Teens’ definition of writing…

…does not include all the texting, IMing, blogging, and commenting they're constantly doing online, and yet they're writing all the time as they compose phone text messages, IMs, blog posts, and comments in social-networking sites. This disconnect between what they're doing and their perception of it is a very interesting finding from a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Why does the disconnect matter? Because there's a debate going on among adults – parents, educators, etc. – about whether all this writing is hurting their formal writing and, just as importantly, Pew says in its description of the report, "because teens believe good writing is an essential skill for success and that more writing instruction at school would help them." The study "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." Meanwhile, any writer will tell you that the two most important activities for aspiring professional writers are writing a lot and reading a lot. Here's coverage from The Times of London and CNET.

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