He said once they started using that language, they were likely to become too familiar with it and they might eventually end up introducing them in their essays in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
“When you use social media language in your essays, the impression it creates is that you take things for granted and that you are not serious, apart from the fact that social media language is incorrect,” he explained.
Mr Agyei gave the advice at a workshop on general essay writing organised by the Junior Graphic newspaper as part of its 2019 essay competition for Upper Primary pupils and junior high school (JHS) students.
Pointing out some of the common mistakes students make in their essay writings, he said they should write in the formal language, especially in competitions such as the Junior Graphic National Essay Competition and examinations, properly paragraph their work and avoid the use of cut-offs or contracted forms of words.
He also asked them not to write more than the stipulated number of words, adding that in the BECE and the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), the more they write, the more they were likely to make mistakes.
“Indeed, when you write more than the required number of words in an essay, you dilute the quality of the essay,” he explained.
In an interview, the Director in charge of Marketing at the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), publishers of the Junior Graphic, Mr Franklin Sowa, said the workshop would be organised in all the regions for readers of the Junior Graphic as part of the essay competition.
He said it was meant to empower the students in their academic work and also help them improve on their previous performance in the competition.
The acting Director in charge of News at the GCGL, Mrs Mavis Kitcher, urged the children to participate in the essay competition because it was meant to help them write essays better than they did in the past.
Mrs Kitcher, who is also the Editor of the Junior Graphic, disclosed that those who come up tops in the competition would have the opportunity of meeting the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, with the one whose essay would be adjudged the best also likely to be sent to the United Nations.
The workshop was attended by many JHS students in the Greater Accra Region who were enthused about it.
The Junior Graphic National Essay Writing Competition 2019, which is open from Monday, March 18 to May 29, 2019, is sponsored by Twellium Industries, BIC, TLM Ghana, the Cocoa Processing Company, the SDGs Advisory Unit of the Office of the President and the Ghana Library Authority.