Analysis Of Andrea Lunsford's 'On The New Literacy'

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Serving the Audience Lazy, entitled, and narcissistic are just some of many cataloged adjectives used to describe the most recent generation of students. Clive Thompson, a well-credentialed journalist, makes a casual attempt at removing these damaging preconceived views that the young people of today face and challenge daily. However, the succinctness of his piece, “On the New Literacy,” allows the writing to unravel quickly, pulling apart at both ends by committing logical faux pas. Thompson pleads his case based on the study of a Stanford University professor of writing, Andrea Lunsford, titled “The Stanford Study of Writing.” In her study, Lunsford collected thousands of student writing samples from a five-year period, specifically from 2001-2006 (Thompson 157). The findings of her study are gripping. She found that because young people do much of their communicating via online forums, the additional keystrokes are fundamental in reviving their ability to write (Thompson 157). A whopping thirty-eight percent of all writing done by Stanford students during this study occurred outside of the classroom (Thompson 157). This piece of information alone may be indication enough that her logic was strategic. If one were to do more writing, surely one may become a better writer. Right? According to Lunsford, the students that participated in the study…show more content…
She thinks that “we’re in the midst of a literacy revolution” (Thompson 157), which may well be true. But she only identifies and investigates one cause based solely on her inductive process. Lunsford believes that students are better writers because they type more (Thompson 158). This idea is a classic case of the post hoc fallacy, or mistaking correlation for causation (Moore 207). While these events may be related, there might be other factors at play, such as advances in nutrition, health, and public
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