Argumentative and narrative written task performance: Differential effects of critical thinking

2013 IJRSLL – Volume 2 Issue 2


Dabaghi, Azizollah
Department of English, University of Isfahan, Iran (

Zabihi, Reza*
Department of English, University of Isfahan, Iran (

Rezazadeh, Mohsen
Department of English, University of Isfahan, Iran (


This study compares the differential role of critical thinking in learners’ performance on argumentative and narrative written tasks. The study involved the measurement of 70 upper-intermediate learners’ critical thinking using the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) as well as the elicitation of their performance on the written narrative and argumentative tasks. While the argumentative task required that learners write an argumentative essay giving their opinions concerning the effect of technology on human’s life, the narrative task involved learners in narrating a story based on a picture as a visual cue. Concerning the narrative task, only a significant negative correlation was observed between drawing inferences and the two accuracy measures of the narrative task. With regards to the argumentative task, the correlation analysis showed negative relationships between the three measures of argumentative task fluency and students’ score on the Drawing Inferences subscale. Results of the complexity measures revealed that the syntactic complexity of produced argumentations was affected by learners’ ability to make deductions, interpreting evidence, and evaluating arguments. Finally, with regards to the accuracy of the performances, it was found that only Recognizing Assumptions had a significant, but negative, relationship with error-free clauses percentage and error-free T-unit percentage.

Keywords: critical thinking; Watson-Glaser; argumentative task; narrative task; CAF



*Corresponding Author