Troubled Teens Opinion Essay ela c1-Y2



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Troubled Teens Opinion Essay

ELA C1-Y2




Task: You have read the article “Can Violent Criminals Help Troubled Teens?” and watched a clip from the A&E series “Beyond Scared Straight.” You must write an opinion essay that explains your position on this controversial issue.

Essential Questions: Keep these questions in mind when developing your opinion essay:

  1. What is justice?

  2. How does crime affect others- both criminal & the victims?

  3. What does it mean for a punishment to fit the crime?



STEP 1: DECIDE WHAT YOU THINK

Do you think scared-straight programs are a good idea? Consider what you read in the article, and saw in the video clip. Also consider what you learned through class discussion and your own experiences.


√ Yes! I am totally convinced because ___________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

X No! I am beyond disturbed because ____________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________.






STEP 2: FIND YOUR SUPPORT

Think about what you read, heard, and saw. Which facts and information can you use to support your opinion? Remember you are trying to convince your audience that your opinion is well informed and fair. Find five support points and list them here:




  1. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

  2. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

  3. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

  4. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

  5. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.






STEP 3: CRAFT YOUR THESIS

The thesis is where you tell your readers what the essay is going to be about. It is your argument or what you believe. It should be a clear, strong statement of the opinion you stated in Step 1 (do not recopy- create a powerful sentence). The rest of your essay should support your thesis.


Your Thesis: ________________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________





STEP 4: WRITE YOUR HOOK

The very beginning of your essay is called a hook because it “hooks” your reader’s attention. The hook should relate to the topic of your essay. Choose one of the ideas below, or use your own ideas and write a hook on the lines provided (1-3 sentences).




  1. Anecdote: Tell about a time when seeing someone get punished for doing something wrong discouraged you from making the same mistake.

  2. Surprising Fact: Find a fact that will raise your reader’s eyebrows. You could use a fact from the article or video, or do some research to find another fact related to youth crime.

  3. Rhetorical Question: Ask a question about what teens can learn from convicted criminals (a rhetorical question is a question to which you don't expect an answer).


Your Hook: _________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________






Step 5: SUMMARIZE THE ISSUE

Let the readers know a little about the issue you will be writing about. This isn’t your point of view (POV), it’s just a brief summary of the issue- in this case what scared-straight programs are and the fact that they are controversial. (2-3 sentences)


Your Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________





STEP 6: START WRITING

Now that you have the key ingredients for your essay, you are ready to start writing. Follow the guidelines below to write a strong opinion essay on whether or not scared straight programs are a good idea. Use a loose leaf, write in pen, double space, and set up your page with your name, the date, and title.




INTRODUCTION




  • Open with your hook from Step 4.

  • Write a transition sentence that relates your hook to the question of whether scared-straight programs are effective.

  • Write your summary of the issue from Step 5.

  • Finish with your thesis from Step 3.




BODY PARAGRAPH #1 & 2

Here is where you write your supporting points from Step 2. For each one, write 2-3 sentences that provide additional details. You can put all of your supporting points and detail sentences together in one paragraph, or you can break them into three separate paragraphs. It depends on how much you want to write about each point. Order your supporting points from weak to strongest. Readers tend to remember best the details that are presented last.




BODY PARAGRAPH #3

In this paragraph write about your personal feelings about the topic. How did the article and the video impact you? Try and answer one of the 3 essential questions:




  1. What is justice?

  2. How does crime affect others- both criminal & the victims?

  3. What does it mean for a punishment to fit the crime?

  4. How can we (as a society) best help troubled teens?

Or you can “disprove” the other side of the argument (opposing viewpoint)




CONCLUSION

Use two or three sentences to remind your readers of your main (strongest) points. Repeat your thesis from Step 3. For a final sentence, try addressing your readers directly. Ask a question or encourage your readers to think about something or do something.





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