Intratextual persuasive messages as catalysts for higherorder thinking: An exploratory investigation

P. Karen Murphy, Andria Andiliou, Carla Firetto, Carissa M. Bowersox, Markus Baker, Crystal M. Ramsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Facilitating students’ acquisition of higherorder thinking skills is imperative in the 21st century. Although some types of text have been shown to enhance higherorder thinking, the effects of many novel forms of text have yet to be investigated. As such, the purpose of the present study was to explore the extent to which a relatively novel form of text (i.e., intratextual persuasive message) served as a catalyst for students’ higherorder thinking as evidenced in the quantity, quality, and content of their arguments before and after reading. The findings revealed that the quantity of students’ arguments increased from prereading to postreading and the content of the reasons provided by the students was more in line with those of the authors, whereas the quality of students’ arguments decreased over time. Interestingly, relatively few students altered their position on the central question from the text. Rather, the nature of the data indicated that students engaged in case-building as they read the text. As a result, the intratextual persuasive message was only minimally effective at enhancing students’ higherorder thinking. Implications for research and practice are forwarded.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-163
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Literacy Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Argumentation
  • Beliefs
  • Comprehension
  • Higherorder thinking
  • Persuasion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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