24 August 2004

Writing manifesto, part 1

There’s a brief article in today’s Sun Herald (courtesy Knight Ridder) about blogging and writing proficiency for incoming college students. It turns out that, according to Samantha Blackmon at Purdue University, those who blog usually are better prepared to write well at the college level. (Incidentally, Purdue has a fabulous online writing lab, if you want a convenient resource.)

Blackmon’s conclusion doesn’t really surprise me; Peter Elbow has been arguing something similar for a while now (though he hasn’t necessarily focused on specific technologies and their impact on writing). Elbow believes that frequent writing is the best thing one can do in order to improve as a writier, in order to be able to write efficiently and effectively. So one can logically move from the general—frequent writing produces better writing—to the specific—frequent blogging produces better writing.

All this may be stating the obvious, but if there are ways to foster a love for writing, proficiency is more easily taught. So three cheers for the blog. One of these days it might even help my own writing!

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