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Writing Assignment 2

Opinion Essay

Tasks:

 Find at least three articles or news reports from newspapers or magazines on a topic
which will be given to you to choose from.

 Write a 350-450 word opinion essay (about 2 pages typed) using Arial 11 or Times New
Roman 12 with 1.5 spacing where you put forward your opinion on or analysis of the topic.

 Support your opinion in the essay using the selected articles. At the end of your essay,
there must be a reference section that gives the full citations of these articles.

 Purely information-based/factual essays will not be accepted.

 Your Assignment 2 portfolio should include the following items:

1. The three articles you have cited and referenced in your essay.
2. Essay outline
3. Draft 1
4. Peer Feedback Form 2
5. Draft 2
6. Peer Feedback Form 2
Your draft should show proof of editing done. A CLEAN draft (without any comments
or editing done either by you or your peer) shows that you HAVE NOT DONE the
editing process. Your mark may be deducted.
7. Final draft* (This is the one that will be graded by the instructors. Please make sure it
is clean and well presented.)

Marks will be deducted if the portfolio is incomplete.


On the front cover of the portfolio, type the heading Assignment 2, your name and matric
number. Each item of the portfolio must be clearly labeled at the top of the page (e.g. outline,
first draft, etc.)

Explanation

1. Outline
• Organise you main points and specific details into an outline.
• Your outline must follow the format below.

2. Drafts
Step 1: Based on your outline, write the first draft of your essay. Then ask your friend
(who is also taking this course) to read and comment on your essay. He/she
may write whatever comments or corrections on the draft itself and she/he
must also complete the Peer Feedback Form 2 provided. This checklist
must be stapled to the first draft. Write First Draft at the top of the first page.
Step 2: Based on the edited first draft, do your second draft. Again ask your friend to
edit your essay. Repeat Step 1. Staple the second Peer Feedback Form 2
to the second draft. Write Second Draft at the top of the first page.

Step 3: Write your final essay. Write Final Draft at the top of the first page.

BBI 2421 GENERAL WRITING SKILLS


ASSIGNMENT 2

ESSAY OUTLINE

Use the outline below for your Assignment 2: Opinion Essay

Use complete sentences when you write the thesis statement, topic sentences and conclusion.
The rest, you may use phrases (incomplete sentences).

I. Introduction

General statement 1: ____________________________________________


General statement 2: ____________________________________________
General statement 3: ____________________________________________
General statement 4: ____________________________________________
Thesis Statement: ______________________________________________
______________________________________________
II. Body

A. Topic Sentence: ________________________________________________

1. Main supporting point: _________________________________________


a. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________
b. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________

2. Main supporting point: ________________________________________


a. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________
b. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________

3. Main supporting point: ________________________________________


a. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________
b. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________
B. Topic Sentence: ________________________________________________

1. Main supporting point: _________________________________________


a. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________
b. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________

2. Main supporting point: ________________________________________


a. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________
b. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________

3. Main supporting point: ________________________________________


a. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________
b. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________

C. Topic Sentence: ________________________________________________

1. Main supporting point: _________________________________________


a. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________
b. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________

2. Main supporting point: ________________________________________


a. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________
b. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________

3. Main supporting point: ________________________________________


a. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________
b. Supporting Detail: __________________________________________

III Conclusion: ______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________
______________________________________________________
BBI 2421 GENERAL WRITING SKILLS
ASSIGNMENT 2
Peer Feedback Form 2

Name of Peer Editor (Your friend’s name): ______________________________

1. Introduction
• The introduction paragraph starts with general ideas and leads to yes no
the thesis statement.
• The thesis statement is clear and presents the writer’s own view on the topic. yes no
2. Support
• The topic sentences in each paragraph support the thesis statement yes no
• Each supporting point in a paragraph is elaborated on
with details and/or examples. yes no
• The writer has incorporated ideas/information from other sources to
strengthen his/her arguments yes no
• The writer has made it clear how his/her citations of info from other sources
contribute to his/her own arguments yes no

3. Unity
• Each paragraph discusses only one main idea. yes no
• All the topic sentences support the thesis. yes no
• There are no irrelevant sentences in each paragraph. yes no
• All info/ideas cited from other sources are directly relevant
to the thesis/topic sentences yes no

4. Coherence

• The essay flows smoothly from Introduction to Body to Conclusion yes no


• Supporting points and details in each paragraph are
organised systematically and clearly. yes no
• The writer has linked ideas from one paragraph to another paragraph. yes no

 The writer used transition words and sentences (give examples):


__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________
• In each paragraph, I have used transition words/repetition of key words
to show relationships among supporting points and details. yes no

(Give examples): _______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________
• The writer has used consistent nouns and pronouns throughout the essay yes no
• The writer has clearly linked the ideas cited from other sources to the
thesis/topic sentences. yes no
5. Referencing
• The writer has quoted/cited from at least three articles correctly
and completely in the text of my essay. yes no
• The writer has put the complete citation of these articles in the reference section. yes no
6. Concluding paragraph
• The concluding paragraph reflects the ideas in the thesis statement yes no
• I have repeated key words/ideas from the thesis statement and
supporting ideas. yes no

OPINION ESSAY

The Right to Die


Model Essay

A difficult problem that is facing society is the legalization of euthanasia. Euthanasia is


the act of causing death painlessly in order to end suffering. People who are in a coma’ because
of injury to their brains and elderly people who are terminally ill are being kept alive by artificial
means. They do not have a chance to recover, but laws in most of the United States do not
allow doctors to end their lives. Although many people feel that doctors must do everything
possible to keep their patients alive, I believe that euthanasia should be legal for three
reasons. (Thesis Statement)
The first and most important reason to support euthanasia is that some patients who
have no chance to recover do not wish to be kept alive on machines (topic sentence 1). These
patients are kept alive by life-support machines such as respirators to help them breathe and
feeding tubes to provide them with nutrition. A well-known example in United States is the case
of Terri Schiavo, a young woman who went into a coma in 1990. Mrs. Schiavo was able to
breathe on her own, but her brain was dead. For fifteen years, she was kept alive by feeding
tube. After eight years of seeking treatment of her condition, Michael Schiavo, her husband,
asked the courts for permission to remove her feeding tube, he said that his wife had told him
she would not want to be kept alive artificially when there was no hope of recovery. Mrs.
Schiavo’s parent Robert and Mary Schindler, disagree with Mr. Schiavo and fought to keep their
daughter alive. After seven years of bitter court battles, Mr. Schiavo fnally won. Doctors remove
Mrs. Schiavo’s feeding tube, and she soon died, fifteen years falling into coma. Clearly, when
there is absolutely no hope of recovery, society should allow a person in Terri Schiavo’s
condition to die if that is her or his wish (details for topic sentence 1).
A second reason to support euthanasia is that medicals costs in United States are very
high (topic sentence 2).. Keeping a person alive for years and years requires round- the-clock
care in a hospital or nursing home. According to an administrator at local hospital, daily hospital
room chargers average $5,000 there. Nursing home care is also expensive. A nursing home in
our area charges $4,500 per month. These high costs can cause serious financial problems for
a family (details for topic sentence 2)..
The final reason to support legalizing euthanasia is that the family suffers (topic
sentence 3).. Hospital or nursing home staff give terminally ill patients only minimal care. Thus
the family must spend time, caring for the special needs of their loved one. For instance, a
cousin of mine who had been in a motorcycle accident was kept alive on life-support machines
for eight years. He needed someone to stay with him 24 hours a day. During those years, his
parents took turns taking care of him. His father stayed with him during the day while his mother
worked, and then his mother stayed with him at night while his father worked. Other family
members tried to help out when they could, but his parents did most of physical work and
suffered most of the emotional stress, after he finally died, my aunt said, “Of course, I am sad,
but since we all knew he would eventually die, it might have been better if it had happen right
when he had the accident. These past eight years have been hard.” (details for topic
sentence 3).
To summarize, patients who are either terminally ill or who are in an irreversible coma
often wish to die. Their care is a financial, physical, and emotional burden for their families.
Therefore, families should have the right to ask doctors to turn off life-support machine or to
remove feeding tubes.

OPINION ESSAY

USING IN-TEXT CITATION AND WITH REFERENCE LIST

SAMPLE ESSAY 1

Nowadays, a lot of sexual crimes have been reported in the mass media. They did not
only involve teenagers and women but even small babies. According to Datuk Chor Chee
Heung, Deputy Home Minister (The Star 3 April 2009, pN 30), the number of rape cases
increased by threefold since last year compared with the previous year. This alarming increase
is certainly a cause for great concern to the public. Malaysians have the tendency to depend
heavily on the police to provide protection; however, I strongly believe that this is not a job for
the police alone, but it is everyone’s responsibility to reduce sexual crimes.
The first and most important way to reduce sexual crime is that everyone especially
women should practice martial arts. In fact, schools should actively encourage students to take
up martial arts as co-curriculum activities. According to Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah; “There
is only one policeman for 260 people,” (The Star, 3 April 2009, pM 36). This clearly shows
that the police cannot be of help when the public especially women are confronted with assaults
or other sexual crimes. If women have martial arts skills, they will have the ability to deter would
be assailants or rapists.
Sexual crimes can also be reduced if parents are more vigilant. They must shoulder the
responsibility of caring for their children’s safety. They should not leave the care of their children
entirely to baby-sitters or child-carers. They must give attention to their children and make the
time to know their children’s friends well. This is because sexual abuse can be perpetrated by
someone they just met, or dated a few times, or even someone to whom they are close to.
Indeed, even close relatives can commit such heinous crime. In a case related by Petaling Jaya
OCPD, a sixteen-year-old girl reported that she was allegedly raped by her father and molested
by three other men in her house (The Star, 3 April 2009, pN 10). For working parents, before
sending their children to child minders, they must check their backgrounds. A 39-year-old
mother recently reported that the Indonesian maid at her child’s kindergarten had molested her
five-year-old daughter (The Star, 3 April 2009, pN 10).
Finally, in my point of view, awareness campaigns are very effective in combating sexual
crimes. Commercials in radios and televisions depicting these crimes and how to prevent them
should be aired periodically. During these campaigns, too, the police can hold sexual crime
prevention talks with the public. Hot lines should also be set up not only to help victims but also
provide a place for the public to make reports or complaints. I believe, in this way, the public can
be made to be more aware and vigilant of these crimes. Besides that, these campaigns should
also highlight the punishments meted to those who commit these crimes. Thus, would be
assailants or molesters will think twice before looking for victims.
In short, I strongly feel that these three ways can be helpful in reducing sexual crimes.
Everyone in the community should play his/her role in preventing the number of sexual crime
cases from escalating to alarming level. We must not depend solely on the police to solve this
problem.

(490 words)
References

1. Rape cases number 4,959 last year – up 300% from 2007. (2009, April 3).
The Star, p.N30.

2. Be proactive in fighting against crime. (2009, April 3). The Star, p.N30.

3. Mother: My daughter told me kind maid molested her. (2009, April 3).
The Star, p.N30.
UPM-FBMK/SEM2/2010-11/BBI2421/A2

SAMPLE ESSAY 2

Why Educate the Children of Illegal Immigrants?

Immigration laws have been a subject of debate throughout American history,


especially in states such as California and Texas, where immigrant populations are high.
Recently, some citizens have been questioning whether we should continue to educate the
children of illegal immigrants. While this issue is steeped in emotional controversy, we must
not allow divisive "us against them" rhetoric to cloud our thinking. Yes, educating
undocumented immigrants costs us, but not educating them would cost us much more.
Thesis statement
Those who propose barring the children of illegal immigrants from our schools have
understandable worries. They worry that their state taxes will rise as undocumented children
crowd their school systems. They worry about the crowding itself, given the loss of quality
education that comes with large class sizes. They worry that school resources will be
deflected from their children because of the linguistic and social problems that many of the
newcomers face. And finally, they worry that even more illegal immigrants will cross our
borders because of the lure of free education.
This last worry is probably unfounded. It is unlikely that many parents are crossing
the borders solely to educate their children. More likely, they are in desperate need of work,
economic opportunity, and possibly political asylum. As Charles Wheeler of the National
Immigration Law Center asserts, "There is no evidence that access to federal programs acts
as a magnet to foreigners or that further restrictions would discourage illegal immigrants"
(qtd. in "Exploiting").
The other concerns are more legitimate, but they can be addressed by less drastic
measures than barring children from schools. Currently the responsibility of educating about
75% of undocumented children is borne by just a few states--California, New York, Texas,
and Florida (Edmondson 1). One way to help these and other states is to have the federal
government pick up the cost of educating undocumented children, with enough funds to
alleviate the overcrowded classrooms that cause parents such concern. Such cost shifting
could have a significant benefit, for if the federal government had to pay, it might work
harder to stem the tide of illegal immigrants.
So far, attempts to bar undocumented children from public schools have failed. In the
1982 case of Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court ruled on the issue. In a 5-4 decision, it
overturned a Texas law that allowed schools to deny education to illegal immigrants. Martha
McCarthy reports that Texas had justified its law as a means of "preserving financial
resources, protecting the state from an influx of illegal immigrants, and maintaining high
quality education for resident children" (128). The Court considered these issues but
concluded that in the long run the costs of educating immigrant children would pale in
comparison to the costs--both to the children and to society--of not educating them.
It isn't hard to figure out what the costs of not educating these children would be.
The costs to innocent children are obvious: loss of the opportunity to learn English, to
understand American culture and history, to socialize with other children in a structured
environment, and to grow up to be successful, responsible adults.
The costs to society as a whole are fairly obvious as well. That is why we work so
hard to promote literacy and prevent students from dropping out of school. An uneducated
populace is dangerous to the fabric of society, contributing to social problems such as
vandalism and crime, an underground economy, gang warfare, teenage pregnancy,
substance abuse, and infectious and transmissible diseases. The health issue alone makes
it worth our while to educate the children of undocumented immigrants, for when children are
in school, we can make sure they are inoculated properly, and we can teach them the facts
about health and disease.
Do we really want thousands of uneducated children growing up on the streets,
where we have little control over them? Surely not. The lure of the streets is powerful
enough already. Only by inviting all children into safe and nurturing and intellectually
engaging schools can we combat that power. Our efforts will be well worth the cost.
UPM-FBMK/SEM2/2010-11/BBI2421/A2

References

Edmondson, Brad. "Life without Illegal Immigrants." American Demographics May 1996: 1.

"Exploiting Fears." Admissions Decisions: Should Immigration Be Restricted? 7 Oct. 1996.


Public Agenda. 10 Feb. 19

http://www.votesmart.org/issues/Immigration/chap2/imm2itx.html.
McCarthy, Martha M. "Immigrants in Public Schools: Legal Issues."
Educational Horizons 71 (1993): 128-30.

(The above sample is the work of:

Knutson, A. (1999). Why Educate the Children of Illegal Immigrants? Hacker Handbook
Resources. Retrieved from http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/hacker/arguing.htm)

TOPIC
ESSAY WRITING ASSIGNMENT 2

Write a five-paragraph essay of about 500 words on one of the following topics. Your paper
should have a one-paragraph introduction that engages the reader’s interest and presents
the thesis statement to be developed in your essay; three supporting paragraphs, each with
a topic sentence; and a short concluding paragraph consisting of a summary and a final
thought.
Make sure you include proper citations in your essay and at the end of it, cite the references
that you used in APA style.

1. Read the following article about obesity. What do you feel are realistic steps that
could be taken to reduce obesity among Malaysian children? Think about three things we
could do to prevent obesity, and then write an essay describing each one in detail.

Sunday, February 06, 2011, 06.55 PM

A nation of fat and small kids


A food pyramid representing the suggested percentages for different food groups in
the daily diet.
UPM-FBMK/SEM2/2010-11/BBI2421/A2

ONE out of four children in the country is either overweight or obese. One out of three
teenagers is overweight, while one out of six is obese.

It's no wonder Malaysia has earned a spot in the "World Map of Obesity".

Childhood obesity levels in Malaysia are higher than in most Asian countries as well as
developed nations such as Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany.

And the problem is getting worse, says Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia professor of human
nutrition Dr Mohd Ismail Noor and Universiti Malaya Medical Centre paediatric
endocrinologist Dr Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin.

Dr Ismail says obesity is on the rise among all demographic groups. However, prevalence
rates differed across gender and ethnic groups.

His studies in 2002 and 2008, which were funded by Nestle, were conducted among children
aged between 7 and 12 in Peninsular Malaysia. The survey data was calculated based on
the World Health Organisations' 2007 criteria.

A total of 11,242 schoolchildren from 58 schools were surveyed in 2002, and 10,009
students from 69 schools in 2008.

The 2002 study found one out of every five children to be overweight or obese.

Dr Ismail says boys had a higher obesity and overweight rate with an increase of 7.1 per
cent, while the rate for girls increased by 4.4 per cent.

There was an alarming increase in the number of overweight and obese Indian children,
followed by Malay and Chinese.

"Indian schoolchildren had the highest overweight and obese rates. The increase was rather
significant at 9.9 per cent from 16.9 per cent to 26.1 per cent. Among Malay children, the
increase was 7.1 per cent from 19.1 per cent to 26.1 per cent.

"The Chinese must be doing something right as there was only a two per cent increase from
25.6 per cent to 27.6 per cent."

Another startling finding, he says, was that the increase in the overall prevalence of obese
and overweight children was in rural areas.
UPM-FBMK/SEM2/2010-11/BBI2421/A2

"The prevalence in both urban and rural areas increased from 2002 to 2008. While the urban
setting saw an increase of 5.7 per cent, the increase was higher in the rural areas at 7.6 per
cent."

Overweight and obesity levels were also high among preschoolers, he says, as indicated by
another survey.

"A recently concluded study involving 992 preschoolers aged 5 to 6 years, randomly
selected from 72 privately-owned kindergartens in the Klang Valley, reported that the
prevalence of overweight and obese boys and girls were 9.7 per cent and 9.2 per cent
respectively," says Dr Ismail, who is also the president of the Malaysian Association for the
Study of Obesity.

Based on the survey by Dr Yazid's group, the Malaysian Paediatric Obesity Working Group
Research, at a secondary school in Petaling Jaya among 1,200 students between 12 and 17
years in 2005/2006, about one-third (28 per cent) of the students were overweight and,
among them, 16 per cent were obese.

Of this number, says Dr Yazid, 19 per cent of Malays were obese, followed by Indians (14.5
per cent) and Chinese (13 per cent).

He says that 70 per cent of overweight students were at high risk of contracting diabetes.

Another surprising finding, says Dr Yazid, was that 14 per cent of the students were
underweight.

"So in addition to the problem of Malaysians being overweight, there is also the problem of
underweight Malaysian adolescents.

"The overweight and the underweight adolescents made up almost half of the study
population in that school.

"We have to do something to address both problems."Air your comment on this issue:

**************

A nation of fat and small kids


UPM-FBMK/SEM2/2010-11/BBI2421/A2

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30obesefat1s 2011/02/06 18:55 http://w w w .nst.c A nation of fat an

2. Read the following article. Do you think that having a rally or a demonstration is (or is
not) an effective way to get your voices or opinions heard? Think about three things in
which you think rally or a demonstration is (or is not) an effective way to get your voices or
opinions heard, and then write an essay describing each one in detail.

By Agence France-Presse, Updated: 2/4/2011

Malaysian police fire water cannon at anti-Mubarak rally

Police fired water cannon at protesters as about 600 Malaysians held a noisy rally outside
the US embassy after Friday prayers to demand Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resign
immediately.

The protesters, comprising opposition political and civil rights groups led by the conservative
Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party, had marched from a nearby mosque shouting “Down, Down
Mubarak!”

Many of them carried a banner saying “We march with Egyptians”. Others held placards with
the words “Down, down Mubarak” and “Mubarak your game is over”, as a police helicopter
buzzed low over them.

Security outside the embassy in Kuala Lumpur was tight with 200 heavily armed riot police
displaying batons, shields and tear gas rifles.

Rally 13rganizers handed a one-page memorandum to the US mission calling on


Washington to influence Mubarak to quit immediately.

“The United States of America clearly has a big influence on Hosni Mubarak. It is time for the
United States of America to state its stand, in no uncertain terms, that Mubarak must go,”
the demonstrators demanded.

“The Egyptian people deserve a regime change. Egyptians deserve their freedom, the right
to self-determination and the right to build their own future.”

S. Arulchelvan, secretary-general of the Socialist Party of Malaysia, lashed out at police for
firing the water cannon and arresting three people.
UPM-FBMK/SEM2/2010-11/BBI2421/A2

“It was unnecessary. The people were going home after a peaceful rally when police fired
the water cannon,” he said.

Normala Daud, 52, a teacher who joined the rally, said: “We are peaceful protesters. I am
here to support the pro-democracy protesters in Egypt. Mubarak is a cruel leader. He must
go immediately.”