High Level Discourse in the ELA Classroom: Analyzing and Assessing Author’s Purpose


  • Anna Warner The University of Toledo




The aims of this manuscript are to analyze the definitions and practices of discourse as they exist in English language arts classrooms currently and to identify why sophisticated discourse is a necessary tool in assessments. Sophisticated discourse is the most efficient and impactful method for ELA educators to assess the ways in which their students are understanding author’s purpose in complex pieces of literature. Sophisticated discourse is inclusive and does not discount any persons’ ideas surrounding the text. It allows for educators to evaluate all students’ understanding of complex ideas in a text more efficiently, and it prepares and encourages students to think more deeply about the literature and how to apply it to real life scenarios. 


Keywords: sophisticated discourse, author’s purpose, literature




Barnard, I. (2011). Authorial intent in the composition classroom. Composition Forum, 24, 1-19. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ985768.pdf.

Griswold, J., Shaw, L., & Munn, M. (2017). Socratic seminar with data: A strategy to support student discourse and understanding. The American Biology Teacher, 79(6), 492–495. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26411267

Hadley, A. J., Hartman, C. E., & Young, D. G. (2021). Math readiness for college and career in South Carolina. National Resource Center Working Paper 4, 1-36. https://sc.edu/nrc/system/pub_files/1625592049_0.pdf

Hoskins Lloyd, M., Kolodziej, N. J., & Brashears, K. M. (2016.).?Classroom discourse: An essential component in building a classroom community. School Community Journal, 26(2), 291-304. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1124019

Walker, L. B. (2019). Inclusion in Practice: An explanatory study of how patterns of classroom discourse shape processes of educational inclusion in Tanzanian secondary school classrooms [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Cambridge. https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/1810/304576/LBW_Dissertation_ESubmission.pdf?sequence=2

Zeldin, T. (1998). Conversation: How talk can change our lives. Hartville Press.



How to Cite

Warner, A. (2022). High Level Discourse in the ELA Classroom: Analyzing and Assessing Author’s Purpose. Learning to Teach Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies Through Research and Practice, 11(1). Retrieved from https://openjournals.utoledo.edu/index.php/learningtoteach/article/view/566