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SWC ENGL 115 - Essay- Account of a Written Argument

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Santana 1Araceli SantanaProfessor KinkadeEnglish 115June 24, 2021Is the constant use of texting affecting formal writing?What is texting and can it affect formal writing? Text messaging, commonly known as texting or text speak, is a process of sending messages from one cellular phone to another and is commonly written with abbreviations, acronyms, and short sentences, often not using punctuation. Michaela Cullington, an English student, in her position paper titled “Does Texting Affect Writing” addresses a controversial issue and explains different viewpoints, those of teachers, professors, students and herself, of the effects that texting has on formal writing. Cullington then conducts her own research. She interviews teachers, students and references some experts in their own study. Cullington acknowledges that some teachers believe that their students’ ability to write proper sentences is being destroyed by the constant use of abbreviations in texting; however, she aligns with other educators that texting has minimal effect in formal writingand instead is having a positive effect because of the ability to communicate by creatinga whole new language made with the use of abbreviations and acronyms. In the first part of her paper, Cullington argues that teachers and professors blame the constant use of text speak because they believe it is affecting the way societycommunicates and claim that society is becoming lazy and sloppy in their writing. Cullington states that in order to obtain a more personal perspective, she has resortedSantana 2to interviewing two of her former teachers which argue that extra time is being spent in editing students’ papers and are constantly reminding the students that abbreviations and text slang is unacceptable. Although the two teachers state that texting inhibits good writing, simplistic writing like text speaking may be acceptable for certain conversations. Cullington states that other teachers believe that text speak has become part of everyday language that some students do not realize when they are using text language in their school papers. The lack of punctuation in texting is causing students toneglect its use in their formal writing. Cullington explains that one major complaint among teachers is the fact that texting is short and to the point therefore it lacks emotion. It has some teachers worried that students will also not be able to communicate emotion in their writing.Although not every teacher or professor supports these claims, some argue that texting has its pros, when Cullington then presents as a counter claim. Those in supportbelieve that texting motivates students to write as it provides extra practice for those who struggle with writing and boost their confidence. In addition, since students are engaging in written rather than oral communication, teens learn how to communicate ang get their message through the reader in as few words as possible. Cullington references Sternberg, Kaplan and Borck in which they make the claim that texting is a way to motivate teens to write formally. Cullington also references the argument that author David Crystal’s makes in his book Txtng: The Gr8 Db8, Crystal states that textinghelps foster “the ability to summarize and express oneself concisely” in writing (168) and that texting actually helps people to “sharpen their diplomatic skills . . . [because] it allows more time to formulate their thoughts and express them carefully” (168).Santana 3 Lastly, Cullington conducts her own research on the controversy, to obtain a different and more personal perspective, by surveying seven students, questioning a couple of high school teachers, and ultimately analyzing some writing samples. In analyzing their responses, Cullington states she looked for commonalities to help draw conclusions about the students’ texting habits. As Cullington explains that she is also a frequent texter herself, she proceeds to analyze her own data. She does so by analyzing her cell phone bill and the number of text messages she sends and receives. Cullington notices that she rarely uses abbreviations in her own texting as she finds it more time consuming trying to figure out text speak and still make sense of the message she is sending. Also, for added support to her research she included the findings of a study from a research university.  In Michaela Cullington's own research which included expert research and personal observations, she concluded that texting has minimal effect on the student’s ability to write or communicate properly. Cullington states that the students she interviewed understand the importance of using proper grammar in school and a more relaxed writing while texting. Cullington argues that her research helped proved these claims as true since she did not see any use of textspeak in the students’ samples. Even some linguistics professors research aligns with those of Cullington’s study, as they both suggest that students use textspeak, or abbreviations occasionally and not as often as some teachers argue.Santana 4Works CitedCullington, Michaela. "Does Texting Affect


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