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Using word processing programs doesn't produce lazy writers if students are taught and required to follow the steps in composition. My students have typed their papers for the last 20 years, but I've always required that they plan and prewrite by hand, type a draft, print it, edit the hard copy by hand, then type their final paper from the revised draft.
At first they want to revise drafts on the screen, but when they develop the habit of editing a paper by hand, they learn much more about writing and revision. They can compare their drafts to the final papers. After writing several papers, they begin to see the mistakes they first made over and over, and then they can see their progress as these kinds of mistakes stop appearing in their drafts. Also, typing their work makes it much easier for them to see clearly and read what they actually have written. Word processing is a great writing tool in the classroom when used as means for instruction.
This will end up in the discussion section because it's totally an opinion question. Here's mine...
I don't think it's word processing programs that make students lazy. I think it's the habits learned from texting. Students are so used to leaving out punctuation, capitals, and such that they do it even when they aren't texting. You can see that in the questions on this site...
The one way that they might be making students lazy is by making them less inclined to actually learn how to spell because they just rely on spell checkers to catch their errors.
Cars make it easier for us to travel long distances without having to walk all the way, and telephones make it easier for us to talk to people far from us without shouting. Printing technology makes is possible to produce thousands or even millions of copies of books without having to write each copy by hand. We don't say that all these inventions make us lazy. Then why pick on just word processing for making things easier for us.
We may say that all these inventions of modern world taken together have made life easy for us and in this way made us lazy. But even in this case we must remember that there are still many people who work very hard in spite of all the conveniences being available to them. Thus being or not being lazy depends also on the personal choice and preferences.
As a middle school English teacher, I have seen, over the years a decline in student ability to edit written work. The ease of "Word Processing Programs" has directly led to the majority of the student body not being use the necessary tools available to master the state standards of writing. Each student should have the knowledge and practice in school to be able to use a dictionary and other necessary reference materials.
This lack of proper research and writing skills has also contributed to the decline in vocabulary development. The youths are to reliant of the easy way out, and become very frustrated when forced to either hand write multiple pages or to use a reference book, rather than a website.
In addition, word processing programs are a wonderful tool to use for educational purposes. However, it is up to the educator and parents to monitor its use and provide alternatives. Students should be taught editing marks, the proper seven step writing process, reverse sentence editing, peer editing.
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