Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Argumentative Essay

I met many challenges, many I never anticipated as a teacher. But at the top of the list, without any doubt will be teaching how to write an argumentative essay. I had no idea but I had to teach it, it was totally frustrating and scary at that time. The English curriculum was new and so was I. But that was not the problem, the problem was no getting any help because most teachers were new to the curriculum and the orientation program missed the teachers at PHSS. The most scary situation for a new teacher is letting your guard down, in this case, mine was having no idea about the essay and hoping my students would not ask me about it everyday.

The teacher's guide (BHSEC English) didn't help because it doesn't have even the slightest diminutive tip/hint on the essay. The essays given for study in the textbook were confusing. And I cursed the damn essay/s and the people who wanted teachers to teach this essay. I later found out the curriculum specialist themselves (national) were not very sure about the different essays that were expected to be taught. None of the essays in the text books (11 &12) fit into the argumentative essay format or the pattern. It was very frustrating at times when I could not find any help. The school didn't have internet and most teachers had their own vague ideas about the argumentative essay anatomy.

So, I drove 10 km every evening to my father's office for about two weeks to browse for samples and online help. After spending substantial time and scanning through numerous sites and samples I finally discovered the one that we teach our students today. I don't know if it is the best sample but we are making it do with our students.

But I also found out that writing an argumentative essay has many good learning aspects and the essays that I wrote as a students can never be compared to what my students write. It is different from other writings. It helps one to be more critical and it stimulates one to consider aspects from different angles that rig and ascertain the validity of the argument. It helps one think at the higher levels of analysis, evaluation and creating a stand in an argument. A writing that is rhetoric and firm makes a good argumentative essay. I see it to be far more matured than the other essays. It may not let a writer play with words and give it the spontaneity of the creative mind but it certainly helps one gather one's functional language vocabulary and practice using it.


The link below will take you the sample essay.
http://www.buowl.boun.edu


10 comments:

  1. A very informative post la. I still remember those times in schools writing different types of essays. Argumentative essay is one of my fav styles which I still use it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading Riku. I will admit that though I teach my students to write this essay, writing a good one poses a lot of challenge. I feel all the english teachers should first be taught how to write one themselves.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for sharing. The link you gave here seems very useful because I still don't know much about essays and their kinds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad that it helped Sherab. If you have some material or links I could use please let me know.

      Delete
  3. M sorry to say this, but Nobu, your claim of "the curriculum specialist themselves"of not being sure of the different types of essays is quite a tall one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am sorry I should have written " The Guide book was not competent, it failed to give the specifics of how a teacher should go about teaching the writing of the different essays, especially the argumentative essay" But I did talk to one nation specialist who now works for the Royal Education Council and he admitted to the loopholes of the guide or for that matter of the choice of essays in the text.
    Thank you for reading and if you are who I think you are you can make a lot of difference in the English curriculum.
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for you confidence in me. Mercifully, I've nothing to do with the curriculum. I was just pointing out your generalisation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the reply. And I am sorry that I generalized but I still feel that it is not very far fetched.
      thank you and please visit again

      Delete
  6. hahah it is simple bro...just teach them to write sth against the given topic and prove their point!! wish it is as easy as that though.....

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete