By carmen mellado



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Writing a for and against essay

BY CARMEN MELLADO ON JUNE 9, 2013

Today you will write a For and Against essay. A “for and against” essay is a formal piece of writing in which a topic is considered from opposing points of view. You should present both sides in a fair way by discussing them objectively and in equal detail. A good essay of this type should consist of:



a) An introductory paragraph in which you clearly state the topic to be discussed, without giving your opinion;
b) A main body in which the points for and against along with your justifications, examples or reasons are presented in separate paragraphs; and
c) A closing paragraph in which you state your opinion or give a balanced consideration of the topic.

Write four paragraphs: 

  1. Introduce the topic: For many people …  Many people think that …  However,      Though,       Although,  

  2. States the advantages: In the first place,     On the one hand,      Furthermore,       Besides,      Yet,

  3. State the disadvantages: On the other hand,         In addition,           Moreover, 

  4. Conclude your argument with a balanced summary of advantages and disadvantages and give your personal opinionIt seems to me that … From my point of view,    I think that …     I believe that …

Topics for discussion: 

  1. Damage to the environment is an inevitable consequence of worldwide improvements in the standard of living. Discuss.

  2. Are famous people treated unfairly by the media? Should they be given more privacy, or is the price of their fame an invasion into their private lives?

  3. Are women are better parents than men?

  4. The use of mobile phones at schools.

  5. Children should never be educated at home by their parents. What is your opinion? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

  6. Computers can translate all kinds of languages well. Do our children need to learn more languages in the future?

  7. Discuss some of the arguments for and against keeping animals in zoos.

  8. Discuss the advantage and disadvantage of giving international aid to poor countries.

  9. Do the benefits of study abroad justify the difficulties?

  10. Does modern technology make life more convenient, or was life better when technology was simpler?

  11. Does travel help to promote understanding and communication between countries?

  12. Human beings do not need to eat meat in order to maintain good health because they can get all their food needs from meatless products and meatless substances. A vegetarian diet is as healthy as a diet containing meat. What is your opinion?

  13. If children behave badly, should their parents accept responsibility and also be punished?

  14. Is animal testing necessary?

  15. Many students choose to attend schools or universities outside their home countries. Why do some students study abroad? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer.

  16. The advantages and disadvantages of computers. Discuss.

  17. Should criminals be punished with lengthy jail terms or should they be re-educated, using community service programs for instance, before being reintroduced to society?

  18. Should money be spent on space exploration?

  19. Should retirement be compulsory at 65 years of age?

  20. Should rich countries pay more for environmental damage?

  21. Should sports classes be dropped in secondary school so students can concentrate on academic subjects?

  22. Should the same laws which prohibit the sale and consumption of heroin be applied to tobacco?

  23. Technology is making communication easier in todays world, but at the expense of personal contact as many people choose to work at home in front of a computer screen. What dangers are there for a society which depends on computer screens rather than face-to-face contact for its main means of communication?

  24. Alternative forms of transport should be encouraged and international laws introduced to control car ownership and use. What do you think?

  25. The mass media, including TV, radio and newspapers, have great influence in shaping people’s ideas. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give reasons for your answer.

  26. Nuclear power provides cheap and clean energy. The benefits of nuclear technology far overweigh the disadvantages. Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer.

  27. Tourism is becoming increasingly important as a source of revenue to many countries but its disadvantages should not be overlooked. What are some of the problems of tourism?

  28. TV: could you be without it? Discuss.

  29. We are becoming increasingly dependent on computers. They are used in businesses, hospitals, crime detection and even to fly planes. What things will they be used for in future? Is this dependence on computers a good thing or should we be more suspicious of their benefits? Use specific details and examples in your answer.

  30. Will modern technology such as the internet ever replace the book or the written word as the main source of information?


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