Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


This exploratory study employed statistical analysis and response excerpts to locate points of intersection between culture and cognition in a comparison of argumentative writing work samples of 74 Oregon fourth and fifth grade Hispanic/Latino and European-origin White students. Major findings indicated that Hispanic/Latino students more often 1) employed a diffuse, recursive organizational style that may be related to traditional features of Mexican discourse, 2) utilized elements of indirect language, a feature that has been associated with collectivist cultures, and 3) incorporated narrative elements, echoing a cultural mode for connection, while White students more often 1) evidenced use of a sequential, clustered organizational approach that typifies traditional European rhetorical discourse, 2) displayed consistent use of direct language, a feature that has been associated with individualistic cultures, and 3) incorporated expository elements that focused on descriptive or factual features of a topic. Discussion focuses on implications for instruction in view of the impending implementation of the Common Core State Standards framework for argumentative writing.

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