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Persuasive Writing - For and Against

Intermediate Level Writing
By Kenneth Beare, About.com Guide

Read the following paragraphs. Notice that this paragraph presents the pros and cons of a shorter work week.

Introducing a short work week may lead to both positive and negative affects on society. For workers, the advantages of shortening the work week include more free time. This will lead to stronger family relationships, as well as better physical and mental health for all. An increase in free time should lead to more service sector jobs as people find ways to enjoy their extra leisure time. What is more, companies will need to hire more workers to keep production up to past levels of a standard forty hour work week. All together, these benefits will not only improve quality of life, but also grow the economy as a whole.

On the other hand, a shorter work week may damage the ability to compete in the global workplace. Moreover, companies may be tempted to outsource positions to countries where longer work weeks are common. Another point is that companies will need to train more workers to make up for the lost productivity hours. To sum up, companies will likely have to pay a steep price for shorter work weeks.

In summary, it is clear that there would be a number of positive gains for individual workers if the work week were shortened. Unfortunately, this move could easily cause companies to look elsewhere for qualified staff. In my opinion, the net positive gains outweigh the negative consequences of such a move towards more free time for all.

Tips for Writing a For and Against Argument

  • Before you begin, write down at least five positive points, and five negative points for your argument.
  • Begin your writing by making a statement about the general statement about outcome of an action, or the overall situation.
  • Dedicate the first paragraph to one side of the argument. This can be either positive or negative. Generally, it is the side with which you agree.
  • The second paragraph should contain the other side of the argument.
  • The final paragraph should shortly summarize both paragraphs, and provide your own general opinion on the matter.

Helpful Language

Expressing Both Sides

pros and cons
advantages and disadvantages
plus and minus

Providing Additional Arguments

What is more,
In addition to ..., the ...
Further,
Not only will ..., but ... will also ...

Showing Contrast

However,
On the other hand,
Although .....,
Unfortunately,

Ordering

First of all,
Then,
Next,
Finally,

Summarizing

To sum up,
In conclusion,
In summary,
All things considered,

Expressing Your Opinion

In my opinion,
I feel / think that ...
Personally,

Exercise

Choose an for and against argument from one of the following themes

Attending College / University
Getting Married
Having Children
Changing Jobs
Moving

  • Write down five positive points and five negative points
  • Write down an overall statement of the situation (for introduction and first sentence)
  • Write down your own personal opinion (for final paragraph)
  • Summarize both sides in one sentence if possible
  • Use your notes to write a For and Against Argument using the helpful language provided