Does writing quality suffer when use of the Internet and mobile technology increases?

Wes Muilenburt (left) and Nicholas Yopp attend a writing class taught by Tina Lee at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. A new report from the Pew Research Center says technology has both helped and hurt students' writing habits. (Tim Post/MPR News)

“I think they have sloppy habits of mind, and I think that the Internet feeds into that.” – Mara Corey, Irondale High School teacher

Most teachers, 68 percent, say use of the Internet and mobile technology leads students to take shortcuts in their writing, reports MPR News reporter Tim Post.

A recent survey says social media has given students a new outlet for their writing.

That’s a good thing.

But what’s not so good is the informal style and sloppiness of texting and social media that’s finding its way into students’ assignments.

Some Minnesota teachers have already figured out that they have to tell students to keep texting-speak out of their work.

Nicholas Yopp, who attended a writing class for high school-aged students recently at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, has heard the warning.

“In my school, the teachers, before they give us any assignment,” he said, “every one of them has made it very clear that you will get a very low grade if you put texting acronyms in there.”

Sixteen-year-old Jorie Schwab from Grant, Minn., insisted she never uses texting shortcuts in her schoolwork.

But Schwab understands how other students slip up.

“I don’t even know if they realize it when they’re writing,” she said. “But it’s just such a part of their language that they just write it.”

Kristen Purcell is director of the Pew Center’s Internet and American Life Project.

The project recently surveyed nearly 2,500 middle and high school teachers across the country about the writing habits of students.

“Some of that informal style and language does creep into [students’] formal writing,” she said, “so that’s something that [teachers] have to address with their students.”

Today’s Question: Does writing quality suffer when use of the Internet and mobile technology increases?