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Applying Argumentation Analysis to Assess the Quality of University Oceanography Students' Scientific Writing
This article describes the methods and results of an assessment of students' scientific writing. The study was conducted in an introductory oceanography course in a large public university that used an interactive CD-ROM entitled, "Our Dynamic Planet." The CD provided students with geological data, which they used to build written arguments regarding plate tectonics. Twenty-four student papers from this course were analyzed for quality of written arguments by using both a grading rubric and an argumentation analysis model. Three implications were drawn from these initial studies. First, there is a clear need to help students understand how to use data representations as evidence for more theoretical arguments. Second, student writers need experiences receiving critiques of their own writing and analyzing others' scientific arguments. Third, the actual grading is dependent upon the socialization of the graders themselves (in this case, graduate students).
Intended for grade levels:
  • Graduate / Professional
Type of resource:
  • Text:
    • Journal article
  • Educational theory and practice
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geology
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
We encourage the reuse and dissemination of the material on this site for educational, noncommercial purposes as long as attribution is retained.
DLESE Catalog ID: EVAL-TLKT-000-000-000-105
Related resources:
This resource is referenced by
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT)
Journal of Geoscience Education (JGE)

Author: Allison Y. Takao
Department of Education
University of California, Santa Barbara

Author: William A. Prothero
Department of Geological Sciences
University of California, Santa Barbara

Author: Gregory J. Kelly
Department of Education
University of California, Santa Barbara