Narrative and persuasive texts written by pupils across primary school


The study was designed to compare syntactic properties and mental state language (MSL) used in narrative stories and persuasive essays written by 162 children attending the third and the fifth grades of the Italian elementary schools. Results showed as children used a higher number of total words and total propositions, independent and coordinate propositions in narrative writing compared to persuasive writing. Conversely, in persuasive essays, a major number of subordinate propositions and MSL was used. If emotional and volitional terms prevailed in narrative stories, moral terms best characterized persuasive essays. Results on age differences revealed that older children outperformed younger children on independent propositions and overall linguistic measures. Conversely, younger children used more coordinate propositions. Despite delimitations of the study, these preliminary results encourage to consider persuasive and narrative texts as valid and ecological tools to assess and promote the use of different forms of complex language during middle childhoo

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Archivio della ricerca- Università di Roma La Sapienza

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