National Writing Project

Writing, Technology, and Teens

Date: April 24, 2008

Summary: Created in partnership with the Pew Internet and American Life Project, this report talks to teens to see what they have to say about technology and the state of writing in their lives. The report looks at teens' basic definition of writing, explores the various kinds of writing they do, seeks their assessment about what impact e-communication has on their writing, and probes for their guidance about how writing instruction might be improved.


Teens write a lot, but they do not think of their emails, instant and text messages as writing. This disconnect matters because teens believe good writing is an essential skill for success and that more writing instruction at school would help them.

Excerpt from Report

Teens who communicate frequently with friends, and teens who own more technology tools such as computers or cell phones do not write more for school or for themselves than less communicative and less gadget-rich teens. Teen bloggers, however, are prolific writers online and offline.

  • 47% of teen bloggers write outside of school for personal reasons several times a week or more compared to 33% of teens without blogs.
  • 65% of teen bloggers believe that writing is essential to later success in life; 53% of non-bloggers say the same.

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