Measuring production and comprehension of written arguments in upper-elementary grades

Alina Reznitskaya, Ian A.G. Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We describe a systematic process of developing measures of argument production and comprehension. These measures, designed for students in upper-elementary language arts classrooms, are called Writing Argument and Reading Argument. We discuss the rationale and theoretical framework for the measures, describe pilot and validation studies, and present initial findings to support the reliability, validity, and usability of these measures. Our results showed that both measures had acceptable inter-rater reliability. The correlations among Writing Argument, Reading Argument and an established reading comprehension test were moderate, which highlights the importance of task-specific competencies. The performance on both measures was not associated with ethnicity of the students. Gender was a significant predictor, with girls performing better than boys. Teachers found both measures to be pedagogically useful. Although some teachers initially struggled with learning how to use the scoring rubrics, they generally found the scoring for both tasks to be informative for their practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-84
Number of pages22
JournalStudia Paedagogica
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • Elementary grades
  • Measures
  • Reading argument
  • Validation
  • Writing argument


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