American Students Can't Write-- how can the web help themThis NY Times Article says that:About one-third of America’s eighth-grade students, and...

American Students Can't Write-- how can the web help them

This NY Times Article says that:

About one-third of America’s eighth-grade students, and about one in four high school seniors, are proficient writers, according to results of a nationwide test released on Thursday.

How can the web, and perhaps, help change this?  

Expert Answers
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I totally agree with clairewaite.  Reading good work of all kinds serves as a model for effective student writing.  Teachers are often hesitant to have students do as much writing as it probably takes to be effective because it's a lot more work for the teachers.  That stinks, I know, but the better they get the less time it takes.  I have to look at it as an investment or it's pretty discouraging, at times.  Web sites don't make better writers, nor do sites like e-notes, unless students are actually modeling some of the fine writing they see here.  Look back at writing from Colonial and Revolutionary periods in America and you'll see these were people who knew how to construct an argument, had an effective vocabulary, and used allusions and figurative language well.  Today we criticize those works as being convoluted or complex or just "too hard."  Seems to me they're too hard because we've gotten too lazy to be able to read such works with any understanding.  We get what we expect.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think writing is best learned through READING a lot and WRITING a lot.  If the internet can be utilized, great.  If not, it isn't necessary.  More than anything, students lack the ability to write because they don't read as much as previous generations.  TV, XBOX, Twitter, Facebook... kids just don't read for entertainment anymore.

Enough with the "What is the newest, latest, greatest, magical writing technique/lesson?"  The greatest lesson might be for parents here.  Limit your child's access to TV, the computer and his cell phone.  Period.

The thing that worked the best was the one that was working long before technology.  Reading, writing, 'rithmatic... sticking to the basics and helping students find books and subjects that they can enjoy.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To address the topic, the Internet can serve as a great resource for writing suggestions -- there are several web sites that provide or at least reinforce what teachers teach about the best approach to the writing process.  Enotes has resources like that that the enotes editors frequently site in their resources section.  The web also has lots of grammar information available.  I always direct my students to the MLA web site for citation information, the OWL site from Purdue University, and of course enotes for reference information.  The web could also be used as a means for students to share drafts of essays for peer evaluation.  I am not suggesting that the classroom isn't the best place for writing instruction, but the Internet has a place too.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We can teach writing in schools.  Our students do not write enough.  Students need to be working on some kind of writing assigment all of the time.  In English class, they need to write responses to every kind of literature.  They also need to practice writing fiction and poetry.  Even if you don't grade everything they write, they still need to write!

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Is this not more of a question that should be aimed at teachers rather than the web? I don't think what education needs is necessarily new glitzy technology but just good old-fashioned teachers that care about their subject and learners and really desire to see them learn. Or am I just being naive...

allyson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Proficient literally means that you can demonstrate a solid understanding of a concept. Therefore a proficient writer can demonstrate a solid understanding of a concept through a clear thesis and a thorough argument, free of/with few conventional errors.

linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My question is how do we decide what is proficient?

mahmoudsaad297 | Student

teachers can form what we call "writing club" for those promising students in writing. this could help improve their abilities, and we may find some students who can be future prominent writers.

for those who need improvement, we may start with them from A to Z. grammatically i mean, then help them improve their sentence structure, variation and development