ERIC Number: ED374450
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Negotiating Competing Schemas for Discourse: A Framework and Study of Argument Construction. The Writing of Arguments across Diverse Contexts. Study 2. Final Report.
Higgins, Lorraine; Flower, Linda
A study described college student writers as they constructed arguments, creating a picture of school-based argument drawn not from ideal models of arguments as envisioned by educators, but from experiences of students themselves. A three-part framework that synthesizes rhetorical perspectives on argument with a social-cognitive view of the writing process serves as the basis for the description of both larger patterns as well as individual differences in argument. Subjects, nine female students (ages 18-36) enrolled in a developmental English course (part of a college reentry program in an inner-city Pittsburgh campus of a community college), wrote six essays summarizing, responding to, synthesizing, and arguing about issues of racism and prejudice based on an interview with a former Klansman and three articles on the social and psychological causes of racism and prejudice. Subjects' writing portfolios were evaluated. Results indicated that the influential features of the argument situation were not limited to social cues and material resources but also the writer's prior knowledge, values, cultural experience, and personal goals. Results also indicated that: (1) the degree to which writers must construct knowledge via strategies of selecting, connecting, and organizing claims and evidence was never entirely predictable; (2) the students had difficulty translating and managing personal knowledge when putting their arguments on paper; and (3) a great deal of metacognitive knowledge hard to capture with texts or protocols came into view when the students were asked to reflect on their goals, strategies, and conflicts. (Contains 74 references and 9 figures of data. Interview questions are attached. (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy, Berkeley, CA.; National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy, Pittsburgh, PA.
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh)