinquiringaboutwhat
kindsofwritingstudentsdefinedastruewriting.Ourgroupdeterminedourquestionsbasedon
someofthedatawefoundfromtheAWIDESurveyandWhitePaper.Thequestionswedecided
toaskwereasfollowed:

WhatqualifiesaswritingtothestudentsofSinclairCommunityCollege?
Theoptionsincludedunderthissectionwere:Text,Email,SchoolPapers,
SocialMedia,WorkDocuments,andOther.
Whatisyourmajor?
Whatgenderareyou?
Whatisyourage?

Weaskedthelastthreequestionsbecausewewantedtoknowwhatthe
background/demographicwasforeachindividualthatansweredthequestions.Eventhoughwe
wereaskedtomakeobservationsbeforewegatherourresultsforthesurveywerealized(unlike
othergroups)thatwecouldnotactuallyobservethebasicfunctionofoursurveyquestionwith
ourowneyes.Insteadwewouldneedtosimplystartaskingthequestionsandlettheresultsflow
in.Ourprofessor,Dr.Casselrequiredustomeetupforaconferencesessioninorderto
determineifourgroupwouldbesuccessfulingatheringtheinformationwewishedtogain.

Beforeweattendedtheconferencewediscussedanddeterminedwhatquestionswe
wouldasktothestudentbody.Wedesignatedsectionsofthestudentcampusandassigneda
groupmembertoeachsectionsothatwewouldgetadiverseamountofstudentfeedbackand
studentswhowerefrommanydifferentdisciplinesandmajors.Thegroupmemberswere
supposedtostandineachoftheassignedbuildingsandalsooutsidetocollectdataonthepaper
tablethatwecreated.Afterwedecidedthequestions,madethetablesurvey,printedthetable
surveyout,andassignedgroupmemberstodifferentsectionswewerereadytomeetwithDr.
Casselforourconference.

ExplanationOfThePaperSurveyPortion:

Ourgroupusedapapersurvey(theoneshownbelow)toaccumulatedataforthe
questionsshownabove.Eachpersonoutofagroupoffour,surveyed30peopletogetatotalof
120papersurveys.WesurveyedrandomSinclairCommunityCollegestudentsfromthe
cafeteria,thelibrary,building14andthosewhowereroamingthecollegecampusfromoutside.

WhatQualifiesasWritingtotheStudentsofSinclairCommunityCollege?

Text

Email School Social


Papers

Media

Work
Documents

Other

Major

Gender

Age

DuringourconferencesessionwithDr.Casselwedecidedtoalsosendoursurveyoutvia
anonlineservicecalledSurveyMonkey.OurSurveyMonkeysurveyaskedallofthesame
questionsasthepapersurvey.However,wedidendeavortomakesomeofthequestionsabit
clearerontheonlinesurveyespeciallybecausewewouldnotbethereinpersontohelpdescribe
orexplainanythingaboutthesurvey.Wedidreceivefeedbackfromafewmembersofour
English2classwhotooktheonlinesurveyfirstbeforewesentitouttothepublic.Thathelped
usincludesomeexplanationswiththequestions.Otherwisewedidnotchangeanythingbetween
ouroriginalandtheopportunityforrevision.

SurveyMonkeyhasabuiltinresultssectionforthedatainformation.Itincludesabar
graphwithpercentagesbasedontheresultscollectedfromtheindividuals.Afterwegatheredall
ofthepaperresultswethenstartedaddingthoseresultstothepercentages.Wewantedtoachieve
a100personparticipationsurveyresult.Sincewereceivedwellover60responsesfromthe
onlinesurveyandhadcollected120fromthepapersurveywedidnotneedtousealltheofthe
responseswereceived.Therefore,weusedarandomgeneratortohelpchoosewhatpapersurvey
responseswewouldaddintothedatathathadbeencollectedonlinethroughSurveyMonkey.
Theendresultswereamixofpaperresponses(22randomlypicked)andonlinesurveyresponses
(78totalcollected)thattotaledto100surveyresponses.

Anotherpartofourresearchwastointerviewindividualsbasedontheresearchproject
wewereconducting.Dr.Casselaskedeachmemberofourteamtointerviewsomeoneandask
themquestionsthatrelatedtoourresearchproject(survey).Wedecidedasateamthatwewould
interviewprofessorswhoeithercurrentlytaughtatSinclairorwhowerestudentsthemselvesof
SinclairCommunityCollege.Belowarethenamesofeachteammemberandtheirexplanation
ofwhytheychosetointervieweachspecificprofessor:

VioletJohnston:IchosetointerviewDr.RobinMcLaughlin.Hehasnumerousdegrees
andhasworkedwithinacademiaandintheworkforceforanumberofyears.Dr.McLaughlin
alsorepresentstheadjunctfacultyofSinclair.Heisaprofessorformarketingandmanagement.
Sinceheiswithinthebusinessdepartmentherepresentsanentirelydifferentperspectiveon
writingthananyotherprofessorwithinanotherdisciplinaryfield.InterviewingDr.McLaughlin
helpedtoprovidediversityandallowedustohaveadditionalcontentforourresearchpaper.

MariahEngland:IchosetointerviewMr.HowardJordanmypolicingteacher.Mr.
JordanisaoldergentlemanthatworksasapoliceofficerfortheDaytonPoliceDepartmentbut
alsoheteachesthepolicingcourseandafewothercriminaljusticecoursesatsinclair.IntheLaw
enforcementfield,thereisalotpaperworkandreportsapersonhastowritesohavingexcellent
writingskillsplaysabigroleinthefield.Mr.Jordanhasyearsofexperienceinthelaw
enforcement,thereforeMr.Jordanbringslawenforcementperspectiveonwriting.

ToriWillis:Formyinterview,IchosetointerviewBillPrater.BillwasmyFrench
teacherduringhighschool.IwantedtointerviewBillbecausenotonlyisheaFrenchteacher,
buthealsoinstructstheMiddletownHighSchoolforensicsteam.Theforensicsteamisateam
thatparticipatesinactingcompetitionsacrosstheUnitedStates.Thisincludesimprovisational
acting,recitingmonologues,debating,andgivingspeeches.Heisalsoastudentworkingtowards

hisMastersDegree.Ibelievewithhisbackgroundinteaching,culture,communications,andas
wellasbeingastudentqualifieshimtosharehisinsightforourresearch.

AlyssaWysong:IchosetointerviewmyAnatomyandPhysiologyteacher,Mr,
McNichol.Heis38yearsoldandisverywiseforhisage.NotonlydoesheteachAnatomyand
Physiology,buthealsoteachesthelabforthatcourse.Heknowsalotabouthisareaofteaching
andmadeagreatcontributiontoourpaper.

Duringtheprocessofwritingandgatheringdataforthisresearchpaperwewereaskedtofind
relevantarticlesordatathatmighthelpsupportourprojectoratleastaddagreaterdepthand
claritytoourownwork.Eachpersonwithinorteamwasaskedtolookupaseparatearticle
withinSinclairCommunityLibrarydatabase.

VioletJohnston:Ilookeduparticlesabouttextinganditsrelationtowriting.Thearticle
Ifoundwasentitled
"NewWritingPracticesTextMessaging".Themainthrustofthearticle
evaluatestheusageoftextingasmoderncommunicationanditfurthersolidifiestextingasa
formofwriting.Thearticlealsoexplorestheeffectsoftextmessagingonstudentswritingskills.
Interestinglyenoughthearticlealsodiscussesthehistoryandemergenceofthenewwriting
medium.

MariahEngland:ThearticleIchosewas"FacultyDefineTheRoleOfWritingInThe
SocialSciencesOfAgriculture,whichiswrittenaboutthefacultywhoteachwritingintensive
coursesinthestudyofsocialscienceofagricultureatTexasA&MUniversityandwhatthey
personallydefineaswriting.Inthearticleitsaysthefacultydefineswritingusingfourdifferent
themeswhicharewritinginagriculture,characteristicsofeffectivewriting,teachingwriting,
andwritingfactors.Oneofthefacultymembersthattheresearcherinterviewedsaidwritingis
awindowintothebrainintermsofhowpeoplethink,howtheymakeandsupportarguments,
andhowtheyproblemsolveanduseresources.Writingmakesstudentsstrugglewiththeir
personalideasandputthosepersonalideasonpaperinanorganizedway.Understandinghow
studentsbecomeeffectivewritersandwhatwritingfactorscontributetotheirwriting
developmentwouldprovideadministratorsandfacultywithanindepthdescriptionofhowto
makewritinginstructionmoreeffective.Exploringdifferentpointsofviewwilldevelopastrong
foundationandbaselineofwhatwritinginstructionshouldincludeforretentionandtransferof
knowledgeinthesocialsciencesofagriculture.

ToriWillis:Thearticle
NecessarySmilies&UselessPeriods
byNaomiS.Baronfocusedonhow
communicationisoccurringmorefrequentlythroughonlineandmobileplatformsandwhether
ornottheseformsofwritingwereconsideredwrittenorspokenlanguage.Thatalonemademe
considerifstudentswerechoosing(ornotchoosing)suggestionsbaseduponwhetherthey

consideredwritinginthoseparticularcontextstobebasedupontheverbofwritingorthenoun
forwrittenwork.Foranexample,studentsmaychoosetextingaswritingbecauseit
is
something
youwrite,butotherstudentsmaynotconsideritwritingbecauseit
isnot
awrittenpieceofwork.

AlyssaWysong:Thearticle"WritingFortheInstantMessagingandTextMessaging
Generation:UsingNewLiteraciestoSupportWritingInstruction"bySheelahM.Sweenytalks
abouthowweareinthedigitalera.Wecancommunicatesoeasilywiththeoutsideworldand
frompeopleallaroundtheworld.Fortyyearscanmakeabigdifferencewhenitcomesto
technology.Thisarticlediscusseshowtextingandinstantmessagingcanbeusedforclass
assignmentsamongststudentsandeventeachers.Studentsusetextingasmoreofatoolinstead
ofalearningexperience.Theycangetdistractedaloteasierthanmanyothertechnologiesor
literaciesthatcanbeused.Thisarticletalksaboutallofthenewliteraciesthatarerecentand
fromtheolderyearsthatareusedbyteenagersandcollegestudents,especiallytextingandsocial
mediainstantmessaging.

Theinterviewingandarticleshelpedourteamdiscoveradditionalinformationandattain
aclearerunderstandingofhowourlanguageandthedefinitionsthatweshapereallydo
contributetothequalityofourworkandthefrequency.Therefore,weweremoredetermined
thanevertoexplorewhatSinclairstudentsdefinedaswriting.

TheResultsandHowWeGotThere:

Whenourclasswasoriginallygiventheassignment,ourgroupdecidedtosetoutandget
100differentopinionsonwhatqualifiedaswriting.Wedecidedon100becausethatisa
substantialnumberthatwouldallowustotakeourresultsandeasilytranslatethemintoa
percentage.Wewerenotyetfarenoughintotheassignmenttoknowthatwewouldsoonbe
using
SurveyMonkey
,afreeonlinequestionnairewebsite,togatherinformation,soourinitial
thoughtsweretosetoutonfootandmeetfacetofacewithSinclairstudents.Noneofthe
interactionsbetweenthestudentswesurveyedwereplannedonbothsides.Theyweresimply
conductedbyeachmemberofourgroupinbetweenclassesandweaskedanyonethatwas
nearbyiftheywere1)aSinclairCommunityCollegestudent,and2)iftheywouldtakeabrief
survey.Thismethodallowedustoavoidamarginoferrorwhenretrievinginformationandmost
studentswerehappytohelp.

TheoriginalWhitePaperCollaborationconductedinSeptember2010concludedthat
textingwasinthetopthreemostfrequentlyusedformsofwriting.However,ourresearchshows
thatmanystudents,especiallyinyoungergenerations,donotconsidertextingtobewriting.In
fact,only28%ofstudentsactuallyconsidertextingtobewritingthisnumberistiedtothe
numberofstudentswhoalsobelievesocialmediaposts/correspondencetobewriting,withthe
othercategorynotfollowingtoomuchbehindwith23%.Schoolpapers(includingacademicand
researchpapers)withthoughttobethemostqualifiedformofwritingleadingwith90%.Work
documentswerethesecondmostqualifiedformofwritingwith78%,whileemailwas
consideredthethirdmostqualifiedformwith63%.

BelowisapictureofourbargraphresultsfromSurveyMonkeythatalsoincludesthe22
surveyresponsesthatweremanuallyenteredfromthepapersurvey.

ThisiswhatouronlinesurveyfromSurveyMonkeylookedlike:

Nowthatwevegatheredallthedata,interviewedvariousindividuals,readadditional
researchfromoutsidesources,andcollaboratedasateamwevecometoavastlydifferent
conclusionthantheoriginalsourcewewerestudying:
AWIDESurveyandWhitepaper.
After
surveyingthestudentsofSinclairCommunityCollegewediscoveredthatstudentswithinour
institutionconsideranddefinethetopthreeformsofwritingasschoolpapers,workdocuments
andemails.Accordingtotheoriginal
WIDE
paperstudentsconsideredtextingasoneofthetop
threeformsofwriting.WewereinterestedtoseeifthesamewouldholdtrueforSinclair
students.Itturnedoutthattheresultswerenotthesameacrosstheboard.Whenwewerefirst
studyingandreadingtheresultsofthe
WIDE
paperourgroupwasoutragedthattheywould
makeablanketstatementandconcludethatallstudentsconsideredtextingasanewwriting
form.SowesetouttoseeifthatwastrueinDayton,Ohio.Althoughtexting,socialmedia,and
theothercategorywerelastonthelistinourresultswedohavetogivethe
WIDE
papersome
creditandadmitthattimesarechangingandpeopleareallowingtheirdefinitionofwritingto
rapidlychange.Itscleartoseethatamajorityofstudents,atleastatSinclair,stilldefinewriting
aspredominantlylonger,moreacademicorworkrelatedwritingsastheonlytrueformof
writing.However,itisalsoslightlydisturbingtoseethatsocialmediaandtextingareeven
consideredoptionswhenitcomestowriting.Oursocietyhasbecomehighpaced,convenience
oriented,andlessinterestedinelaboratewritingthattakestime,skill,andhardwork.The
objectiveofthisresearchpaperwastoprovideyouwithinformationregardingSinclair
CommunityCollegestudentsandwhattheydefineaswriting.Wehopethatweveshownyou
justhowimportantitistoaccuratelydefinewords.Wordsandthewayinwhichwechooseto
definethemshapethewayweinteractandthatwaywewillcontinuetointeractinthefuture.
Wordscertainlyshapetheworld.

WorksCited:

"12DataPointsDetailingTheCrisisOfPoorWritingInAmerica."
TeachThought
.N.p.,06Nov.
2012.Web.16Oct.2015.

BOTIN-BRATU,Simona,andLucia-LarissaPALEA."NewWritingPracticesText
Messaging."RevistaAcademieiFortelorTerestre20.1(2015):4246.AcademicSearch
Complete.Web.30Sept.2015.

Leggette,H.R."FacultyDefineTheRoleOfWritingInTheSocialSciencesOfAgriculture."
NACTAJournal
2(2015):104.
AcademicOneFile
.Web.1Oct.2015.

Huck,GeoffreyJ.WhatIsGoodWriting?.n.p.:OxfordNewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,
[2015],2015.SinclairLibrary.Web.30Sept.2015.

Baron,NaomiS.,andRichLing."NecessarySmileys&UselessPeriods."
VisibleLanguage
45.1/2(2011):4567.
ArtFullText(H.W.Wilson)
.Web.1Oct.2015.

Grabill,Jefet.all.
TheWritingLivesofCollegeStudents
.N.p.:TheWritinginDigital
EnvironmentsResearchCenter,07Sept.2010.PDF.