The Relationship between Iranian EFL Learners’ Linguistic and Logical Intelligences and the Frequency of Fallacies and Evidence in their Argumentative Writing: A Gender-based Study

Document Type: Research Paper


English Language Department, Faculty of Humanities, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Tehran, Iran



The learners’ ability to write a well-organized argumentative essay has gained prominence within the last decades. The multiple intelligences play a significant role in enhancing the precision of both language and thought during the writing process. The current study aimed at investigating the possible relationship between linguistic and logical intelligences and the frequency of informal fallacies and evidence types in Iranian EFL learners’ argumentative essays. To the end, a total of 110 upper-intermediate EFL learners were asked to respond to the relevant items of Multiple Intelligences Developmental Assessment Scale (MIDAS) and to write an argumentative essay. The informal fallacies and four categories of evidence were identified using two models of argumentation. Among several categories of informal fallacies and evidence, only statistical evidence was absent in argumentative essays. The results of Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient revealed a significant relationship between the participants’ linguistic and logical intelligences and the frequency of informal fallacies and evidence types in their argumentation. However, no significant difference was found between male and female EFL learners in terms of the frequency of informal fallacies and evidence types in their argumentative essays. The findings contribute to enhancing the efficiency of writing materials and courses by considering the learners’ individual differences.


Akbari, R., & Hosseini, K. (2008). Multiple intelligences and language learning strategies: Investigating possible relations. System, 36 (2), 141-155‏.

Alagozlu, N. (2007). Critical thinking and voice in EFL writing. The Asian EFL Journal,  9 (3), 118-136.‏

Armstrong, T. (2000). Multiple intelligences in the classroom. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development‏.

Ary, D., Jacobs, L. CH., Sorensen, Ch., & Razavieh, A. (2010). Introduction to Research in Education. California: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Atai, M. R., & Nasseri, M. (2010). A gender-based study of informal fallacies of argumentation: The case of Iranian advanced EFL learners' writing.  Iranian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 13 (2), 19-45‏.

Borek, J. (2003). Inclusion and the multiple intelligence: Creating a student-centered curriculum. The Quarterly, 25 (4), 24-28‏.

Eng, L. L., & Mustapha, G. (2010). Enhancing writing ability through multiple intelligences strategies. Pertanik a Journal of Sociology, Science, and Humanities, 18 (5), 53-63‏.

Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books.

Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple Intelligences: The theory in practice. New York: Basic Books.

Gardner, H. (2005, May 25). Multiple lenses in the mind [Paper Presentation]. ExpoGestian Conference: Bogota Colombia.

Grow, G. (1990). Writing and multiple intelligences (ED406643). ERIC.

Hatch, E., & Lazaraton, A. (1991). The Research Manual: Design and Statistics for Applied Linguistics. Boston: Heinle and Heinle.

Helms-Park, R., & Stapleton, P. (2003). Questioning the importance of individualized voice in undergraduate L2 argumentative writing: An empirical study with pedagogical implications. Journal of Second Language Writing, 12 (3), 245-265‏.

Herring, S. C., & Paolillo, J. C. (2006). Gender and genre variation in weblogs. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 10 (4), 439-459‏.

Hirose, K. (2003). Comparing L1 and L2 organizational patterns in the argumentative writing of Japanese EFL students. Journal of Second Language Writing, 12 (1), 181-209‏.

Hoeken, H., & Hornikx, J. (2003, April 3-6). Studying the relative persuasiveness of anecdotal and statistical evidence: What are we comparing? [Paper presentation]. The Southern States Communication Association Conference, Alabama, Georgia.

Hornikx, J., & Hoeken, H. (2007). Cultural differences in the persuasiveness of evidence types and evidence quality. Communication Monographs, 74 (4), 443-463‏.

Johnson, R. M. (1998). A logic book: Fundamentals of reasoning (3rd ed.). California: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

Jones, S., & Myhill, D. (2007). Discourse of difference? Examining gender differences in linguistic characteristics of writing. Canadian Journal of Education, 30 (2), 456-482‏.

Lei, S. (2010). Applying multiple intelligences theory in undergraduate EFL classroom [Paper presentation]. The 4th international conference on individual differences, Japan.

Levasseur, N. L., & Dean, K. W. (1996). The use of evidence in presidential debates: A study of evidence levels and types from 1960 to 1988. Argumentation and Advocacy, 32 (4), 129-142‏.

Liu, L. (2005). Rhetorical education through writing instruction across cultures: A comparative analysis of select online instructional materials on argumentative writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 14 (1), 1-18‏.

Marefat, F. (2007). Multiple intelligence: Voices from an EFL writing class [Special issue]. Pazhuhesh-e Zabanha-ye Khareji, 32, 145-162‏.

McMahon, S. D., Rose, D. S., & Parks, M. (2004). Multiple intelligences and reading achievement: An examination of the Teele Inventory of multiple intelligences. The Journal of Experimental Education, 73 (1), 41-52‏.

Nasseri, M., & Atai, M. R. (2010). Argumentative writing and gender: Selection of evidence types by Iranian advanced EFL learners. Proceedings of the First Conference on ELT in the Islamic World. Tehran, Iran.

Ne´meth, N., & Kormos, J. (2001). Pragmatic aspects of task-performance: the case of argumentation. Language Teaching Research 5 (1), 213-240‏.

Ong, J., & Zhang, L. J. (2010). Effects of task complexity on the fluency and lexical complexity in EFL students' argumentative writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 19 (4), 218-233.

Po-Ying, L. (2006, July 7). Multiple Intelligences theory and English language teaching.

Qin, J., & Karabacak, E. 2010. The analysis of Toulmin elements in Chinese EFL university argumentative writing. System, 38 (2), 444-456‏.

Rubin, J. (1975). What the good language learner can teach us. TESOL Quarterly, 9 (1), 41–51‏.

Shearer, C. B. (2005). Large scale factor analysis of the multiple intelligences developmental assessment scales. Retrieved from

Smith, E. (2001). Implications of multiple intelligences theory for second language learning. Post-script, 1 (1), 32-52‏.

Trapp, R., Driscoll, W., & Zompetti, J. P. (2005). Discovering the world through debate: A practical guide to educational debate for debaters, coaches, and judges. (3rd ed.). IDEA Press Books‏.

van Emeren, F. H., & Grootendorst, R. (2004). A systematic theory of argumentation: the pragma-dialectical approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press‏.

Walton, D. (2006). Fundamentals of critical argumentation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press‏.

Walton, D., & Reed. C. (2005). Argumentation schemes and enthymemes. Syntheses, 145 (2), 339-370‏.

Walton, D., Reed, C., & Macagno, F. (2010). Argumentation Schemes (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press‏.

Yeganefar, B. (2005). Investigating the relationship between proficiency in a foreign language and multiple intelligences [Unpublished master's thesis]. University of Allameh Tabatabaii, Tehran, Iran‏.