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This comparative study investigated the effectiveness of two writing approaches, hand writing (using paper and pencil) and computer processing (using Microsoft Word), in improving the writing of English freshmen students at two colleges in Saudi Arabia. Three dependent variables: overall writing quality (OWQ), writing apprehension (WA), and attitudes toward writing with computer (ATWC) were measured based on two independent variables: gender and the medium used. The research was designed to assess whether students actually wrote better using word processing software than they did when writing with paper and pencil. One hundred college students studying English were selected from a population of approximately 1,000. Fifty male participants were selected from the Arrass Teacher's College and fifty female participants from the College of Education for Girls in Arrass City, Saudi Arabia. Selected students of both genders were divided into two groups of 25 each. One group was designated to write using Microsoft Word and the other wrote by hand using paper and pencil. Both groups wrote the same two topics of writing samples and received the same two types of surveys over a four week period in the middle of the academic semester. The results showed that: (a) in overall writing quality, there were significant differences based on gender and method, whereas in interaction there was not; (b) in writing apprehension there were significant differences in gender, and the interaction was significant only with the computer method but not in the hand writing method; (c) in attitudes toward writing with computer, there were no significant differences in gender and method, and no significant difference in interaction. Finally, the study includes several recommendations for further practice and further study.