Dialog as a bridge to argumentative writing


  • Yuchen Shi
  • Flora Matos
  • Deanna Kuhn




development of argumentive writing skills, dialogic approach, evidence-based writing, meta-level understanding


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.



How to Cite

Shi, Y., Matos, F., & Kuhn, D. (2019). Dialog as a bridge to argumentative writing. Journal of Writing Research, 11(1), 107–129. https://doi.org/10.17239/jowr-2019.11.01.04