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Timely Topics on Teaching & Parenting Digital Children

Good Writing Online? Fifth Graders Give Advice

Posted by Marti Weston on October 25, 2013

I asked fifth graders at my school to share their thoughts about digital world writing after we compared formal and informal writing online. We also discussed the effect writing can have on the reading audience. Below are some student thoughts, written in response to my post on their fifth grade blog.  To learn a bit about the what we did, you can read my lesson overview, Writing Online — What to Think About.

keyboardA Few Student Reflections

  • Writing online is hard because you might think it’s ok to say something with bad grammar or slang, but you never know who’s going to get to it.
  • I think a good online writing skill is to be careful of what you type. When you are typing online, to make it better you can read over it and check your work, or ask a family member or a friend to read over it and check if it has mistakes.
  • Good ideas, capital letters, punctuation, and strong grammar all make good writing.
  • I think you should know your audience. If you’re writing to a serious audience you should make your writing serious, and if you’re writing to a humorous audience you should make your writing funny and you can use slang.                              
  • It’s important to have good online writing because people can judge who you are, based on your online writing. And anyone can see your writing.
  • I agree and think that anyone around your house could help you proofread, and you could also grab a dictionary off of your shelf and quickly find the word your having trouble spelling.
  • It depends who you are writing for. Maybe it is OK to use slang if it is a close friend who will understand it. For example if it is to a teacher or adult, you should try to not use slang. Especially if you are the kind of person that words just slip out of your mouth, you should always go over what you write.
  • It is very important to be careful of what you write and make sure that you are not accidentally saying bad or unkind things. To prevent typos a good tip might be to be sure to read your stuff over!
  • I think that you should always double-check your comments before putting them out in the world. To improve your writing try to add something that will make your readers think. Maybe you could ask a question.
  • If you are mad and you write something mean it can cause a problem. Always re-read and imagine how the other person will feel.
  • You should have interesting writing. I think good writing would have really cool facts about things, places, or people. People should also write what interests them so readers can probably find something new about that person or subject.
  • I think that slang is okay if people know what you are talking about. But if you say BTW (by the way) and the person doesn’t know what that means, they might think it is something bad. Be careful. If you send a message to a bunch of people, and you use slang or make a typo — you might be embarrassed.
  • Think about the audience you’re writing to.  Many people don’t want to read a super long post, but others may want a longer more detailed version. 

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