argumentative prose

Argumentative prose

An argumentative writing is one that demands that the writer should carefully consider an issue which has two sides to it and prove that one side has more merit than the other.

It is like a debate in which you have a two-sided topic and a decision to be made requiring which side has more merit over the other. Generally topics in this category demand that the writer:

*

Proves a point
*

Expresses an opinion
*

Strikes a balance between two sides of an issue

Types of argumentative prose

There are three broad types of argumentative essays:

1.

Thos that require a point to be proven, e.g. “Consider the view that no nation can sustain itself without levying taxes on its citizens”.
2.

Those that require the expression of an opinion. This is the type of prose in which the writer is required to discuss both sides of an issue and end by indicating which s/he considers to be better, e.g. “Has science helped man to live a better, happier life?”
3.

Thos that require a consideration of both sides and a judgement. These require that the writer should consider both sides critically, e.g. “Consider the merits and demerits of making all secondary school students undergo military training”.

Handling the argumentative essay

1.

Make sure you really do feel convinced on the point you are arguing.
2.

Do not draw a general conclusion from only one example, or only a few points: try to come up with at least three valid points.
3.

Do not be illogical in your arguments.
4.

Try to come up with points both for and against your argument.

Speech Writing

A speech is an oral presentation in which you give some information or explain your views on a particular subject to a particular audience.

Here are some guidelines on an example speech to be delivered on a prize-giving day at your school as senior prefect.

1.

Adopt a formal greeting
2.

Use a courteous opening
3.

Give a general overview of the year
4.

Review some of the highlights of the school year
5.

Discuss some problems that came up and how they were dealt with
6.

Take a look at the future

Letter Writing

Basically, a letter communicates information, and for purposes of examination it is important to follow the conventional rules required of writing a standard letter. There are generally three kinds of letter:

1.

Formal Letters: These are business or official letters, e.g. letters of application.
2.

Semi-formal Letters: Such letters show a certain degree of acquaintance between the letter writer and the recipient. As such they are not as formal as the Official or business letter, e.g. a letter to one’s former principal.
3.

Informal letters: These are friendly letters which show a close relationship between the writer and the recipient, e.g. a letter to a loved one.

Format for writing letters

The format for writing a letter varies according to the kind of letter, and the prevailing situation between the writer and the recipient. These general rules can be used however:

1.

Address: The address of the writer, and the current date, are written on the top right-hand side of the page. In formal letters, the address of the recipient is also written on the left-hand side, below that of the writer.
2.

The salutation: This refers to how the recipient is addressed. It usually takes the form Dear Sir/Madam in formal letters and the name of the recipient in semi-formal letters, e.g. Dear Uncle Ebou. IN informal letters, it can take various forms, e..g. Dear Ous.
3.

Heading: This is usually required only in formal letters, and it introduces the subject of the letter. It is normally written in capital letters and underlined.
4.

The body of the letter: This is the main part of the letter. It is usally divided into paragraphs which are closely linked together.
5.

Conclusion: This includes both the relationship between the writer and recipient, and the name of the writer. For formal letters, Yours faithfully is normally used with the writer’s name in full immediately below it. In semi-formal letters it is usually Your Nephew, etc., followed by only the writer’s first name. Informal letters take various conclusions, e.g. Yours, Jack.

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