Speak Out Unit 3

SAMPLE ESSAY (For and AGainst)

Mobile phones at school (For and Against essay)

Introduction +Thesis:

Nowadays more and more students bring their mobile phones to school.

While I believe that students should carry mobile phones in case of an emergency, I am strongly

opposed to phones being used at school, particularly in the classroom.


Firstly, many students travel to and from school without their parents. Therefore, it is

important for them to have a mobile phone in case they need help or have an accident on the way

to school or home. Furthermore, parents who work may need to contact their children. For

example, if a parent has to work late, the student has to be told if arrangements have been made

for a relative or neighbour to look after them.

On the other hand, nothing is more disruptive during a lesson than the sound of a mobile phone

ringing or playing an annoying tune. Moreover, students who send and receive text messages in

class are not paying attention to the lesson.

In conclusion, I feel that students should be allowed to take mobile phones to school for use in

an emergency. However, all phones should certainly be turned off during lessons.

Handout: How to Write The Five-Paragraph Opinion Essay

If you feel confident about writing essays and usually do well at it, you may be able to skip this. There are other good ways to write an essay that will work just as well and be more interesting to read.

First, you have to understand what a paragraph is: three to five sentences that develop a single, clear idea. When you've finished with one main idea, you move on and start another paragraph. A good paragraph often begins with a topic sentence that sums up your main idea.
The most basic structure for an essay includes just five paragraphs.

Paragraph One -- The introduction. Here you state the main idea of your entire essay -- the point you are trying to make or prove. This paragraph should include your thesis statement -- a one-sentence summary of the main idea -- plus three reasons why you believe this statement to be true.
Paragraphs Two, Three and Four. These are the body of your essay. Remember back in Paragraph One, you gave three reasons for your opinion? Three reasons, three body paragraph. Each of the body paragraphs should take one of your reasons and explain it in more detail, giving an example or illustration to back it up.
Paragraph Five -- The conclusion. Former Newfoundland premier Joey Smallwood once said about giving speeches: "First I tell them what I'm going to tell them, then I tell them, then I tell them what I told them." That's how you write an essay. In the conclusion, tell them what you told them. Sum up your argument by restating your thesis statement and reminding the reader what your three reasons were. In an argumentative essay, you can finish with a "call to action" -- tell the reader what you would like them to do as a result.
Depending on the topic, you can skip paragraph Four.

Sample Five-Paragraph Essay

Subject: Should students be required to write public exams?

Paragraph One: Introduction

Three reasons for my opinion

Paragraph Two: Develops the first reason by giving an example

Paragraph Three:
Develops the second reason, giving an example

Paragraph Four: Develops third reason, giving an example

Paragraph Five: Conclusion
Summary of reasons
Why Public Exams are Good
by an Anonymous Teacher

Many students hate public exams in their Level 3 courses and wonder why they have to write them. Although some students experience test anxiety and find it hard to prepare, I believe public exams are a good thing. They force students to take the courses seriously, they force teachers to teach to a standard, and they create a level playing field for all students. For these reasons, I think Newfoundland students should continue to write Level 3 public exams.

As a student, I was nervous about my public exams (Grade 11 in those days!) just as students today are. But I studied much harder for those courses and probably learned the material better. As a teacher I notice students are far less likely to skip classes if they are taking a public exam course. Knowing that they have to write a major final exam forces students to take the course more seriously.

During my teaching years, I often wondered whether I was doing as good a job as other teachers in the province. I hoped that my students were learning the same material others were learning. When they did well on public exams, I knew that what I was teaching was meeting the provincial standard. Public exams helped me as a teacher because they showed me that my students were achieving at the same level as students all over the province.

Public exams create a level playing field. What if a teacher dislikes a particular student or doesn't grade them fairly? In their Level 3 course, 50% of the grade comes from the public exam, so even if there's a personality conflict between the teacher and the student, the student gets half their grade from an unbiased source. This means everyone gets the same treatment.

While students will probably always feel exams are unfair and too hard, as a teacher I have to say I'm totally infavour of them. I like the fact that they make students study harder, teachers teach better, and give everyone a chance to be judged in a fair and unbiased way. I have taught in other provinces without public exams, and I hope public exams continue to be part of our education system here in Newfoundland.

Some connectors for your essay

Here is a chart of the transitional devices (also called conjunctive adverbs or adverbial conjunctions) accompanied with a simplified definition of function (note that some devices appear with more than one definition):
again, also, and, and then, besides, equally important, finally, first, further, furthermore, in addition, in the first place, last, moreover, next, second, still, too
also, in the same way, likewise, similarly
granted, naturally, of course
although, and yet, at the same time, but at the same time, despite that, even so, even though, for all that, however, in contrast, in spite of, instead, nevertheless, notwithstanding, on the contrary, on the other hand, otherwise, regardless, still, though, yet
certainly, indeed, in fact, of course
example or illustration
after all, as an illustration, even, for example, for instance, in conclusion, indeed, in fact, in other words, in short, it is true, of course, namely, specifically, that is, to illustrate, thus, truly
all in all, altogether, as has been said, finally, in brief, in conclusion, in other words, in particular, in short, in simpler terms, in summary, on the whole, that is, therefore, to put it differently, to summarize
time sequence
after a while, afterward, again, also, and then, as long as, at last, at length, at that time, before, besides, earlier, eventually, finally, formerly, further, furthermore, in addition, in the first place, in the past, last, lately, meanwhile, moreover, next, now, presently, second, shortly, simultaneously, since, so far, soon, still, subsequently, then, thereafter, too, until, until now, when

A word of caution: Do not interlard your text with transitional expressions merely because you know these devices connect ideas. They must appear, naturally, where they belong, or they'll stick like a fishbone in your reader's craw. (For that same reason, there is no point in trying to memorize this vast list.) On the other hand, if you can read your entire essay and discover none of these transitional devices, then you must wonder what, if anything, is holding your ideas together. Practice by inserting a tentative however, nevertheless, consequently. Reread the essay later to see if these words provide the glue you needed at those points.

For further information go to http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/transitions.htm ,http://hs.houstonisd.org/ReaganHS/Organizations/Resources/Essay%20Transitions.htm , http://www.powa.org/organize/links.html andhttp://www.ssdd.uce.ac.uk/learner/writing/transex.htm