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Teaching critical questions about argumentation through the revising process: effects of strategy instruction on college students’ argumentative essays

Abstract

The effects of self-regulated strategy development revising instruction for college students that targeted the use of argumentation schemes and critical questions were assessed in three conditions. In the first condition, students were taught to revise their essays by asking and answering critical questions about the argument from consequences and argument from example schemes while writing about controversial topics. In the second condition, students were taught to revise their essays by using argumentation schemes to justify their standpoint, but did not learn the critical questions. In the third condition, students received no instruction about either the argumentation schemes or the critical questions. Compared to students in the contrasting conditions, those who were taught to ask and answer critical questions wrote essays that were of higher quality, and included more counterarguments, alternative standpoints, and rebuttals. These findings indicate that strategy instruction that includes critical standards for argumentation increases college students’ sensitivity to alternative perspectives.

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Correspondence to Yi Song.

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Song, Y., Ferretti, R.P. Teaching critical questions about argumentation through the revising process: effects of strategy instruction on college students’ argumentative essays. Read Writ 26, 67–90 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-012-9381-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-012-9381-8

Keywords

  • Argumentation schemes
  • Critical questions
  • Strategy instruction
  • Argumentative writing
  • Revision