This essay describes an instructional study in which students were trained in two key aspects of argumentation, namely, the structural and interpersonal components. The structural aspects were taught and measured in terms of Toulmin's (1958) framework of argument analysis (i.e., the quality of claims, grounds and warrants used). The interpersonal aspects in turn were measured in terms of the creation of a clear persona, audience adaptiveness (the appropriate use of rational and emotional appeals), and stance towards the unique discourse of argumentation. Students performed a pre-instruction writing task, underwent eight weeks of explicit instruction in argumentation, then performed the task again. Findings contrasting pre-and post-test results reveal statistically significant improvement in students' abilities to formulate claims, to offer specific and developed grounds, and to use more reliable warrants. Students also showed improvement in the interpersonal aspects of argument, building better writer credibility, developing fuller rational and emotional appeals, and conveying both sides of an argument in order to resolve the problem at hand.
Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources
Journal of Second Language Writing
VARGHESE, Susheela Abraham and ABRAHAM, Sunita Anne.
Undergraduates arguing a case. (1998). Journal of Second Language Writing. 7, (3), 287-306. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/2276
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