Argumentative writing and educational justice in educational contexts in the health area


Argumentative writing and educational justice in educational contexts in the health area

Escritura argumentativa y justicia educativa en contextos formativos del área de la salud


Ricardo Sánchez Lara1*
Trinidad Moya Aguilar1


1 Silva Henríquez Catholic University. Santiago. Chile.


*Author for correspondence. Email:




This document proposes a critical-argumentative production model for initial training in the health area, focusing the writing process on the participation of students as authors and on the redistribution of roles during the production stage. The objective is to show an approach to argumentative writing from four principles of the framework of educational justice: deliberation, participation, author representation and role redistribution.

MeSH: educational justice; critical writing, argumentative writing.


El presente documento propone un modelo de producción crítica-argumentativa para la formación inicial del área de la salud, centrando el proceso de escritura en la participación de los estudiantes como autores y en la redistribución de roles durante el trayecto de producción. El objetivo es mostrar una aproximación a la escritura argumentativa desde cuatro principios propios del marco de la justicia educativa: deliberación, participación, representación autoral y redistribución de roles.

DeSC: justicia educativa; escritura crítica; escritura argumentativa.






The recognition of the epistemic possibilities of writing in the university context finds solid foundations in the contributions of the Anglo-Saxon movements Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) and Writing in the Disciplines (WID).

The first appeared in the 1970s as a response to the democratization of university enrollment, a process that involved the incorporation of students whose communicative performances presented meaningful differences in respect to the standard traditionally agreed upon as optimal. About this, writing in the Disciplines, whose origin can be located in the 1980s, it´s focused on the study of the repertoires and requirements of the legal practices of each area of training.(1) In this line of research, it would no longer be enough with the only generic revision of rhetorical or theoretical aspects of writing, but, in addition, explanations regarding how the scriptural practices of each community recognized as valid operate.

Although both approaches coincide in the treatment of writing as a situated practice and distance themselves from its teaching as a decontextualized phenomenon, they do not necessarily delve into the considerations of the multiple frames of exclusion that coexist in the training processes. In this way, some scriptural practices in university education reproduce principles of functional instrumentalization(2) that do not problematize the conditions of epistemic or sociolinguistic inequality of the writing process itself.(3)

Regarding the above, and in particular thinking about the need for critical writing proposals in health students, Table 1 presents a model of textual production thought from the principles of justice. For this purpose, some results of a recent investigation(4) have been considered, in which it is noted that in a representative sample of first-year training students in the health area, the meanings attributed to writing position it as a superficial and short range process.

Contrary to this assessment of textual production, it has been shown that argumentative, critical and reflective writing in medical training has favored the capacity for empathy, reflection and deliberation in third-year students of Pediatrics, for whom the depth and scope of writing turned out to be relevant.(5)

Along these lines, the authors of this research paper consider that argumentative writing, understood as a possibility of grounded reflection, allows the development of a critical training that not only makes it possible to position the voice within the complex field of health, but also, empowers self-development, authorial participation and deliberation as central aspects of the relationship between justice and writing.

For the proposal, three basal premises were considered:

  1. The recognition of the students as a valid representative in the critical participation of disciplinary knowledge.
  2. The redistribution of roles during the writing process.
  3. The legitimation of the students as reviewer and participant of a critical-disciplinary communication practice.

These premises take up four basic principles of educational justice: (6,7)

  1. Deliberation (understood as the ability to make informed decisions from self-acquisition).
  2. Participation in scientific communities eferring to the legitimate use of discourses for knowledge generation).
  3. Recognition of an authorial voice (validation of argumentative positions regarding the production of knowledge, reflections or disciplinary problems).
  4. Role redistribution (defined as the subversion of cross-sectional evaluative functions).

The model presented can be included in any disciplinary training course in the health area, or it can become an autonomous seminar, or even become an extracurricular workshop. The essence of the proposal is the epistemological openness to the recognition of the authors-students in the construction of critical knowledge of the area, the redistribution of roles and participatory co-responsibility in the circulation and promotion of scriptural possibilities.

The basic premise regarding writing processes is that multiple and complex frames of exclusion coexist in them. Although the educational policy corrects the conditions of access and permanence, it does not always problematize the subtle didactic dispositions of marginalization. Even though the proposal does not solve the documented and vast state of socio-educational inequality, much less the epistemological distinctions of literacy, contribute to stress some central notions that favor the inclusion of students as legitimate producers of meanings.

The pending chapter, no doubts, it invites us to design guidelines and rubrics that respond to the own contexts; Therefore, the proposed model does not pretend to be more than an invitation to rethink the complexity in which each community generates knowledge through argumentative writing.



1. Navarro F. Ed. Escribir a través del Curriculum: una guía de referencia. [Internet]. Córdoba, Argentina: Universidad Nacional de Córdoba; 2016 [revisión 2019; citado 01/07/19]. Disponible en:

2. Giroux H. La educación superior y las políticas de ruptura. Rev Entramados- Educación y Sociedad [Internet]. 2016 [citado 03/10/19];3(3):[aprox. 12 p.]. Disponible en:

3. Zavala V. Justicia sociolingüística para los tiempos de hoy. Íkala: Rev de Lenguaje y Cultura [Internet]. 2019 [citado 03/10/19];24(2):[aprox. 16 p.]. Disponible en:

4. Vásquez-Rocca L, Varas M. Escritura multimodal y multimedial. Un estudio acerca de las representaciones sociales de estudiantes universitarios de carreras de la salud en Chile. Perfiles Educativos [Internet]. 2019 [citado 31/08/20];41(166):[aprox.18 p.]. Disponible en:

5. Smith M. Please don't make us write an essay! Reflective writing as a tool for teaching health advocacy to medical students. Paediatrics & Child Health [Internet]. 2018 [citado 01/09/20];23(7):[aprox. 2 p.]. Disponible en:

6. Veleda C, Rivas A, Mezzadra F. La construcción de la justicia educativa. Criterios de redistribución y reconocimiento para la educación argentina. [Internet]. Buenos Aires, Argentina; CIPPEC-UNICEF; 2011 [revisión 2020; citado 31/08/20]. Disponible en:

7. Sánchez Lara R. Literatura escolar y justicia educativa: una revisión interseccional de las múltiples exclusiones. Rev Intersaberes. [Internet]. 2020. [citado 01/09/20];15(35):[aprox. 13 p.]. Disponible en:



Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict interests.



Contribution of the authors

Ricardo Sánchez Lara: analyzed the bibliography related to educative justice and contributed to the theoretical design of the model. Besides, it participated in the style edition.
Trinidad Moya Aguilar: analyzed the bibliography related to argumentative writing and contributed to the theoretical design of the model. Besides, it participated in the style edition.



This article has been published under the Creative Commons license.

Copyright (c) 2021 EDUMECENTRO

Licencia de Creative Commons
Esta obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 4.0 Internacional.