Instructional discourse and argumentative writing

Joshua A. Morris, Brian W. Miller, Richard C. Anderson, Kim Thi Nguyen-Jahiel, Tzu Jung Lin, Theresa Scott, Jie Zhang, Jingjing Sun, Shufeng Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Fifth-grade students from two urban school districts completed an integrated unit on wolves. Classes received either direct instruction (DI) or collaborative group work (CG). Analysis of reasoning in classroom talk indicated that CG students more often used connective and contrastive words and the performative verb phrases I think and I know than DI students. Analysis of written arguments about a controversial question raised by the unit indicated that, compared to DI students, CG students included more logical connectives, contrastives, and performative verbs, produced fewer unelaborated arguments, more frequently asked rhetorical questions, and more often considered both sides of the policy issue. The study provides fresh insight into how instructional frameworks can affect how students view themselves as writers in relation to a prospective audience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-247
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Audience
  • Classroom discourse
  • Connectives
  • Written argumentation


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