Measures and References: Argumentative Reasoning

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Numerous measures exist to gain a full picture of a student's learning strengths and challenges. Following are examples of measures used to assess this Learner Factor. These measures should be administered and interpreted by experienced professionals.

Varied Argumentative Writing Tasks (Golder & Coirier, 1994; Nippold & Ward-Lonergan, 2010): Students are asked to respond to argumentative writing prompts using different methodologies, including quick writes and more structured essay composition.

Performance Assessments (McCurdy et. al, 2018): Students complete an argumentative writing task in which they evaluate an argument after listening to or reading a text.


Cook, A.E. & O'Brien, E.J. (2017). Fundamentals of inferencing during reading. Language and Linguistics Compass, 11(7), 1-16.

Felton, M. K. (2004). The development of discourse strategies in adolescent argumentation. Cognitive Development, 19(1), 35-52.

Golder, C., & Coirier, P. (1994). Argumentative text writing: Developmental trends. Discourse processes, 18(2), 187-210.

Kuhn, D., Crowell, A., & Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE). (2011). Argumentation as a path to the thinking development of young adolescents. Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness.

Kuhn, D., & Udell, W. (2007). Coordinating own and other perspectives in argument. Thinking and Reasoning, 13(2), 90-104.

Lo, J. C., & Adams, C. I. (2018). Civic literacy through literacy instruction: Using structured academic controversy in a government classroom. Citizenship Teaching and Learning, 13(1), 83-104.

McCurdy, K., Reagan, E. M., Rogers, A., & Schram, T. (2018). Integrating performance assessments across a PK-20 continuum: A locally developed collaboration. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 26(14).

Monte-Sano, C., & De La Paz, S. (2012). Using writing tasks to elicit adolescents' historical reasoning. Journal of Literacy Research, 44(3), 273-299.

Nippold, M. A., Ward-Lonergan, J. M., & Fanning, J. L. (2005). Persuasive writing in children, adolescents, and adults: A study of syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic development. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 36, 125-138.

Nippold, M. A., & Ward-Lonergan, J. M. (2010). Argumentative writing in pre-adolescents: The role of verbal reasoning. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 26(3), 238-248.

Shaenfield, D. (2010). Arguing with peers: Examining two kinds of discourse and their cognitive benefits. Learning in the Disciplines: ICLS 2010 Conference Proceedings - 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, 1, 254-260.