An exploration of structural relationships in narrative and argumentative writing, with particular reference to the work of Year 8 students.
An Exploration of Structural Relationships in Narrative and Argun entative
Writing, with Particular Reference to the Work of Year 8 Students
This thesis explores the relationship between narrative and argumentative
structures in writing. Its principal research question is 'What are the
connections between the structures and composing processes associated with
narrative and argumentative writing? ', and it attempts to answer this
question in two related ways: through reflective inquiry and in an
empirical study of the stories and essays written by Year 8 students in
three comprehensive schools in a small town in north-east England. A
secondary research question is 'Might narrative act as a bridge to argument
for learner-writers? '.
Chapter 1 outlines the problem - one of difficulties experienced in the
writing of argunent by secondary-age students - and provides a map of the
rhetorical field in which the exploration of the structural relationships
between narrative and argument takes place. The second chapter looks solely
at narrative, focusing on attempts to define its structures but also taking
into account other approaches. The third chapter describes specific
difficulties encountered with the writing of argument, and then examines
structures of argument as evidenced in work on narrative and argument, in
rhetoric and in planning for argument.
Chapters 4 to 6 present the results of the pilot and main studies.
The principal result of the study is a negative one: there is found to be..
no clear-cut structural connection between narrative and argumentative
writing, and indeed hardly any common patterns among the stories or essays
analysed for the study. There is therefore little chance of a structural
'bridge' from narrative to argument. However, there are positive outcomes:
students are more inclined to argumentative writing than is usually assumed
anti show more tacility tor experimenting witch the arrangement of their
arguments than with the arrangement of their narratives.