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Applying a socio-cognitive model to the teaching of expository writing: argument moves in student writing
Issue Date: 
Proceedings of the Redesigning pedagogy: culture, knowledge and understanding conference, Singapore, May 2007.
Many teachers have noted that developing an argument to support a stance in an expository
essay is a challenge for students. This problem deserves attention as ability to write adequately supported, focused arguments in various school subjects is the key to academic success. Taking the theoretical view that writing is simultaneously social practice and cognitive activity, this paper examines the extent to which explicit instruction in the genre practices and associated thinking processes that shape expository writing affects argument moves in student writing. Argument moves in 137 pairs of pre- and post-nstruction essays were analysed to determine the presence of stance assertion and stance support moves, and the type of stance support strategies used. Findings showed a pre- to post-instruction increase in stance assertion moves in the introduction of the essay and stance reiteration moves in the
conclusion. Post-instruction essays had a larger number of stance support moves. Moves that significantly increased after instruction were explicit statements of support claim, use of personal knowledge as evidence, countering of anticipated opposing views and elaboration of support claims. The pedagogical implications of these findings will be discussed to explore the viability of moving from grammar- and topic-focused approaches to teaching expository writing to a socio-cognitive approach.
Paper was presented as part of the symposium titled: "Applying a socio-cognitive model to the teaching of expository writing"
Project number: 
CRP 5/04 AC
Appears in Collections:CRPP - Conference Papers

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