Research in Science Education

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 149–169 | Cite as

Examining Arguments Generated by Year 5, 7, and 10 Students in Science Classrooms

  • Aeran Choi
  • Andrew Notebaert
  • Juan Diaz
  • Brian Hand


A critical component of science is the role of inquiry and argument in moving scientific knowledge forward. However, while students are expected to engage in inquiry activities in science classrooms, there is not always a similar emphasis on the role of argument within the inquiry activities. Building from previous studies on the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH), we were keen to find out if the writing structure used in the SWH approach helped students in Year 5, 7, and 10 to create well constructed arguments. We were also interested in examining which argument components were important for the quality of arguments generated by these students. Two hundred and ninety six writing samples were scored using an analysis framework to evaluate the quality of arguments. Step-wise multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine important argument components. The results of this study suggest that the SWH approach is useful in assisting students to develop reasonable arguments. The critical element determining the quality of the arguments is the relationship between the student’s written claims and his or her evidence.


Arguments Writing-to-learn 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aeran Choi
    • 1
  • Andrew Notebaert
    • 2
  • Juan Diaz
    • 2
  • Brian Hand
    • 2
  1. 1.Science Education, Department of Teaching, Leadership and Curriculum Studies, College of EducationKent State UniversityKentUSA
  2. 2.Science Education, Department of Teaching and Learning, College of EducationUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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