Research Projects

Teaching and Learning Argumentative Writing in High School English Language Arts Classrooms

George Newell and David Bloome, two co-directors of the CAWP, and two other College of Education and Human Ecology professors, Alan Hirvela and Helen Marks, have received a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to study the teaching and learning of argumentative writing in high school English classroom in Franklin County and the central Ohio area. The project involves teachers, students, and university collaborators in examining how classroom discussions and other instructional activities foster argumentative writing about a range of topics, including literary texts and topics. They define argumentative writing as a type of critical thinking involving the identification of a thesis (claim), supportive evidence (empirical or experiential), and assessment of the warrants which connect the thesis, evidence, and situation within which the argument is being made. A key component of the research grant is learning about what works from and with experienced teachers and collaborating with them in understanding what helps students learn to write effective arguments.

During Summer 2011, as part of this project, CAWP will offer a course on teaching argumentative writing organized around teachers’ experiences with and expertise in this type of writing. Activities will include writing and reading about argumentative writing and sharing teaching ideas with other teachers. In addition, beginning on January 25th, the argumentative writing project is sponsoring quarterly meetings of a Teacher Study Group that brings together teachers to share ideas about argumentative writing. Please contact George at if you would like to attend the meetings. Since the research project’s main goal is working with and learning from teachers with a deep commitment to writing, George and Dave would like to invite you to participate in the study. Over the next two years, they hope to collaborate with 48 high school English teachers interested teaching argumentative writing to all students. Contact George if you would like to participate in the study.