Writing: Making judgments

What is an argument? 

Giving your opinion and your reason for it.

What are the three aims?

- Plan an argument: Exercises A and C
- Contrast ideas: Exercise C
- Avoid errors with whereas:Exercise D (Common errors)

What common word is used to contrast ideas?

Contrasting ideas

on the other hand
on the one hand

Main task for next class:

Task D: Write your own script for the debate.

"When you plan your argument for the debate, write your yes reasons and your no reasons. Use these to help write your introduction. Then, explain each set of reasons. Write a concluding statement. Be sure to use expressions that contrast ideas."

A.  Read People’s opinions about online friendships
Are online friendships important?
I don’t think online friendships are that important. I mean, it’s hard to be real friends when you don’t see each other or talk on the phone.
I don’t have a lot in common with friends from school, but I have a lot in common with people I meet online.
I don’t even know a lot of the people on my social networking page. It’s a waste of time reading their posts! They aren’t true friends.
My online friends are an important part of my life. I’m constantly making new friends online, and I think online friendships are wonderful.

B.  Write a one-paragraph script for an online debate about the importance of online friendships. Use ideas from Part A and /or your own ideas.

Make sure that you:
Ø Explain some points in favour of online friendships.
Ø Explain some points against online friendships.
Ø Come to a conclusion that gives your opinion.
Ø Use expressions such as however, while, whereas, but, and on the other hand.

Sample Answer

Online friendships are very popular today. Many people make new friends online and can also meet others with common interests. It can be hard to meet people with common interests offline, whereas it’s easy to find friends with common interests online. For example, a person who loves comic books might not know anyone else who has the same interest. That person can easily meet someone online who also likes comic books. Online friendships can be very important for someone who has unusual interest. Online friendships can also be important for people who are shy. They can find it easier to meet others online and may feel more confident than meeting people in person. On the other hand, some people say it is hard to really get to know someone online. They feel that it is difficult to become friends if you do not meet someone face –to-face. People can be aggressive online. It is easier to be thoughtless when you are not face-to-face with a person. In conclusion, while there are some negative things about online friendships, there are more positive things. In my opinion, online friendships are extremely important.
Judgement(Br.)="judgment"(Am)=form an opinion or conclusion about.

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