School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Casey Reason


literacy, punctuation, self-regulation, Standard English, textese, text messaging




Most college-aged students use text messaging to communicate with others (Smith, 2011). Text messaging, though it requires a writer to be concise, makes allowances for “textese,” an informal register of English. At the same time, college students and college graduates are expected to be proficient in writing. Using a theoretical framework influenced by self-regulation (Bandura, 1986), memory (Bartholomae, 1980; Flower & Hayes, 1981; Hayes, 1996; Hayes & Chenoweth, 2006; Kellogg, 2006), and transfer (Perkins & Salomon, 1992; Salomon & Perkins, 1989), a correlational study was conducted to compare the participants’ text messaging habits to participants’ frequency of punctuation errors in their academic writing. The predictor variables were the frequency of text messaging (Grace, Kemp, Martin, & Parrila, 2014; Rosen, Chang, Erwin, Carrier, & Cheever, 2010) and the frequency textese (Thurlow & Brown, 2003); the criterion variable was the frequency of punctuation errors (Lunsford & Lunsford, 2008) a participant uses in his or her academic writing. The participants were 115 college students from a four-year college in the Southeast United States. Data were collected via a survey, writing samples, and content analyses. The data obtained from these instruments were analyzed by a multiple regression, a statistical method that showed the relationship between the participants’ text-messaging habits and literacy. The null hypothesis was not rejected because there was no significant relationship between the combined predictor variables and the criterion variable.

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