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Discursive essay (1): a balanced argument Essay

Text-messaging is an important advance in communication – or is it? With a partner, discuss three reasons you think text messaging represents an important advance in communication and three reasons why it does not. Order them 1-3 according to their importance. b Read the model essay and see if the writer has mentioned some or all of your arguments. Does the writer put her main argument first in both paragraphs?

c Look at the three introductory paragraphs below and choose which one you think is best for the essay. Compare with a partner, and discuss why you think it is the best, and why the other two are less suitable. Then do the same with the conduding paragraphs.
Introductory paragraphs

1 Since the first SMS was sent in 1992, text messaging has become one of the most popular forms of communication, especially among the younger generation, with billions of messages being sent every year. But has this technology really improved interpersonal communication?

2 Text messaging clearly has important advantages and disadvantages. In this essay, I am first going to analyse the advantages of SMS technology and then I will outline some important disadvantages before finally drawing my conclusions. 3 Can you imagine life without sending and receiving SMSs? Almost certainly not, as this cheap and convenient technology has become such a vital tool for organizing our social lives and communicating instantly with our friends and family. How did we manage before it was invented?

Concluding paragraphs
1 In conclusion, text messaging has important advantages and disadvantages, but on the whole, I believe that it has improved our lives in a significant way. 2 In my view, text messaging has improved communication considerably and it is highly useful, for example, if you are trying to contact someone in a very noisy place, such as a club, where it would be impossible to hear a phone call. In conclusion, it is a very vital piece of technology.

Being able to send short, written messages via mobile phone has clearly advanced communication in certain respects. The greatest benefit of texting is that it allows us to communicate instantly with other people wherever they are, but without interrupting them in the way that a phone call would, and allowing them to reply whenever it is convenient for them to do so. In addition, sending a text, for example to arrange where to meet someone, is a quick, concise, and efficient way of communicating, as people normally only include the vital information. Finally, text messaging is a very cheap form of communication, which is a particular advantage for young people or for people who are travelling, when mobile phone conversations can be prohibitively expensive.


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