Literacy 7-12

Systems Change
Literacy 7-12 > Factors > Argumentative Reasoning

Argumentative Reasoning

Factor Connections

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How Argumentative Reasoning connects to...

Children develop the skills to present arguments and persuade others early, with skills increasing with Verbal Reasoning skills. However, as they grow, their Argumentative Reasoning skills become more complex and include the ability to answer questions through evidence-based claims. Adolescents are increasingly able to produce detailed arguments and analyze the effectiveness of others' arguments.

Main Ideas

Argumentative Reasoning can promote more effective content learning as it requires organizing information into cohesive explanations for others. Rather than simply writing for persuasion, students are now following a set of interrelated argumentative components to bolster their original theses. Adolescents may not fully master these skills without formal instruction and practice.

The component skills of Argumentative Reasoning include:

  • Providing justification using evidence: Younger children are sometimes able to create original claims to justify an opinion. However, adolescents learn to give detailed explanations, or warrants, for the applicability of different pieces of evidence.
  • At the highest level of argumentative reasoning, students can qualify their claims using words such as probably, very likely, and almost certainly, which communicate that their claims and the corresponding evidence cannot be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, but can be argued as true.
  • Understanding and challenging counter arguments: The structure of academic arguments becomes more competitive in that they require anticipation and response to possible rebuttals. Adolescents begin to predict opposing arguments and gather evidence to support their responses.

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