Argument diagramming and planning cognition in argumentative writing

Chryssafidou, Evangelia (2014). Argument diagramming and planning cognition in argumentative writing. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Argument diagramming can scaffold the process of argumentation but only a few studies have investigated its impact on the quality of argumentative writing. This research contributed to this direction with two studies.

An exploratory study investigated the impact of argument diagramming, applied as a paper-based or a computer-based method, on the quality of argumentative text. The computer method increased the refutations and overall quality of essays. The study highlights the significance of writers’ argumentative ability for interpreting improvement.

A qualitative study looked into the impact of argument diagramming on the process of writing cognition through analysis of online process data, diagrams and essays of sixteen undergraduate students. Writers with myside bias schema used the method to increase counterarguments and refutations. Writers at lower level of pseudo-integration adopted more advanced strategies like weighing, and writers at middle level of pseudo-integration formed positions with qualifications. Needs at higher levels of argumentative ability are not met. The support of writing planning processes through argument diagramming affects mainly the semantic aspects of the text while the support of linearization processes affects mainly the rhetorical aspects.

The analysis of interviews revealed that interacting with argument diagramming can improve awareness of argumentation schema, hence, a writer can progress from unaware, to aware-and-lost and aware-but-oriented. Improvement is signified as being sensitised to limitations, gaining knowledge of writing processes and the ability to self-regulate.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering, Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
T Technology > T Technology (General)


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