Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Sean W. Agriss

Second Advisor

Tara Haskins

Third Advisor

Gina Petrie


"The purpose of this study was to promote students' writing by using electronic writing (e-writing) tools. Formal writing can lack the use of imagination and fun; thus, it is important to combine formal writing strategies and digital tools to offer a more enjoyable experience for students via the world of technology. This study examines the following research questions: 1) How might using e-writing increase students' motivation to write? and 2) How might informal e-writing promote formal writing? A review of the literature showed the following important categories of investigation: the importance of the writing process, writing to learn, writing for knowledge transformation, using e- writing to increase motivation, student e-writing outside of class promoting formal writing, using e-writing in writing instruction, and motivational electronic writing platforms. The subjects of this study were seven senior students in an English Department who created blog sites and shared their pages through a class website on Google Sites. Students completed the study's requirements including pre and post-surveys, self-directed informal writing exercises, and a self-reflection paper. The effect of electronic writing to promote students' motivation to write was measured and showed that Blogger was an effective and easy tool for engaging students, helping them find and build new skills, and revealing writing talent. The subjects made statements in the post-survey and reflection exercise very similar to previous reports showing that allowing students to write what is personally interesting and valuable to them is key in helping them begin the transition from informal to formal writing and my project significantly corroborated that finding. Using technology, interactive tools, and electronic publishing platforms was a motivator that enabled the project's subjects to become active writers who began to enjoy the process of writing itself, even reporting they would continue writing after the end of this project. Students found the e-writing practice promoted their formal writing by increasing their writing skills overall. The subjects in the study reported that e-writing both motivated and inspired 100% of them, and nearly 86% of them reported that they gained formal writing skills by the end of this project, even those who wrote in the pre-survey that they did not like to write. E-writing helped the subjects to write faster and encouraged them to believe they would be successful as formal writers and 85.7% of the participants enjoyed the writing process according to the post-survey. The data showed that using electronic writing does increase students' motivation to write, and informal electronic writing does promote writing enjoyment and builds experience that fosters positive self-esteem and the acceptance of formal writing tasks. Students need to enjoy the process of writing, and electronic tools have been shown to motivate and inspire the writing process. The importance of writing should not be ignored; it is a major component of learning and knowledge growth throughout school and a successful future"--Document.


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