ERIC Number: ED230977
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Persuasive Writing at Grades 5, 7, and 11: A Cognitive-Developmental Perspective.
To explore student facility with argumentative writing, 40 persuasive essays of 5th, 7th, and 11th grade students were analyzed for their relative percentage of reporting (narrating), interpreting, generalizing, and speculative sentences. Fifth and seventh graders were found to use significantly more narrative and fewer generalizations than older students. The young writers' reliance on reporting may be due to inexperience with the argumentative mode or a tendancy to model writing on their experience of reality. Thus, they are more skillful with the chronological organization of narrative and less expert with a mode that fails to supply the audience response found in oral argument. That reporting may represent a flight from the heavier cognitive demands of persuasive writing is suggested in studies showing mature second language learners relying more on narrative when writing in a foreign language than when using their own. While supporting earlier research that younger students write less, and less effectivly, in the argumentative mode, this study does not indicate that children cannot write persuasively. In fact, the large amount of argumentative writing demanded in high school and college suggests that students should be taught to write as effectively in this as in other modes. (Excerpts from student essays are appended.) (MM)
Descriptors: Cognitive Development, Developmental Stages, Discourse Modes, Elementary Secondary Education, Expository Writing, Grade 11, Grade 5, Grade 7, Literary Devices, Narration, Persuasive Discourse, Writing (Composition), Writing Instruction, Writing Processes, Writing Research, Writing Skills
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Canada, April 11-15, 1983).