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Collaborative writing of argumentative syntheses from multiple sources:
The role of writing beliefs and strategies in addressing controversy

Isabel Cuevas, Mar Mateos, Elena Martín, María Luna, Ana Martín, Mariana Solari, Jara González-Lamas & Isabel Martínez (2016)
Journal of Writing Research, 8(2), 205-226

In this study, university students are faced with the task of collaboratively writing an argumentative synthesis from multiple sources. Specifically, in writing, they must integrate conflicting information on a particular issue obtained from reading two texts that present different perspectives. As research in this field has shown, university students’ transactional beliefs about writing have a bearing on the quality of the texts that they write. In addition, studies on collaborative learning have demonstrated the role of constructive strategies in addressing controversy. Constructive strategies require an epistemic approach, which implies understanding and integrating opposing positions and rationales. Therefore, the specific aims of the study are to analyze the relationships between the following: (a) writing beliefs and the joint written synthesis, b) writing beliefs and the strategies used to address the controversies that emerge during collaborative writing, and (c) how students resolve controversies and the quality of their joint syntheses. The participants were 52 fourth-year psychology students at a state-run university in Madrid. The results show that transactional writing beliefs are associated with both the controversy strategies employed by members of student dyads and the quality of the joint syntheses. Furthermore, the strategies for addressing controversy are associated with the quality of the joint syntheses.

PDF | doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.08.02.02

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