Dialog as a Bridge to Argumentive Writing
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Dialog as a Bridge to Argumentive Writing

Yuchen Shi, Flora Matos & Deanna Kuhn (2019)
Journal of Writing Research, 11(1), 107-129

We describe a dialogic approach to developing argumentive writing whose key components are deep engagement with the topic and extended discourse with peers that provides the activity with both an audience and a purpose. In a dialogic intervention extended over an entire school year, pairs of sixth graders engaged in electronic discourse with peers on a sequence of topics, as well as wrote individual final essays on each topic. In their essays, they showed achievements relative to a non-participating group in coordinating evidence with claims, in particular in drawing on evidence to weaken claims as well as to support them. They also showed some meta-level enhancement in understanding of the role of evidence in argument. A recall task ruled out the possibility that this enhancement was due to superior recall of the specific evidence available to them, rather than broader meta-level understanding. A case is made for fostering development in argumentive writing both dialogically and in the context of topics that students engage with deeply.

PDF | doi: 10.17239/jowr-2019.11.01.04

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