Recognizing the Problem

Writing is a critically important skill and a prerequisite for academic success. Among the three “R’s” of education, alongside with arithmetic and reading, writing is the most hard-pressed in today’s classrooms. Statistics below provide perspective on why the American National Commission on Writing calls writing “The Neglected ‘R’”.

“More than 75 percent of high school graduates are not proficient writers”

National Center for Educational Statistics: The Nation's Report Card: Writing 2007.
http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/main2007/2008468_4.pdf

“About one third of students taking English language skills exam fail”

The Globe and Mail: Texting, Twitter contributing to students' poor grammar skills, profs say.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/texting-twitter…

“Almost 50 percent of faculty members say students are not well prepared for college-level writing”

The Chronicle of Higher Education: A Perception Gap Over Students' Preparation.
http://chronicle.com/free/v52/i27/27b00901.htm

“National average on the writing component of SAT is lower than both critical reading and mathematics averages”

CollegeBoard: SAT National Averages 2008.
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/scores/understanding/average.html

“In today's workplace, writing is a “threshold skill” for hiring and promotion among salaried (i.e., professional) employees”

CollegeBoard: The National Commission on Writing Writing: A Ticket to Work... Or a Ticket Out.
http://www.writingcommission.org/prod_downloads/writingcom/writing-ticket-to-work.pdf

“79 percent of teenagers feel that computer-based writing instruction would improve their overall writing skills.”

Pew Internet and American Life Project: Writing, Technology and Teens.
http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2008/PIP_Writing_Report_FINAL3.pdf.pdf

“The nation should invest in research that explores the potential of new and emerging technologies to identify mistakes in grammar, encourage students to share their work, help assess writing samples, and incorporate software into measuring student writing competence.”

The National Commission on Writing: The Neglected “R”. The Need for a Writing Revolution.
http://www.writingcommission.org/prod_downloads/writingcom/neglectedr.pdf

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