The current shift from a pen-and-paper environment to a digital one in which multiple electronic tools and resources assist the writer in both generating ideas and transforming them into words and sentences may represent a significant transition in the way we compose. Such a shift has implications for the cognitive processes used by student authors as they set fingers to keyboards. The present study explores the composing behaviors of 30 L2 graduate students who responded to a questionnaire inquiring about the extent of their use of electronic tools and resources as they wrote academic papers for their courses. Findings revealed that the students were heavy users of digital media and software as they composed and that such usage may be having an impact on their cognitive processes. Emerging from this understanding of how students compose in an electronic environment is a clearer picture about a variety of areas including how to best teach students to use the tools and resources and how to avoid plagiarism. Copyright © 2012 Walter de Gruyter GmbH.