Authors who used to write by hand are extinct species—even those labelled as traditional in their approach to writing use some technology. George RR Martin is famous for using DOS to limit distractions while working, but even that is technology.
It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about professional writers or students who try to complete essays. Most writers use more advanced technology than DOS. They rely on various tools for research, note-taking, writing, and editing. The results can be impressive, but things can take the wrong turn as well.
Let’s discuss the effects that modern technological tools have on writing.
Benefits of Using Technological Tools for Writing
1. Technology Speeds Up the Process
Regardless of the type of project a writer is working on, they can work more effectively when using the right tools. During the research process, they can easily access online resources and use an app to write notes. These notes are searchable, so they won’t have to read through an entire notebook to find what they are looking for. Typing is also faster than handwriting. As for the editing stage, all top-ranked word processors include grammar and spelling features. Writers can also hire professional editors online to cover the last step without much effort effectively.
2. It’s Easier to Access and Organize Resources
You don’t have to use advanced digital tools to organize academic, scientific, and other types of research data. Pinterest may be enough. You can create private boards for each project and keep all online sources there. The ability to add notes makes the research process even more effective. You can also use Basecamp, Evernote, MindMeister, and other great tools for organizing the research process. You can access them through mobile apps as well. That means you can work on the initial stages of a project anytime, so you’ll go through them faster.
3. Sharing Leads to Greater Exposure
Students and writers of all levels can easily share their work online. It’s easy for them to start a blog and share links via social media. Thanks to these opportunities, they can reach a wider audience with varied tastes in literature.
It’s always been important for writers to be exposed to feedback. Thanks to the Internet, they can get direct feedback from readers of all levels.
4. Collaboration Leads to Better Results
Google Docs and other online editing tools enable their users to work on the same document in real-time. All document versions are saved and accessible, so you know who made a particular change. With these opportunities, collaborative work becomes a breeze. Professional writers use these features to work with their editors, and students use them when they work on team projects.
The Negative Impact of Technologies on Writing
Plagiarism is an issue for all writers, but students are mostly criticized for it. Intending to complete their papers sooner, they tend to copy or paraphrase online resources. Translated content may come out clean when they check for plagiarism free. Nevertheless, it’s essential always to reference your sources, regardless of whether you’re a pro author or work on content for education. Using an online detector to identify plagiarism helps. In that case, you shouldn’t try to paraphrase; you should reference the source or change the content to include original ideas.
2. Writers Are Too Dependent on Technology
Over-dependence is a real issue for writers. If they forget to save the content and lose power, the unthinkable happens: hours of valuable work get lost. If they lose the Internet connection, they find themselves unable to continue working since most modern research and writing tools are web-based.
3. Academic Writing Becomes Less Formal
Technologies drastically affect one’s ability to write when it comes to spelling and punctuation. We’re used to typing in processors that autocorrect our mistakes. When we take a plain pen and paper, we become aware that we forget to write correctly. Spelling is not the only issue. The style is becoming less formal, too. That’s an issue in academic work, where students tend to incorporate too much slang. Their consistent exposure to harsh language forms undermines their ability to write in a coherent, argumentative style.
4. Taking Shortcuts Is Never a Good Thing
Being able to complete a project sooner than usual is excellent. But if you rush through the stages, you’re missing out on learning opportunities. This is a severe issue for students who skip different planning, research, and writing process. To avoid this negative impact of technology on writing, you should use other tools to enhance the effectiveness of your writing techniques, not rush through the stages without learning anything new along the way.
Is Modern Technology Good for Writing?
Ultimately, it depends on the way you use it. We’re never going back to the days of pen and paper. With so much technology around us, we should know how to put it to good use. The key to success is using the right tools for the proper purpose. Don’t suffocate your work with too many of them.
If you need to boost the effectiveness of the research stage, choose only one tool for organizing resources and stick with it. Use one processor that works for individual and collaborative work. Rely on a single plagiarism detection engine that always does the job! It all boils down to choosing a few tools to speed up the writing process without ruining its effectiveness. Remember: more effective writing is never fast and careless!