Writing » B2 Writing Exercises and Tests » Writing a discussion essay: Discuss two views and give your opinion » Page 2
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  • Writing a discussion essay: Discuss two views and give your opinion

    Exercise 2

    Fill in the gaps to re-write each sentence using the suggested structure. Use the verbs in bold.

    1 It is known that the internet has a negative impact on social interaction.
    The internet a negative impact on social interaction.

    2 It is believed that vaping is a safer option than smoking.
    Vaping a safer option than smoking.

    3 It has been proven that living in a city has negative effects on people's health.
    Living in a city negative effects on people's health.

    4 Some people argue that AI poses a threat to society.
    AI a thread to society.

    5 Some people have claimed that the death penalty serves as a just punishment for the most heinous crimes.
    It that the death penalty serves as a just punishment for the most heinous crimes.

    6 It is known that exercise is the key to a good health.
    Exercise the key to a good health.

    7 It is said that being a parent is the most difficult job in the world.
    Being a parent the most difficult job in the world.

    8 Some people believe that smartphones have negative effects on children.
    It that smartphones have negative effects on children.


     

  • Writing a discussion essay: Discuss two views and give your opinion

    A discussion essay is an essay where you are presented with two opposing views on a topic, and you are asked to discuss both views and, often, to give your opinion.
     

    Make sure you understand the question

    The first thing you should do is analyse the question and make sure that you understand exactly what you are asked to do and all the points you need to include in your text. Here is an example question that we will use to guide you through the process of planning and writing a discussion essay:

    Some people believe that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking and helps people quit smoking, while others think that e-cigarettes are harmful and may lead to vapers becoming smokers in the future.

    Discuss both views and give your opinion.

    This is the information we have in the question:

    Topic: vaping/e-cigarettes

    For‘ arguments: safer than smoking, quit smoking aid

    Against‘ arguments: harmful, may lead to smoking

    We can see from the question that you have to discuss two opposing views about vaping. You must concentrate on discussing ideas relevant to the for and against arguments provided. Also, you have to give your opinion.
     

    Structure of a discussion essay

    The first thing you need to do is think about what is your opinion, and then you need to have a clear idea of the structure you want to use. This part of the process of writing the essay is essential. Here, we suggest a possible structure for your essay:

    1) Introduction

    • Introduce the topic and the two opposing views
    • State your opinion

    2) Body paragraph 1

    • Topic sentence: describe the view/s that you disagree with.
    • Explanation: explain why some people support this view or provide evidence that supports it.
    • (Optional: you can also add a counterargument to incorporate your opinion.)
    • Example: give an example.

    3) Body paragraph 2

    • Topic sentence: describe the view that you agree with.
    • Explanation: explain why some people support this view or provide evidence that supports it.
    • Example: give an example.

    4) Conclusion

    • Summarise the key points and reaffirm your opinion

     

    Introduction

    ➪ The introduction should not be very long. You should start by paraphrasing the question, which means saying the same but using different words.

    Essay question: Some people believe that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking and helps people quit smoking, while others think that e-cigarettes are harmful and may lead to vapers becoming smokers in the future.

    Paraphrase: It is often said that vaping is healthier than smoking and helps smokers quit their habit. However, many are concerned about the potential harm of e-cigarettes and their role in leading people to become smokers.

    ➪ After the paraphrased version, you should add your opinion, always including the opposite view again.

    Opinion: While it might be true that vaping is less dangerous than smoking, I believe the substances in e-cigarettes are proven to be harmful and addictive and should be regulated more strictly.

    Here is the final version:

    Introduction
    It is often said that vaping is healthier than smoking and helps smokers quit their habit. However, many are concerned about the potential harm of e-cigarettes and their role in leading people to become smokers. While it might be true that vaping is less dangerous than smoking, I believe the substances in e-cigarettes are proven to be harmful and addictive and should be regulated more strictly.

    Useful expressions

    Introduce the first view

    • Some people argue/claim/say/believe that…
    • There are those who argue/claim/say/believe that…
    • It is often claimed that…

    Introduce the opposite view

    • Nevertheless, other people claim/argue/believe that…
    • However, there are those who claim/argue/believe that…
    • However, opponents of… claim/argue/believe that…

    Introduce your opinion

    • I hold the view that…
    • In my view,…
    • In my opinion,…

     

    Body paragraph 1

    The three suggested parts of this paragraph are:

    Topic sentence 1

    On the one hand, some people argue that vaping is a safer option than smoking traditional cigarettes.

    Explanation

    They emphasise that it eliminates all the harmful substances resulting from tobacco combustion.

    Topic sentence 2

    In addition, supporters also say that e-cigarettes provide a means for smokers to stop smoking.

    Explanation 

    They believe that since vaping offers the possibility to decrease the nicotine you consume gradually, it makes quitting easier.

    Example

    For instance, in some countries like the UK or New Zealand, e-cigarettes are promoted as an important treatment option for smokers who want to quit.

    This is the final result:

    Body paragraph 1
    On the one hand, some people argue that vaping is a safer option than smoking traditional cigarettes. They emphasise that it eliminates all the harmful substances resulting from tobacco combustion. In addition, supporters also say that e-cigarettes provide a means for smokers to stop smoking. They believe that since vaping offers the possibility to decrease the nicotine you consume gradually, it makes quitting easier. For instance, in some countries like the UK or New Zealand, e-cigarettes are promoted as an important treatment option for smokers who want to quit.

    Useful expressions

    Introduce the paragraph with the first view

    • On the one hand,…

    Introduce an argument that supports the first view

    • Some people argue/claim/say/believe that…
    • There are those who argue/claim/say/believe that…
    • It is often claimed that…
    • Supporters argue/suggest/claim/say that…

    Add a new argument, idea, example, etc

    • In addition,…
    • Moreover,…
    • Furthermore,…

    Introduce a second argument that supports this view

    • Some people also argue/claim/say/believe that…
    • There are those who also argue/claim/say/believe that…
    • It has also been claimed/suggested that…
    • Supporters also argue/suggest/claim/say that…

    Introduce an example

    • For example,…
    • For instance,…

     

    Body paragraph 2

    The three suggested parts of this paragraph are:

    Topic sentence 1

    However, critics claim that while vaping eliminates some harmful chemicals, e-cigarettes still contain addictive or dangerous substances such as nicotine or flavouring chemicals.

    Topic sentence 2

    Moreover, e-cigarettes are known to cause nicotine addiction among non-smokers, which may lead them to take up smoking.

    Explanation 

    Many people who have never smoked are attracted to vaping by the aggressive marketing campaigns and the existence of many different enticing flavours, and many of them progress from e-cigarettes to tobacco.

    Example

    For example, vaping has become very popular among British youngsters, and there is a lot of debate about the need to implement stricter regulations because many of these vapers end up becoming smokers.

    This is the final result:

    Body paragraph 2
    However, critics claim that while vaping eliminates some harmful chemicals, e-cigarettes still contain addictive or dangerous substances such as nicotine or flavouring chemicals. Moreover, e-cigarettes are known to cause nicotine addiction among non-smokers, which may lead them to take up smoking. Many people who have never smoked are attracted to vaping by the aggressive marketing campaigns and the existence of many different enticing flavours, and many of them progress from e-cigarettes to tobacco. For example, vaping has become very popular among British youngsters, and there is a lot of debate about the need to implement stricter regulations because many of these vapers end up becoming smokers.

    Useful expressions

    Introduce the paragraph with the second view

    • On the other hand,…
    • However,…
    • In contrast,…

    Introduce an argument that supports the second view

    • Other people argue/claim/say/believe that…
    • There are those who argue/claim/say/believe that…
    • It is often claimed that…
    • Critics/opponents argue/suggest/claim/say that…

    Add a new argument, idea, example, etc

    • In addition,…
    • Moreover,…
    • Furthermore,…

    Use distancing expressions to introduce an argument

    • It is known that (e-cigarretes/vaping/etc.)…
    • (E-cigarretes/vaping/etc.) are/is known to…
    • It has also been claimed/suggested that…

    Introduce an example

    • For example,…
    • For instance,…

     

    Conclusion

    The conclusion shouldn’t be too long. It should consist of two parts:

    Summary of the main points of your essay

    Although it could be argued that e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco and offer a potential alternative for adult smokers trying to quit, the presence of unsafe chemicals and addictive substances in e-liquids is a health risk and leads many non-smokers to start smoking. 

    Your opinion

    In my opinion, vaping has serious health effects, and we need stronger regulations to restrict the use of e-cigarettes and mitigate their potential risks.

    This is the final result:

    Conclusion
    In conclusion,although it could be argued that e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco and offer a potential alternative for adult smokers trying to quit, the presence of unsafe chemicals and addictive substances in e-liquids is a health risk and leads many non-smokers to start smoking. In my opinion, vaping has serious health effects, and we need stronger regulations to restrict the use of e-cigarettes and mitigate their potential risks.

    Useful expressions

    Introduce the conclusion

    • In conclusion,…
    • To conclude,…
    • To sum up,…

    Introduce the argument you don’t support

    • Although/While it could be argued that…
    • Although/While some people argue that…
    • Although/While it is often claimed that…

    Introduce your opinion

    • In my opinion,…
    • I believe that…
    • In my view,…

    Here’s the complete essay:

    It is often said that vaping is healthier than smoking and helps smokers quit their habit. However, many are concerned about the potential harm of e-cigarettes and their role in leading people to become smokers. While it might be true that vaping is less dangerous than smoking, I believe the substances in e-cigarettes are proven to be harmful and addictive and should be regulated more strictly.

    On the one hand, some people argue that vaping is a safer option than smoking traditional cigarettes. They emphasise that it eliminates all the harmful substances resulting from tobacco combustion. In addition, supporters also say that e-cigarettes provide a means for smokers to stop smoking. They believe that since vaping offers the possibility to decrease the nicotine you consume gradually, it makes quitting easier. For instance, in some countries like the UK or New Zealand, e-cigarettes are promoted as an important treatment option for smokers who want to quit.

    However, critics claim that while vaping eliminates some harmful chemicals, e-cigarettes still contain addictive or dangerous substances such as nicotine or flavouring chemicals. Moreover, e-cigarettes are known to cause nicotine addiction among non-smokers, which may lead them to take up smoking. Many people who have never smoked are attracted to vaping by the aggressive marketing campaigns and the existence of many different enticing flavours, and many of them progress from e-cigarettes to tobacco. For example, vaping has become very popular among British youngsters, and there is a lot of debate about the need to implement stricter regulations because many of these vapers end up becoming smokers.

    In conclusion, although it could be argued that e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco and offer a potential alternative for adult smokers trying to quit, the presence of unsafe chemicals and addictive substances in e-liquids is a health risk and leads many non-smokers to start smoking. In my opinion, vaping has serious health effects, and we need stronger regulations to restrict the use of e-cigarettes and mitigate their potential risks.

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