English language teaching

How to write argumentative essays?

Resolved: Debate is stupid | The Outline

Argumentative essays are pieces of writing that conveys an opinion of the writer regarding an issue. It is very useful to know how to write an argumentative essay because it helps the writer to develop logical thinking and the capacity to think of the many perspectives of an issue.

Here is a sample template of an argumentative essay:

What is the topic you are writing about? Define the terms if necessary.
What is your stand on the topic? (Are you for it or against it?)

First body paragraph
Give one reason why you feel the way you do about the topic
Give one piece of evidence to support your reason ( a personal story or a statistic)

Second body paragraph
Give a second reason why you feel the way you do about the topic
Give one piece of evidence to support your reason ( a personal story or a statistic)

Third body paragraph Give a third reason why you feel the way you do about the topic
Give one piece of evidence to support your reason ( a personal story or a statistic)

Fourth body paragraph
Counter point: Give one good reason why someone would disagree with your main argument
State why you think that person would be wrong (give a counterclaim to their claim or point)

Conclusion Sum up your main idea and your arguments for it.  

Sample topic : Should girls and boys receive the same kind of education?

  Sample plan:


The topic – what is meant by education – I believe boys and girls should receive the same kind of education

Paragraph 1: reason: boys and girls are equally capably of studying anything.  No different in ability.

Evidence : Public exam toppers – equal percentage of male and female

Paragraph 2: reason: Both boys and girls have dreams of doing some work they like in the future. Without education they cannot achieve that.

Evidence: examples of women who have achieved their dreams through education.

Paragraph 3: reason: women cannot have financial independence without jobs. Without education there will be no job

Evidence: In poorer countries where women are not educated, they cannot get a job, and they are forever dependent on men.

Paragraph 4

Counterpoint: boys and girls have different roles in society based on their biology. So girls should learn how to take care of children, and to cook whereas boys should learn how to earn money for the family by doing a good job.

Why I think this is wrong: Both boys and girls should be equally responsible for looking after children and cooking. Even though women given birth to children, men also can share the rest of the responsibilities. In the same way, women can also earn for the family by working.

Conclusion: In the light of the arguments given above, it is clear that boys and girls should be given the same education. Boys and girls are equally capable of learning, they both have dreams of achievements in life, and without an education, a woman will never be financially independent.

English language teaching

Ideas for story writing


Have you found yourself faced with the writer’s block as you sat down to write a story? You are not alone. Here are some ideas for stories that could help you write your very own story.

Sample topic 1: Write about a time when a photograph or video was used as evidence.

Plan for the story

Introduction: student – studying in year 9 – midyear exam coming – not very serious in studies

Problem – exam is next day – has not studied anything – decides to copy – writes answers on a piece of paper hides under the desk

Climax – the supervising teacher sees the copying – scolds – takes away the answer paper – will get zero marks – student says did not copy , teacher lying-

Resolution – issue goes to the principal – principal orders investigation – watches the cctv footage – in the video it is clear that the student copies

Conclusion – student apologizes to the teacher and Principal for cheating and for lying. Punishment is zero marks for this exam.


  • Give names to the characters – the student, the teacher, the school, the place, and the Principal.
  • Add details of feelings and emotions felt. Add dialogues too.
  •  Write in simple past tense.

Sample topic 2: Write a story about a fire that went out of control.


1. Who are the characters?

Myself, my father, my mother, my sister

2. Where does the story take place?

My  house

3. When does the story take place?

During the December holidays last year

4. What is the problem in the story?

My house caught fire. The fire started in the kitchen where my mother was cooking.

5. How is the problem solved?

My father called the fire force (Bomba). They came and put out the fire.

6. How does the story end?

My father repaired the house.

7. What is the tense used for the verbs?

Past tense.

Different ways to start the story

1. With a description

Example: It was a hot Sunday afternoon during the Hari Raya holidays last year. My sister Sarah and I were watching a movie in the living room. My father was helping my mother in the kitchen, to make some special dishes because we had invited some guests for dinner.

2. With a dialogue

“Do you smell smoke? Or is it just me?” I asked my sister Sarah. We were both sitting in the living room watching an English movie. It was a hot afternoon on a Sunday during the Hari Raya holidays last year.

“Oh Yes. I do,” my sister said, her eyes widening in fear.

Sample topic 3: Write a story in which a map is important

Characters: Damit, Iman and Myself

Place: My house and neighbourhood

Time – last December holidays

Problem – Damit found a diary that belonged to his great grandfather. In the diary it is written that he has buried a treasure in the neighborhood. A map was attached.

Solution – Damit and Iman and myself find the treasure

Ending – We shared the money among ourselves.

Tense – past tense

Ways of beginning

1. With a description

It was a hot afternoon during the December holidays. Damit did not have anything to do, and did not feel sleepy. He went upstairs to the attic to explore it, just to pass the time.

2. With a dialogue

“Mum, look what I found,” Damit exclaimed happily.

“A diary?” Asked his mother.

“Yes, I found it in the attic.”

Expand the story line below and make it into a story of minimum 350 words.

Write a story about someone who misunderstood an instruction and committed a mistake


Allen was walking down the road for coffee and saw a poster. The poster was advertising a show at 7 pm on Thursday. Allen took the poster and showed it to his friends. They discussed whether to go for the show or not. Finally they decided to watch the show. When they arrived at the theatre on Thursday at 7 pm, the theatre was deserted. They were surprised. They looked again at the poster that they had brought with them. The time on the poster was actually 7 am. They were disappointed and went back home.

English language teaching

Vocabulary – fill in the blanks exercises

Fill in the blanks with the right word. The meaning of the word is given in brackets.

  1. Only true friends show …………………….. (real) happiness when you succeed in something.
  2. The …………….. (nice smells) of the food items kept in the stalls reached us as we walked in.
  3. The dancers did a very ……………… (causing admiration) performance.
  4. A ……………….(large amount) of clothes of different sizes and colors were displayed at the shop.
  5. My brother went to England with the ………………….. (aim) of joining one of the universities there.
  6. The apples in the basket look ………………..(tempting)
  7. I am ………………….(likely to accept) to agree with optimists who say that human beings are inherently loving and caring.
  8. I ……………………(told without any doubt) my daughter that I would attend her graduation ceremony.
  9. I am very ………………….. (worried) about my friend’s health. He has been coughing a lot recently.
  10. Education and healthy should be given ………………… (more importance than others) when deciding the budget of a family.



  1. genuine
  2. aromas
  3. impressive
  4. plethora
  5. intention
  6. tantalizing
  7. inclined
  8. assured
  9. concerned
  10. priority



English language teaching

Sample guided writing – a report


In your school grounds, there is some land which is not used at the moment. One idea is to make it a quiet garden where students can relax during school break times. Th Principal asks you to find out what the students think of this idea and to suggest other ways of using this land. The Principal asks you to write a report about the best use for the piece of land.

Write your report. You must include the following:

  • What students think about having a quiet garden
  • What other ideas students have for using the land and why
  • Which of all the ideas you would choose and how students could help to achieve this.

Cover all three points above in detail. You should make sure your report is polite and informative. Start your report ‘To the Principal’ and remember to supply a signature and date


To the Principal,

I, Peter Gates from Year 9 Art, would like to present to you a report on the best use for the piece of land that is not used in our school grounds. I have interviewed many students regarding this, and summarized their views in this report.

Some of the students feel that it is good to have a quiet garden where they can relax during school break times. Such a garden will be an ideal place to sit with friends after having our food at recess time. It will also make our school grounds more beautiful. However, many students feel that the unused land should be used in other ways.

One of the ways suggested by some students is to build an indoor basketball court. Our current basketball court is very old and dilapidated. Also, our country has a hot climate, and we are often unable to play basketball during our CCA time because of the heat. An indoor basketball court will solve these problems. Some other students suggested building a fitness centre and gymnasium for students. They feel that students nowadays lack physical exercise, and during the Physical Education class, they should be allowed to work out in the fitness centre. Another suggestion from students is that we should create an organic vegetable garden in the unused space. They feel that this will be the cheapest option. Students themselves can create and maintain this garden during their weekly CCA lesson. It will help to educate all the students on the importance of growing organic vegetables.

Of all these ideas, I suggest that the organic vegetable garden is the most feasible idea. It will create environmental awareness among our students. All students, under the leadership of the prefects, can be part of working on this garden during our PE and CCA time. We can get seeds and seedlings from our own houses. Classes can take turns to water the plants also.

I hope that our suggestions will be taken into consideration.

Yours Sincerely,