All Those E-Mails Do Add Up to Literacy

Begun September 2001, the Stanford Study of Writing collected class-related and extracurricular writing from 189 undergraduates for five years–college and the first year out.  Although produced by a rarefied group of students, the 15,000 or so samples (including e-mail in 11 languages) in the database suggest that undergraduates do a great deal (60-100 pages a year) and wide variety (at least 18 different forms) of writing. journalist Clive Thompson surveyed the preliminary findings and concluded that the online world has not corrupted student writers; instead it has sharpened their awareness of audience and purpose.



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