The Impact of Texting and Social Media on Students' Academic Writing Skills

Angela Risto, Tennessee State University


In the present, technology dominates student learning and communication. With the inculcation of literacy testing and the movement toward Common Core Standards, students are now required to write more often than students of previous generations. However, educators fear that students will draw upon their most frequently utilized form of communication, texting and social media, for their sentence patterns, grammar, punctuation, and word choice. Previous research indicates that writing trends associated with texting and social media are now infiltrating academic writing. The purpose of this study was to describe the types of academic writing errors being committed by students that are influenced by the utilization of texting and social media for communication. This study additionally sought to determine the prevalence of these academic writing errors. Another component of this study was the examination of the attitudes of students and teachers regarding the infiltration of texting and social media style writing into scholastic writing. Finally, this study described student and teacher opinions regarding possible solutions to these technologically influenced writing errors. Data were gathered through baseline questionnaires, teacher journals, student writing samples, teacher interviews, and student interviews. Through a grounded theory approach, this study provided a thick, rich description of the specific issues, attitudes and possible solutions to the concerns created by the student use of a writing style perpetuated by texting and social media style writing. Throughout the data sets, a grounded theory emerged explaining how the formal writing process is altered by the use of texting and social media. Findings from this study are integral for determining how educational stakeholders approach writing and the writing process.

Subject Area

Educational administration|Educational technology|Language arts|Web Studies

Recommended Citation

Angela Risto, "The Impact of Texting and Social Media on Students' Academic Writing Skills" (2014). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3683242.