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Why Canít College Students Write Anymore?
Psychology Today ^ | February 21, 2014 | Azadeh Aalai, Ph.D

Posted on 02/21/2014 5:24:09 PM PST by Zeneta

Why Can’t College Students Write Anymore?

Is it just me, or are student competencies like basic writing skills in serious peril today? Granted, I am about a decade in to my teaching career, but even within this fairly short span, I have noticed a startling decline in the quality of written work turned in by my students, regardless of which institution (community college, private, four year school) the papers are coming from.

It’s not just that students aren’t demonstrating critical thinking skills in their writing, basic competencies like proper syntax, spelling, and even proper structure like paragraph indentation and how to cite sources are being done very poorly. Teachers have been reporting anecdotally that even compared to five years ago, many are seeing declines in vocabulary, grammar, writing, and analysis (e.g. Westin, 2013; Bloomberg News, 2012). Moreover, on an international scale, our standards in literacy is similarly on the decline (McGuire, 2014).

There are only so many times you can correct a “their” that is meant to denote “there” before wondering, when was the last time this college student’s writing abilities were actually assessed? As a psychology professor, I am starting to feel like an English instructor, because so much of my feedback on these papers is focusing on such basic writing skills, that the coherency or theoretical merit behind the content is getting lost in the shuffle.

Snip

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-first-impression/201402/why-can-t-college-students-write-anymore

(Excerpt) Read more at psychologytoday.com ...


TOPICS: Education; History; Science; Society
KEYWORDS: dumbingdown; writing
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The Closing of the American Mind is a 1987 book by Allan Bloom. It describes "how higher education has failed democracy and impoverished the souls of today's students." He focuses especially upon the "openness" of relativism as leading paradoxically to the great "closing" referenced in the book's title. Bloom argues that "openness" and absolute understanding undermines critical thinking and eliminates the "point of view" that defines cultures.

he Closing of the American Mind is a critique of the contemporary university and how Bloom sees it as failing its students. In it, Bloom criticizes the modern movements in philosophy and the humanities. Philosophy professors involved in ordinary language analysis or logical positivism disregard important "humanizing" ethical and political issues and fail to pique the interest of students.[1] Literature professors involved in deconstructionism promote irrationalism and skepticism of standards of truth and thereby dissolve the moral imperatives which are communicated through genuine philosophy and which elevate and broaden the intellects of those who engage with these imperatives.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Closing_of_the_American_Mind

More.

Understanding How Modern Liberals Think- Evan Sayet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIboXTpF6t4

1 posted on 02/21/2014 5:24:09 PM PST by Zeneta
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To: Zeneta

The links.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Closing_of_the_American_Mind

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIboXTpF6t4


2 posted on 02/21/2014 5:25:42 PM PST by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
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To: Zeneta

Shouldn’t it be anylonger?

Anywho, they cannot write because they are not asked to. When they are asked to they are asked about their feelings or not their thoughts. Logic is no longer taught. The trivium is no longer taught. The are not aske to do expository writing. They are not asked to describe anything in detail. They may not discuss whether something is good or bad only how all is equal. They text continuously and never craft anything in writing.

AND...THE NUMBER ONE REASON THEY CANNOT WRITE!

They do not read.
Try teaching music to someone who has never heard it.


3 posted on 02/21/2014 5:29:42 PM PST by rey
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To: Zeneta

An author in Psychology Today asks “Is it just me?” LOL


4 posted on 02/21/2014 5:30:18 PM PST by Misterioso ("There are two potential violators of man's rights: the criminals and the government." Ayn Rand)
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To: Zeneta
wat are yew talken aboot? I is a colleg colledge gardeate and I has literasy!

CC

5 posted on 02/21/2014 5:30:30 PM PST by Celtic Conservative (tease not the dragon for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup)
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To: Zeneta

Wright, write rite right.


6 posted on 02/21/2014 5:31:14 PM PST by edpc (Wilby 2016)
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To: edpc

It’s the internet, and texting. It’s not that we can’t write anymore, the language is changing into a kind of english shorthand.


7 posted on 02/21/2014 5:33:01 PM PST by FreedomStar3028 (Evil must be punished.)
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To: Zeneta
Just read Michelle Obama’s doctoral thesis and make the decision for oneself. Also, note that MLK’s doctoral thesis contained 19 pages of clearly plagiarized material and was awarded his PhD. The heroes for that culture are dumbed down and the ones following in the footsteps are even less educated and receive their awards with less merit.
8 posted on 02/21/2014 5:33:08 PM PST by vetvetdoug
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To: Zeneta

Not just college students. Everybody. We’re devolving into a nation of illiterates.


9 posted on 02/21/2014 5:34:20 PM PST by IDontLikeToPayTaxes
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To: Zeneta

Imagine a world where the common man is unable to read the founding documents in the handwriting they were written in.

The written word being made available to all men is probably the single greatest thing to happen to mankind.


10 posted on 02/21/2014 5:34:31 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Zeneta

In 60 years we have gone from Ian Fleming and JRR Tolkien to EL James.

No wonder people cannot write.


11 posted on 02/21/2014 5:34:54 PM PST by Perdogg (Ted Cruz-Rand Paul 2016)
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To: Zeneta

Because they are Wii tawded .....


12 posted on 02/21/2014 5:35:14 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: Misterioso; vetvetdoug; edpc; Celtic Conservative; rey

Please watch at least the first 7 minutes of Evan Sayet.

Understanding How Modern Liberals Think- Evan Sayet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIboXTpF6t4

You should watch the entire clip.

This is where the battle is being fought.


13 posted on 02/21/2014 5:37:13 PM PST by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
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To: Zeneta

Reading, writing, and arithmetic are no longer the main focus of today’s educational system. Those are things kids have to more-or-less pick up off the street now. Political correctness, socialism, and gay tolerance have pretty much taken their places.


14 posted on 02/21/2014 5:37:28 PM PST by Telepathic Intruder (The only thing the Left has learned from the failures of socialism is not to call it that)
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To: FreedomStar3028
Nonsense, I can be drunk as a lord, and post grammatically correct drivel on the internet all weekend long.

It's because students don't learn to read, and they aren't taught to write.

/johnny

15 posted on 02/21/2014 5:39:22 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Fo’shizzle.


16 posted on 02/21/2014 5:40:35 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: cripplecreek

I don’t do cursive....


17 posted on 02/21/2014 5:42:02 PM PST by wetgundog (" Extremism in the Defense of Liberty is no Vice")
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To: Telepathic Intruder

I’m well aware of all those things.

The idea, the issue is what can be done about it ?

We need to gain a better understanding of “How” the left “thinks” in order to formulate a way to destroy them.


18 posted on 02/21/2014 5:42:07 PM PST by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
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To: Zeneta

The liberal plan of dumbing down America is working like a charm.


19 posted on 02/21/2014 5:43:50 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: Celtic Conservative

OMG! ##CTC? Then NBD EM...JLMK K?


20 posted on 02/21/2014 5:44:10 PM PST by Red Steel
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To: Zeneta

P.S. Since before I started college in 1991 (well after high school) the largest number of classes offered were remedial English and remedial math.


21 posted on 02/21/2014 5:45:05 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: Zeneta

The leftists teaching our kids only care that they’ve been properly indoctrinated.

There is no desire to impart critical thinking or communications skills.


22 posted on 02/21/2014 5:45:10 PM PST by G Larry
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To: Zeneta
Why Can’t College Students Write Anymore?

Because most of them aren't classically educated homeschoolers like my two kids currently in college.

Mind if I gloat a little?

:D

23 posted on 02/21/2014 5:45:46 PM PST by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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To: Zeneta

Because the education bureaucracy in this country is only useful as a money laundering operation for Democrats. Actual education is much farther down on their list of priorities.


24 posted on 02/21/2014 5:46:20 PM PST by WeatherGuy
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To: Red Steel

k thxbai!

CC


25 posted on 02/21/2014 5:47:47 PM PST by Celtic Conservative (tease not the dragon for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup)
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To: Zeneta

A PHD actually wrote that title?


26 posted on 02/21/2014 5:48:22 PM PST by winodog
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To: rey

I was about a sentence in to the article, when I noticed problems with this author’s own ability to write. Ironic, eh?


27 posted on 02/21/2014 5:48:25 PM PST by Defiant (Let the Tea Party win, and we will declare peace on the American people and go home.)
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To: Zeneta

ROFLMAO. I txt u gud. What the prblm?

Schools are indoctrination centers and don’t teach writing or thinking. Why should they? They get the money regardless of the outcome of students. Thinking writing students won’t be easy to control.

In college, modern writing is in 140 characters or less.


28 posted on 02/21/2014 5:49:22 PM PST by Organic Panic
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To: Zeneta
The idea, the issue is what can be done about it ?

Start by reading to your kids when they are too young to read for themselves. It teaches them how to visualize the words and makes them want to read for themselves later. Worked for me (when I was a kid). It starts with reading, because, as another already put it, how can you teach someone music if they've never heard music?

29 posted on 02/21/2014 5:49:26 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: Zeneta
Why Can’t College Students Write Anymore?

Blogs.

30 posted on 02/21/2014 5:51:45 PM PST by humblegunner
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To: FreedomStar3028
It’s not that we can’t write anymore, the language is changing into a kind of english shorthand.

No, the author's right. I can't believe how degraded written English has become over the last decade or so. This website is a prime example. It's actually becoming hard to find two consecutive posts with no spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors in them.

The language isn't changing, but the quality of instruction and standards are.

31 posted on 02/21/2014 5:52:00 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Zeneta

“our standards in literacy is similarly on the decline”

I guess the is, isn’t they?


32 posted on 02/21/2014 5:52:34 PM PST by smalltownslick
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To: smalltownslick

they


33 posted on 02/21/2014 5:53:03 PM PST by smalltownslick
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To: Zeneta

Ping for later


34 posted on 02/21/2014 5:53:11 PM PST by NewHampshireDuo
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To: Zeneta
My great grandfather's declaration of intent to become a citizen. He had a spotty education at best due to spending his childhood in a tumultuous world, yet still had passable penmanship and spelling. In his world, the signature took on a whole different level of importance and it was something to be practiced and perfected.


35 posted on 02/21/2014 5:53:17 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: JRandomFreeper
I can be drunk as a lord, and post grammatically correct drivel on the internet all weekend long. It's because students don't learn to read, and they aren't taught to write.

Spot-on, Johnny. Thank God I went to school during an era when people still demanded excellence from students, and went the distance to make sure every kid was firmly grounded in the basics.

36 posted on 02/21/2014 5:55:05 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Zeneta
TELEVISION
37 posted on 02/21/2014 5:56:21 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: Oberon
Mind if I gloat a little?

Not at all. I'm a home school dad myself :-)

38 posted on 02/21/2014 5:56:42 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Zeneta

It is because proper grammar, spelling, and pronunciation as well as basic math skills are now regarded as “racist”!


39 posted on 02/21/2014 5:56:43 PM PST by sjmjax (Politicans are much like bananas. They start off green, turn yellow then rot.)
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To: G Larry; WeatherGuy; Oberon; Blood of Tyrants; Telepathic Intruder; Vendome; Perdogg; ...

Please understand.

This is NOT some liberal/progressive/communist/statist conspiracy.

They are on auto pilot.

They are true believers and don’t have any grand plan for remaking our culture.

The issue is wholly different.

The issue is “how” did this thought process gain soo much traction ?

How have we allowed the teaching of “uncertainty”, the embrace of “Uncertainty” to gain dominance ?

What can we do about it ?

I’m open to ideas.


40 posted on 02/21/2014 5:57:34 PM PST by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
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To: humblegunner
That's a noun. It lacks a verb. Please write a 2 page screed on how blogging ruined your life and post it to breaking news.

/johnny

41 posted on 02/21/2014 6:01:06 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Zeneta

Because the don’t have Dominican nuns teaching them to diagram sentences anymore.


42 posted on 02/21/2014 6:01:44 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Moslems reserve the right to behead anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: rey

Gotta agree with you

I am a High school dropout and damned proud of it

Circa 1978-but I loved to read. Everything from crappy crime novels to Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451 and other science fiction, along with Greek classics

Joined the AF. Training was and is my love. Found an affinity for writing training scenarios and Operations orders, then instructions and regulations.

That skill has served well. I hire and fire now, and one thing I see is a complete unawareness on the part of most on decent (Not necessarily Proper) use of language and presentation. Idjits that have ragingdouche@yahamama.com for an e-mail just plain get chucked in the trash.

If they do make it for an interview, the inability to articulate a simple sentence just grates badly. “Like” and “You Know” take over any coherent thought.

I am by no means an English snob , but dammit, they don’t even know enough to at least make an effort.

God forbid they are asked to write a report


43 posted on 02/21/2014 6:03:28 PM PST by 5Madman2 (There is no such thing as an experienced suicide bomber)
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To: Zeneta
I’m open to ideas.

Never skip a vote for educational positions. Fill the system with people who demand high standards and it will show in coming generations.

In 2012 I voted for cardiologist/tea party conservative Rob Steele in a race for a seat on the University of Michigan Board of Regents.

Half as many people voted in college and other state level education races and democrats won almost every last one of them. It was the fault of conservative or republican apathy.
44 posted on 02/21/2014 6:05:05 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Zeneta
What can we do about it ?

Make sure your children read and write well. In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

Teach your children, or grandchildren. Spend the time to do it.

I'll be hosting 3 of my grandbabies tomorrow in my house that one friend called a 'Darwin Test'. They will love the time they spend here. They will leave knowing the steps required to turn flour into bread. That is the lesson for tomorrow.

I will have succeeded when the 2 year old can chant my bread recipe. She'll learn to understand it after I'm dead and gone.

5 hours of fun with grand-dad, and they go away knowing something real.

Step up. It's our turn.

/johnny

45 posted on 02/21/2014 6:07:15 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: rey

It could be that the way they are taught in elementary school is to write it any way they want in the beginning. “See Jane run” is no longer taught. Garbage in, garbage out. There are no rules.


46 posted on 02/21/2014 6:08:49 PM PST by huldah1776
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To: Zeneta

1 word: TEXTING

It corrects spelling, adds in colons and periods automatically, it encourages short, incorrectly spelled words.


47 posted on 02/21/2014 6:09:24 PM PST by vpintheak (Thankful to be God blessed & chosen!)
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To: rey
Shouldn’t it be anylonger?

Good catch.

Your whole post is excellent and to the point.

48 posted on 02/21/2014 6:09:59 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (I just messed up my tagline. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
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To: Zeneta

Part of the problem is the push to get everyone in college and the pressure to reduce admission standards. Hope scholarships don’t help because the standard for getting one is ridiculously low. In Tennessee it requires a GPA of only 2.75.


49 posted on 02/21/2014 6:10:00 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: cripplecreek

You are preaching to the choir.

I’m done with that.

To be clear, liberals and conservatives are living in two different realities.

You know this, we all know this.

Why is it ?

I have my thoughts as do soo many others.

I am looking for conservatives that understand the foundations of the left’s beliefs in order to formulate a way to undermine them.


50 posted on 02/21/2014 6:11:47 PM PST by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
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