Posted in Reading, Teaching, Writing

ENG 111: Not Left to Our Own Devices

In English 111, I have required you to draft your essays longhand and to limit your screen time. This blog post addresses the reasons that I’ve asked you to engage in those practices.

Writing Longhand

One practical reason for writing longhand: What we mark through remains on the page. Sometimes what we cross out can be useful later on, elsewhere in our writing. More importantly, research in cognitive neuroscience indicates that writing longhand has these benefits:

Simply put, writing longhand sharpens our minds in ways that typing doesn’t.

Limiting Screen Time

When we use our phones and laptops, it’s difficult for us to give our undivided attention to one endeavor, but often that singular focus is critical.

When we type on our phones, we often aim to convey as much as we can with as few characters as possible. Texting and emailing–both of which now feature predictive text–do not foster the vital skills of developing our writing and producing original thought.

Limiting our screen time not only helps us improve our writing skills, it can also benefit our overall well-being.

The research cited in the links that I’ve included isn’t defintive, but it makes a strong case for the value of limiting our screen time and putting pen to paper. I encourage you to continue these paractices after the semester ends.

3 thoughts on “ENG 111: Not Left to Our Own Devices

  1. Hi mam, I hope you are doing well. I just read your post and I really like it, specially the benefits of longhand writing. I really did this experience by myself and it really works for me.
    Thanks for sharing this knowledge with us.

    1. Sahira,
      I’m glad that composing longhand has proved beneficial for you. I hope that putting pen to paper is a practice that you will continue.

  2. Pingback: MOVING ON – ME

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