How to write a for-and-against essay?

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For-and-Against essay is one of the most popular essay for ESL student around the world of English. You can find many topics and sample essays on the Internet, just Google it. But how can you write such good essay in any written tests?

In this post, the instruction for writing a For-and-Against essay would be introduced. Hope you can find it useful. The attachment above is for those who seek for teaching materials.

How to write a for-and-against essay?
How to write a for-and-against essay?

So what is a for-and-against essay?

In short, a for-and-against essay is a formal essay in which ‘pros and cons’ (advantages and disadvantages) points are considered from writer points of view. Students are required to discussing both sides (supporting (for) and opposing (against)) objectively and equally, both directly and indirectly.

How to organise a for-and-against essay?

The ‘for-and-against’ essay should be structured as following:

  1. INTRODUCTION: re-state the topic (in the writing task) with its general information/situation without giving writer’s opinion.
  2. BODY: Student need to provide explanations for the opposing viewpoints/ arguments with relevant reasons, figures, facts and examples. Writer should avoid any strong or emotional language to express writer opinion.
    – Paragraph 1: Arguments in favour- along with reasons, examples, facts, etc.
    – Paragraph 2: Arguments against- along with reasons, examples, facts, etc.
  3. CONCLUSION: express the writer’s opinion directly/indirectly and show a balanced view of the topic.

What are the useful language for this type of essay?

Students should avoid using phrases or expressions which have been abused in the past few years on English test in their essay, especially in introductory and concluding paragraphs. E.g.: in modern society, in the current climate, throughout history, etc.

Some of the words and phrases that can be used:
To introduce points in favour/against:
One point of view in favour of/against is that..
Some experts/scientists advocate/support/oppose the view that..

To point out opposing arguments:
Opponents of this idea claim that..
Others oppose this view point..
Some people may disagree with this idea.

To state the conclusion:
In my opinion..
Achieving a balance between X and Y would..
In conclusion, I firmly believe that..
On balance, I think it is unfair that..

To make contrasting points:
On the other hand..
It can be argued that

How to self-evaluate the essay?

Students should examine his/her essay in terms of following points:
1. Content:
Make sure that appropriate connecting phrases are used to present reasons to support as well as oppose the topic. Student should start the writing by stating the general information about the topic.
2. Argumentation:
The arguments and supporting ideas must be relevant to the given topic. Also, the conclusion paragraph should state a balanced perspective toward the topic.
3. Essay Organization:
The essay needs to be structured in a logical method. The writer’s personal opinions/ ideas should be stated only in the last paragraph.
4. Choice of words:
Use opinion words (e.g. I think.., in my view, etc.) only in the last paragraph and not in the introduction or argument paragraphs.
Finally, please check your essay for any errors on the use of language which includes punctuation, grammatical or spelling.
You can check some of student samples of for-and-against essays here.
Reference link:
Thank for reading.

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