Teacher: Year-round School and Argumentative Topic Essay
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If a student knows he wants to write an argumentative essay about a topic related to school in some way, here are some potential ideas.
Should School Uniforms be Mandatory?
Communities across America continue to debate this topic. There are plenty of reasons on both sides of the debate, so a student could argue either side and write a successful paper.
Reasons for mandating school uniforms include the following:
Fewer distractions (there will be no distracting clothing – nothing revealing or gang-related, for instance) Less wasted time during morning routines (kids don’t have to decide what to wear) Students approach school in a more professional manner, as they have to dress for the task Cost (purchasing uniforms may actually cost less than buying designer-label clothing) Promotes a sense of unity and equality throughout school (a student’s economic level might not be as apparent when she wears a uniform) Reasons against mandating school uniforms include the following:
Cost factors (do parents have to spend more on uniforms?)
No individual expression for students through clothing
May not actually promote better learning
May promote rebelliousness, as students will alter their uniforms as much as possible to be different (some girls might shorten their skirts, for example) Obviously, students can choose either side of the issue and argue well.
Should Schools Operate Year-Round?
Another good school-related topic for argumentative essays is that of year-round classes. School districts across the nation debate this topic as well. What are advantages and disadvantages of year-round school? Why were schools set up to operate with summers off to begin with anyway?
Pros for year-round schools include the following:
Some schools operate year-round anyway, due to summer school, sports training, etc.
Working parents wouldn’t have to find summer daycare
Students wouldn’t “forget” information over extended breaks as learning would not be interrupted
School space is wasted throughout the summer, and running schools during summer would utilize that space
Students often become bored during long breaks
Cons of year-round schools include the following:
Many families plan extended vacations during summer months
Students would still be given time off, but it would be equally divided among seasons throughout the year
Students who want to work during the summer months wouldn’t be provided that opportunity
No evidence that year-round schools would improve learning
Older schools without air conditioning would be uncomfortable and likely disrupt learning as well Again, students could easily argue either side of this topic and do well.
Other School-Related Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas
Students who don’t find either of the above topics appealing might prefer one of these topics:
Pros or cons of receiving grades in one’s major only (and simply passing or failing other prerequisite or core classes)
Advantages and disadvantages of receiving no grades at all in school, instead just receiving feedback
Pros and cons of homeschooling
Public school versus private school
Community college versus four-year university
Pros and cons of standardized testing
Pros and cons of teacher tenure
Traditional classrooms versus online learning
Students should settle on a topic that interests them before sitting down to write their essays.
Discovering a Topic Shouldn’t be the Most Difficult Part of Writing the Essay
Unfortunately, many students write well but have the most difficult time discovering a topic that interests them. If they’re interested in writing about school-related topics, maybe one of these topics will catch their eye. Of course, students can also write about environmental, political, or legal issues as well. The point is to find a topic with two clear sides that can be debated. Once the topic is chosen, the student can begin arguing his side of the topic.
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