Investigating the Quality of Argument Structure in First-Year University Writing

  • Besma Allagui


Argumentative writing is an essential skill that students should master at the university level. Nevertheless, even after years of instruction and practice, many undergraduate students still fail to write cogently and coherently. This descriptive study aimed to analyze the quality of argument structures of 64 papers written by first-year university students enrolled at a general education program. It also attempted to investigate any relationship between the quality of argumentation and elements of cohesion as measured by Coh-Metrix TERA. Findings revealed several patterns of inadequacies of the students’ argument structures. Weak associations were found between the quality of argumentation and cohesion. The findings of this study generated some pedagogical implications for teaching and assessing argumentative writing at the tertiary level.


Analytic rubric Argumentation Cohesion Counterargument Reasoning 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Besma Allagui
    • 1
  1. 1.Rabdan AcademyAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates

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