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W8...b4 IM, how did u rite??! Digital Writing in the Composition Classroom

, Union Institute and University, United States

Doctor of Philosophy, Union Institute and University . Awarded


From word processing computers, to mobile telephones, to the advent of the Internet, and finally to online communication venues like Instant Messenger (IM), the past four decades have brought an increasing prevalence of technology into our culture that is altering the English language. While decried by parents and lamented by teachers, these changes did not begin with the introduction of computers, nor will they end with them. The changes educators are seeing are best understood within the context of a century-old evolution of the way in which writing is taught at all levels. This study aims to investigate the historical transformations in how writing is taught in higher education to offer insight into how a comprehensive understanding of digital writing, including the development of writing and identity, brings previously unseen beneficial uses of the communication tool as an educational resource into view. Furthermore, this study aims to provide justification for IM as a discursive form, offering a hybridization concept that blends the casual, speech-like writing found in a typical IM conversation and traditional academic writing. Finally, the emergent themes found in the theoretical section/literature review will provide the content for a creative novel, which will incorporate the findings in an approachable and accessible format for all age groups, potentially allowing the reader to experience the IM phenomenon first-hand through the eyes of multiple perspectives.


Partridge, B. W8...b4 IM, how did u rite??! Digital Writing in the Composition Classroom. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Union Institute and University. Retrieved May 27, 2019 from .

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