Writing a for and against composition

Writing a for and against composition
Why do we do it?
1. End of year tests
2. Important life skill
3. Entrance requirement for studying abroad
4. Matriculation exam
PROBLEMS (that students have when writing a for and against composition)
1. Having something to say
You will be able to say more if you do the brainstorm activity – group or individual level
Eg. Is it better to be a vegetarian or not
- healthier food
- people need meet to survive
- does not contain fats
- children should eat meat
- you don't have to kill animals
- meet is delicious
- cholesterol
- you feel better
- inhuman conditions on farms, sick animals
- your stomach is full
- doctors agree with this kind of diet
- vegetarians look pale
On a piece of paper write two columns (for and against) and write as more ideas as you can.
During the process of brainstorming activity, accept absolutely everything – easier to remove
stuff than to add it! Every idea that comes to your mind is OK on this level. Later you can
cross it or it can lead you to something interesting.
Now think and organize ideas in a rational order
Is there overlapping? (healthier / vegetarians do not have some diseases / doctors agree - all
these ideas mean the same, belong to the same group; or: meet is delicious, you feel better)
Get 3 key ideas for both sides. Pick three best arguments that could be supported by some
Organize these key ideas.
First of all, you need to say something general about your topic in the beginning.
In the last few decades vegetarians, or avoiding eating meat, has become more and
more popular. Why do people tend to change thousands of years old habits?
First of all, more and more people think that it is not healthy to eat fats….
However, it seems that the main reason why people become vegans or vegetarians is
that they don't want to harm or kill animals. They feel that we don't have to kill some living
being to survive.
On the other hand, people need meet to survive…
In my opinon, ….
Your text must be visually organized as well. Introduction, 3 points for, and 3 against and
your opinion must be clearly visible without reading. Your paragraphs must be separated.
2. Danger of becoming illogical
Your ideas must flow naturally from one to another. You must use linking words to link next
paragraph with the previous one. Your last argument must be the strongest so you must save
the most important argument for the end, because you will paraphrase the same idea in your
3. Having enough to write about
Supporting argument – give examples.
Case without evidence is nothing.
Eg. It is medically proved that high cholesterol influences heart diseases.
Be specific! Back up your arguments with ideas.
Next question: Where are the main arguments?
Paragraphs – is it difficult to read, to follow main ideas (5-6 main ideas).
Linking devices
Firstly, secondly, finally, in the end
Transition signals: On the other hand, However (opposite)
They are crucial because you can determine what is important and what isn’t.
What do I expect from 5
1. Task completion
2. Organization (is it easy to read, linking words, paragraphs)
3. Accuracy (are mistakes acceptable, not serious)
4. Range (is it too simple, some pupils never take risks, complicated structures...)
4 – bit of excellent, but...
2 – quite a few mistakes, but communication is a problem, message is still clear!
Example of a composition:
Firstly… (first argument - against)
Secondly… (second argument - against)
On the other side / However (first
argument - for)
Moreover… (third argument - for)
To conclude (Conclusion)
In my opinion (your opinion, which should
be the same as the last, strongest argument,
third - for).
In the above example (drawing), you can see the heading and separated paragraphs. Your
teacher can give you a mark from organization almost without reading. When a teacher looks
at the writing, and reads the first words of the paragraphs he/she can be able to grade your
organization (of course, partly, but your mark can be lower because of this visual aspect).
Time and number of words: 45 minutes for 150-200 words – 10 minutes for plan.