Page 1: Discussion Essay Model And Notes On Discussion Essays

OPENINGintroducing topic andargument

points in favour 01telephoning

Introduce oppositepoint of víew

points againsttefephoninglin favourofwriting

further support forletter writing

CONCLUSIONexpressíng personalview and summing up

DiscussionsThere's no need to write letters any more. Telephoning isa better way of cornmunicating with people. Do you agree?

It' s certainIy quicker to telephone than to writea letter but it

rnay not always be the best way to communicate. The right

form oí communication to use depends, like so many other

things in life, on the circumstances.

Telephoning is ideal if you want immediate action. You wouldn't

want tú write to fue plumber ÍÍyou had water pouring through

your ceiling, for example! It' s also the obvious choice if you. .

need a .quick answer to a question like "What time is the next

train to Oxford?" or "Did J leáve rny waHet in your shop?" Many

problems can be solved more easily and decisions taken more

quickly if you can discuss them with someone on the phone

rather than wait for a reply to a Ietter, FinalIy, few people would

disagree that telephoning ís a pleasant way to keep in touch with

friends and family.

~there can be a number of disadvantages to

telephoning In the first place, ome problems are too

complicated to explain on the phone, ciallyif they involve

facts and figures, and it may be clearer if yo

letter.ondly, . might be important to have a reco f what

yousay, especiallyífit'sabookingo t. stbutno

lt§~ telephoning, especially long-dis~, can be terribly


The niee tlring about receíving letters is tbat you can keep them

and re-read them. Who wouldn't rather have a six-page letter

full of news frOID afriend abroad than a two-minute telephone

calI on a bad me?

To sum up, Ietter writing is far from dead, in IDy view. Each

forrn of communication has its advantages and disadvantages:

the important thing to recognize is which is more appropriate

for what you want to say, and to whom.

qualifyíng thestatement

giving specificexamples

listing reasons

balancínq theargument

Page 2: Discussion Essay Model And Notes On Discussion Essays

Notes on discussion essays

TopiesTypical discussion topies inelude statements which you are asked to agree or disagree with(e.g. There's too much vioIence on televisíonJ and invitations to discuss aspects of a subject(e.g. What are the advantages and disadvadages 01ai' traveI?)

ApproaehGenerally, the important thing is to consider the various aspects of the topie before giving abalanced opinion. Occasionally, you may be asked directly for a personal opinion (e.g. What'sthe best way to bring up childrenl); but even here you would need to consider some differentviews so that you can contrast them with your 0Wll.

StrucwreThe structure of a discursive composition should be clear and logical. In the first paragraph,introduce the topie and your argumento In the next. deal with one aspect of the topie. Givesupporting evidence in following paragraphs if necessary. Allerthat. considerthe opposite pointoí view. In the final paragraph, sum up your argument and give a balanced personal opinion.

UsetullanguageLinking sentencesAlthough ... ,1However,flnspite o/ this, Despitewhile/whereas

Introducing the topieMany people be/ieve/jeel that ...Itis said ...People's opinions on ... differ widely.

Supporting your argumentOne olthe maín advantages or.; ts that.In the ñrst place,lFirstly,ffo begin with, .Secondly, / Thirdly, lFinally, Last, but not least,

Adding further reasonsIn addition, /What ís more, lFurthermore,

Expressing an opposite point of viewOn the other hand, there are (a/so) a number of dísadvantages:

Expressing opinionsIn my view/opínion,/It seems to me that .. s

Summing upIn conclusion,ffo sum up/On balance,

Practiee1 What do you think the advantages and disadvantages of living in tne country may be?2 What, in your opinion, is the best way to leam a ranguage?3 It has been said that ehildhood is the happiest time of one's lite. Do you agree?4 What do you think of the idea, expressed in some countries. that women should be paid awage for the work they do in the home?5 'The most importan! quality in a partner is a sense of humour". Do you agree?

Important note: In tne First Certiñcate exam you must write between 120 and 180 words. Themodel gíven on is /onger, in arder to ílluslrate the various usefuJ points