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Volume 7 Number 1, Spring 2010, Pages 1-393   


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Finding Reasons for ESL/EFL Argumentative Writing

    Fei-Wen Cheng


ESL/EFL learners are found to be less capable of generating strong reasons in support of their English theses due to different rhetorical traditions. To help students compose more effective arguments, the present study investigated the effectiveness of one heuristics based on classical rhetoric, stasis theory, for helping EFL novice writers to develop persuasive reasons in composing argumentative essays. The results show that participants' essays exhibit considerable gains in the quality and range of reasons, particularly, with regards to a shift from minor, less important reasons to cogent, reader-based ones. Also, students' responses to the evaluation questionnaire in respect to the usefulness of this approach reflect the same trends as in the textual analysis.

Keywords: argumentative writing, stasis theory, EFL writing