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Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages and disadvantages of using word processing software programs when drafting messages

There are more advantages than disadvantages of drafting messages with a word processor.  This is based on my experience using Microsoft Word.

The primary advantages are the help tools like spelling and grammar check.  These allow for correct wording especially for business and academic email communication.  Using templates, emails can be formatted directly in Word with no need to cut and paste to another email program.  The writer is not concerned with proper formatting and can  focus on the quality and quantity of the writing.

Word processing software allows for messages and replies to be saved in paperless files and folders.  In an academic setting a student would use folders to keep paper trails for each course or each assignment.  The student would save messages to and from an instructor and be able to view grades or progress notes in date order.  In business the same would apply to a specific client or internal project.  The greatest advantage of word processing is the ease and speed of editing or redrafting messages.  If an instructor sends an idea for editing a paper, the student can cut and paste directly from the instructor’s

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messages.

The disadvantages of using word processing are dependence on spelling check, grammar check, and document templates.  It is easy to ignore grammar principles when drafting messages when the writer knows that the program will do it for them.  It is also easy to ignore good spelling habits (or even good typing skills) when spell check is there to correct errors.  This leads to poor writing skills and habits away from a computer.  When  making a handwritten statement on a job or scholarship application, the only editing tool is knowledge.

Technology benefits the writer and the reader.  However, it is important to not let technology replace good writing skills.

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