This study compares the argumentative writing characteristics of students from different sociocultural backgrounds. We focused on Jewish ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) students, educated in a segregated religious school for boys (yeshiva), who are now attempting to integrate in secular higher education in Israel. To better understand the unique characteristics of this population, we reviewed 92 essays written by Haredi students, and compared them with 76 essays by public education (PE) graduates. Our analysis was based on the cognitive and sociocultural perspectives of argumentation. Both bottom-up and top-down criteria were used to elicit the argumentative writing characteristics either emerging from the data or based on existing theories. Our primary findings indicate that Haredi students have distinct argumentative characteristics, including the use of more complex and dialectic arguments and unique persuasive tactics. These findings are discussed in light of previous research on yeshiva learning methods and recommendations are provided for adjusting the existing higher education curricula to suit both PE and Haredi students.
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- Persuasive writing
- Socio-scientific issues