Argument-led approach thesis-led approach



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OPINION / ARGUMENT ESSAYS

There are basically two ways of organizing an opinion essay: the first is the ‘argument-led’ approach in which different sides of an argument are given, for example, for and against having boys and girls in school together and the writer’s opinion is given toward the end of the essay. The second way is the ‘thesis-led’ approach in which the writer’s opinion is given in the introductory paragraph and the body paragraphs give reasons supporting that opinion.




ARGUMENT-LED APPROACH

THESIS-LED APPROACH



  1. PARAGRAPH ONEINTRODUCTION

Introduce topic:

Provide background information, e.g.



In the U.K. there are ‘single-sex’ schools which only take either boys or girls and there are ‘co-educational’ schools which take both boys and girls. Parents can choose which type of school they send their children to. Opinions are divided about the relative merits of each type of school.

  1. PARAGRAPH TWO

Arguments for and reasons

  1. PARAGRAPH THREE

Arguments against and reasons

  1. PARAGRAPH FOUR - CONCLUSION

STATE YOUR THESIS / OPINION HERE,

along with your reasons for it.

Summarize main points.
You can have MORE THAN 4 PARAGRAPHS, but you must describe arguments BOTH ‘For’ and ‘Against’.





  1. PARAGRAPH ONE – INTRODUCTION

Introduce topic and

STATE YOUR THESIS [OPINION] HERE e.g.

Separating boys from girls in school has traditionally been done in private boarding schools in the U.K. for hundreds of years. However, I don’t believe this is a good thing

  1. PARAGRAPH TWO

Give reasons for your opinion

  1. PARAGRAPH THREE

Give further reasons for your opinion

  1. PARAGRAPH FOUR – CONCLUSION

Summarize main points

Restate your point of view



You can have MORE THAN 4 PARAGRAPHS.


You should use some of the structures in the table below in your essay.

GIVING REASONS + *GERUND: ‘-ING’ FORM OF VERB AS NOUN

SHOWING CONTRAST OR UNEXPECTED RESULTS+ * GERUND: ‘-ING’ FORM OF VERB AS NOUN

BECAUSE OF + *NOUN / NOUN PHRASE

Ahmed came late for the lesson, because of *the traffic.

*Because of living and playing together in the same house when they’re very young, boys and girls should attend lessons together in the same school.


DESPITE, IN SPITE OF

Despite *doing little work, Ahmed passed his exam.

In spite of *doing little work, Ahmed passed his exam.

GIVING REASONS + *CLAUSE


SHOWING CONTRAST OR UNEXPECTED RESULT + * CLAUSE: ‘SUBJECT – VERB – OBJECT’

REASON + SO / THEREFORE

NOTE: The *REASON is in the main sentence and comes BEFORE ‘SO’ OR ‘THEREFORE’

*Boys and girls naturally live and play together when they’re very young, so,( therefore,) they should also be together in school

BECAUSE + CLAUSE

*Because boys and girls naturally live and play together when they are very young, it’s better not to separate them when they ……..

ALTHOUGH, EVEN THOUGH

Ahmed passed his exam, even though*he’d done little work.

Although *he’d done little work, Ahmed …….

HOWEVER, NEVERTHELESS

*Ahmed did little work; however, he passed his exam.

WHEREAS

I prefer to take a taxi in the city. Whereas, my brother prefers to go by metro.

ON THE OTHER HAND

It can be argued that people should retire at 60. On the other hand, there are many reasons why people should be able to continue working beyond this age.

A] Join these sentences using the LINKERS above to make sentences with subordinate clauses.

EXAMPLE: John had been lying in the sun. He was very sun-burnt. BECAUSE + CLAUSE

John was very sun-burnt because he’d been lying in the sun.’



  1. Ahmed couldn’t play in the match. He’d broken his leg. SO

__________________________________________________________________________


  1. Ahmed couldn’t play in the match. He’d broken his leg. BECAUSE OF

__________________________________________________________________________

  1. Mohammed had a car accident. He continued to drive fast. IN SPITE OF

__________________________________________________________________________

  1. Mohammed had a car accident. He continued to drive fast. ALTHOUGH

_________________________________________________________________________

  1. That medicine can help people lose weight. It does have strong side-effects. WHILE

__________________________________________________________________________

  1. Modern medicines usually have strong side-effects. Healthy eating and exercise doesn’t. WHEREAS

__________________________________________________________________________

B] Below are FOUR INTRODUCTIONS for TWO different essay questions. Which introductions belong to an ARGUMENT-LED essay and which belong to a THESIS-LED essay?

Write a tick [] on one of the lines in the boxes.

1] Ever since the end of World War Two, the superpowers: North America and Russia, and now other developed nations have nuclear weapons. In this essay I will demonstrate why I think nuclear weapons are necessary and also why we should be using nuclear energy.

ARGUMENT-LED ESSAY _____

THESIS-LED ESSAY_____

2] Since the early 1980s computers have become more and more a part of everyday life for people in many countries. There are those who think that computers and the internet will eventually replace books and those who believe that this won’t ever happen. In this essay I’ll be looking at both sides of the debate.

ARGUMENT-LED ESSAY _____

THESIS-LED ESSAY_____

3] World War Two ended when the U.S.A. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan; now other developed nations have nuclear weapons. Some people feel we should continue to develop nuclear weapons and use nuclear energy. While others believe we should get rid of these weapons and stop using nuclear energy. This essay will explore both points of view and the arguments used to support them.

ARGUMENT-LED ESSAY _____

THESIS-LED ESSAY_____

4] Since the early 1980s computers have become more and more a part of everyday life for people in many countries. To a large extent they have changed the way we do things, from buying plane tickets to studying for a university degree. In my opinion, no matter how much computers and the internet have changed our lives, some things will never change, such as the printed word.

ARGUMENT-LED ESSAY _____

THESIS-LED ESSAY_____

C] Choose ONE of the TOPICS ABOVE and write an opinion essay about it, either using the structure of the ‘ARGUMENT-LED’ STRUCTURE or the ‘THESIS-LED’ STRUCTURE. Remember to use some of the ‘USEFUL LANGUAGE’ words and phrases listed above.

OPINION ESSAY TOPICS

  1. All schools and colleges should be co-ed [have both male and female students].

  2. Women make better managers than men.

  3. Cars should not be allowed to enter city centres.

  4. Tobacco should be made illegal.

  5. Our quality of life is less with technology.

  6. Retirement should be imposed at the age of 60.

  7. Censorship should be banned and the media should be completely free to show whatever they want.

  8. If children behave badly or break the law, their parents should also be held responsible and be punished in some way.

  9. Medical testing on animals should be banned.

  10. Tourism destroys traditional cultures and ways of life.

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