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6e Writing Skills

Гипермаркет знаний>>Английский язык>>Английский язык 11 класс>> 6e Writing Skills

Writing Skills

For-and-against essays

For-and-against essays are essays \ in which the advantages and disadvantages (or 'pros and cons') of an issue are discussed. They consist of:

-    an introduction in which the topic is presented generally (without giving an opinion).
-    a main body consisting of two paragraphs, one presenting the advantages of the issue and the other the disadvantages. The arguments should be supported with justifications/examples.
-    a conclusion which states your j opinion or a balanced summary of j the topic.

For-and-against essays are written in j a formal, impersonal style, avoiding j informal language (short forms, j colloquial language etc).

You can begin and end a for-and- f against essay with any of the j following techniques.

•    Address the reader directly e.g.  We all know how frustrating it is J not being able to understand the  locals when we go abroad.
•    Include a quotation e.g. As ' Goethe said, "Those who know j nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own."
•    Include a rhetorical question e.g. Do  you think it is entertaining to have \ your private life on camera 24 I hours a day?    

1  Read the rubric.

•    Should it be compulsory to learn a I foreign language at school?

Work in pairs. List the advantages of learning a foreign language at school. Your partner lists the disadvantages.

2   a Read the model essay. Were any of your ideas  mentioned?


Did you know that there are about seven thousand languages in the world? In view of this, many people believe that all school pupils should be made to learn at least one foreign language. Others, however, argue that there are possible disadvantages to this notion.

There are many reasons why forcing students to learn a language is a good idea. To start with, it could improve their future job prospects as more and more businesses these days work closely with clients in other countries. In addition, being able to communicate with people in their own language is extremely rewarding while travelling. Not only does it avoid confusion, but also shows respect and helps in understanding other cultures. Lastly, studies have shown that learning languages can improve pupils' critical skills, and therefore help them in other subjects such as Maths.

On the other hand, some believe that there are some disadvantages to making learning a foreign language compulsory. To start with, it is argued that many pupils should improve their reading and writing skills in their own language first instead of spending time learning another language that they may never use. Not all jobs, after all, require knowledge of a foreign language. In addition, some pupils may be put off learning a language for life if they do not enjoy learning the one taught at school.

Taking everything into consideration, I believe that while there are some disadvantages to being made to learn a language, the advantages for both individuals and society can not be ignored. After all, as the Italian film director, Federico Fellini, said, "A different language is a different vision of life".

b What techniques has the writer used to begin/end their essay? Which paragraph contains the writer's opinion?

3   Copy and complete the table with ideas from the essay.    


4  Read the table. Which linking words/phrases have been used in the model essay in Ex. 2? What is the function of each? Replace them with other appropriate ones.

   to introduce points     firstly, first of all, one major advantage/ disadvantage of ... is, one point of view in favour of/against ... is, in the first place
   to add more points in addition (to this), secondly, last but not least, lastly, furthermore, what is more, not to mention the fact that
   to introduce examples
in particular, for example, such as, like, for instance
   to introduce contrasting points   
nonetheless, in contrast, on the other hand, however, although, even though
   to conclude   
in conclusion, finally, all things considered, on the whole, all in all, taking everything into account, to sum up

Topic and supporting sentences

5 a  Find the topic sentences in the essay in Ex. 2. Which sentences support them? What information do they include: examples? details? reasons/justifications?

b   Put the sentences in the paragraph below in the correct order. Which is the topic sentence?

I A I I  Finally, you come home wiser and have lots of stories to tell your friends and family.
I B I I  Firstly, it exposes you to new things.
I C I I  There are many advantages to studying in a foreign country.
I D I I What is more, you have the opportunity to improve your language skills.
I E I  I  For example, you meet new people and learn all about another culture.

6   Expand the notes (1-4) into full topic v1 sentences. In pairs, choose two and write appropriate supporting sentences for them.

1    however/some disadvantages/the press having freedom/print whatever they want
2    on the other hand/some benefits/using the internet
3    a number of arguments/in favour of/text messaging
4    several major disadvantages/meeting new friends/on the Internet

Impersonal style

7   Use the phrases in brackets to make the i sentences (1-4) more impersonal.

1    I really think that students can develop useful skills by learning an ancient language like Latin. (Studies have shown that)
2    In my opinion, famous people have every right to live their private lives without the intrusion of the media. (Many are of the opinion that)
3    I strongly believe that tabloid newspapers are more interesting to read than broadsheets. (It can be argued that)
4    In my view, English is not the only foreign language worth learning. (Some believe that)

8  Read the closing paragraphs (1-2) below. Which express: the writer's opinion? a balanced consideration of the issue? Which ending: addresses the reader directly? includes a quotation? includes a rhetorical question?

1    Taking everything into account, there are both advantages and disadvantages to making friends online. Shouldn't one decide for one's self whether it is a worthwhile activity or not?

2    To conclude, while some try to control the media for their own benefit, we must strive for freedom of the press if we are to provide the public with the knowledge they deserve. As Thomas Jefferson said, "Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press."

9  Match the quotations (a-c) to the essay topics (1-3). Choose one and write a suitable ending for the essay. Include the quotation together with your opinion/balanced summary.

a As someone once said, "99.99% of what happens is not on the news."

b As Charles Lamb said in 1833, "Newspapers always excite curiosity. No one ever lays one down without a feeling of disappointment."

c As a Czech proverb says, "Learn a new language and get a new soul."

1    Everyone in the world should speak the same language.
2    The pros and cons of watching the news on TV.
3    Now that we have the Internet, we should stop printing newspapers.

Discuss and write

10   Work in pairs. Read the rubrics, underline the key words and answer the questions.

1    Who are you writing for?
2    What do you have to write?
3    What will you include in each paragraph?
4    What points could you include for and against the issue?
5    How could you begin/end each essay?

A You have seen this announcement in an international student magazine.

"All children should learn English from a young age." We are looking for essays discussing the pros and cons of this proposal. Write and tell us what you think.

Write your essay (120-180 words).

B  You are taking a course in media studies. Now your teacher has asked you to write an essay, giving the advantages and disadvantages of using a newspaper as your only source of news.

Write your essay (120-180 words).

11   Choose one of the rubrics (A or B) and write your essay. Then, exchange essays with a partner and use the checklist below to evaluate each other's work.

•    Does the essay have paragraphs clearly laid out?
•    Is it written in the correct style?
•    Are the advantages and disadvantages discussed in two separate main body paragraphs?
•    Does each main body paragraph have a clear topic sentence introducing the topic of the paragraph?
•    Does each topic sentence have clear supporting sentences giving details/examples/justifications?
•    Have appropriate linking words/phrases been used?
•    Is there an interesting ending that gives an opinion or a balanced summary of the topic?

мама и сын

Английский язык. 11 класс : учеб. для общеобразоват. учреждений / [О.В. Афанасьева, Дж.Дули, И.В. Михеева и др.]. - 2-е изд., доп. и перераб. - М.: Express Publishing : Просвещение, 2009. - 244 с. : ил. - (Английский в фокусе).

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