For and Against essays guide

11 04 2008

  Here you have some tips to write a well-planned”for and against” essay.

“For and Against” essays - guide

One type of argumentative essay is that which gives advantages and disadvantages (for and against). It is a formal piece of writing in which a topic is considered from opposing points of view. A good essay of this type should consist of:

  • an introductory paragraph in which you state the topic. This means that you talk generally about the topic without giving your opinion;
  • a main body in which the points tor and the points against, along with your justification, appear in two separate paragraphs; and
  • a closing paragraph in which you give either your opinion or a balanced consideration of the topic.

Note: In this type of essay writing, you must not include opinion words (I believe, I think, etc.) in the introduction or the main body. Opinion words can only be used in the final paragraph, where you may state your opinion on the topic.

Points to consider

  • Make a list of the points for and against a topic before you start writing.
  • Write well-developed paragraphs in which the points you present are supported with justification, (i.e. reasons or examples). Make sure each paragraph has more than one sentence, e.g. One advantage of using a word processor is that it saves time. It is much quicker to make corrections on one than it is to do them by hand.
  • Do not use informal style (e.g. short forms, colloquial language, etc.) or strong language (e.g. I firmly believe, etc.)
  • Try to include a quotation relevant to the topic you are writing about. For example, if you are writing an essay on space exploration, a quotation you may include is: “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” (Neil Armstrong)
  • Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence which summarises what the paragraph is about.

Linking words/phrases

  • To introduce points: one major advantage (or disadvantage) of, a further advantage, one point of view in favour of/against
  • To list points: in the first place, first of all, to start with, secondly, thirdly, finally, last but not least
  • To add more points to the same topic: what is more, furthermore, also, in addition to this/that, besides, apart from this/that, not to mention the fact that
  • To make contrasting points: on the other hand, however, in spite of, while, nevertheless, despite, even though, although, it can be argued that
  • To introduce examples: for example, for instance, like, especially, such as, in particular
  • To conclude: to sum up, all in all, all things considered, in conclusion, on the whole, taking everything into account, as was previously stated

Techniques for beginnings and endings

The first paragraph may:

  • make reference to a strange scene or situation, e.g. Some scientists believe that in tne future everyone will be genetically perfect
  • address the reader directly, e.g. Are you aware of any characteristics which you may have inherited from your parents? or ask a rhetorical question (question to which no answer is expected), e.g. isn’t it amazing how some children look so much like their parents?
  • start with a quotation, e.g. “Genetics holds the key to the future”

   The last paragraph may:

  • state a personal opinion, e.g. In my opinion, I believe, in my view, It seems to me. The way I see it, I think, etc.
  • give the reader something to consider, e.g. Perhaps the world would be a safer and more efficient piace if everyone was geneticali}’ perfect
  • end with a quotation, e.g. “Genetics holds the key to tne future”, or a rhetorical question, e.g. K/fraf will they think of next?


Have look at the example



Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being your own boss.”

   Have you ever considered becoming your own boss? In recent years the number of people choosing to start their own business has risen significantly. Many claim that this is because more and more people are no longer content to work for someone else.
One of the main advantages of being self-employed is the fact that you are completely self-reliant and can make decisions on your own. This can give you a great sense of freedom and allows you to do exactly what you want without interference from anyone else. What is more, your working day can be planned for your convenience, allowing you to work when you want rather than when you have to. Finally, if your business is successful, people will know that you alone should be given the credit.
However, there are disadvantages to being your own boss. Many self-employed people hr.e said that to build a successful business, you have to be prepared to work long hours and sacrifice your personal life. As B. C. Forbes once said, “If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business.” Moreover, a 1996 government study found that over a quarter of the businesses run by newly self-employed people failed within the first two years.
All things considered, it seems to me that self-employment can be a very gratifying experience, although not one without difficulties. But when success is achieved, the greatest reward of all is the knowledge that you have done it on your own.

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