Writing Argumentative Essays

Answer to Task 2: Choosing a premise and writing a paragraph to support that premise

There are, of course, a number of ways you could order the arguments in your answer. You are correct if you:
.
a.have placed the arguments that oppose your main premise in the first half of your paragraph
b.have used problematising phrases to mark the opposing statements as debatable and possibly untrue
c.have used a contrasting connective, such as "However", to mark where you are shifting from arguments that oppose your main premise to arguments that support your main premise
d.have used listing connectives, such as "Moreover", "Furthermore", and "In addition" to list the arguments that support your main premise


Below are possible paragraphs for each of the two main premises:

Premise 1: Smoking rooms should be set up in workplaces to allow people to smoke indoors.
It has been argued that setting aside rooms for smokers does not mean that the harmful effects of smoking are limited to smokers alone (Rugby, 1989). This position contends that most public buildings are air conditioned and this means that any harmful tobacco smoke that is produced in one room will spread to other rooms through the air conditioning system. It is also claimed that because we rightfully have a universal health insurance system in this country, the costs of treating tobacco-related illnesses are shared by all the community, smokers and non-smokers alike. These illnesses, so this argument goes, create a terrible and expensive burden on our health system. It is maintained that they increase the overall cost of medical services and use up scarce medical resources. However, as Jane Black, the spokesperson for Smokers for a Democratic Society, explains forbidding smokers from pursuing their habit in public places is an infringement of their democratic rights and is discriminatory.(The Age 18.6.93). Moreover, banning smoking in all public places is another example of the way the government uses health and safety issues as a cover for introducing increasingly tight control over people's lives. Furthermore, public buildings are places where all members of the community should have equal access. In addition, people should be free to do what they like so long as it does not harm other citizens.



Premise 2: Smoking rooms should not be set up in workplaces to allow people to smoke indoors.
Jane Black, the spokesperson for Smokers for a Democratic Society, asserts that forbidding smokers from pursuing their habit in public places is an infringement of their democratic rights and is discriminatory (The Age 18.6.93). This position goes on to argue that banning smoking in all public places is another example of the way the government uses health and safety issues as a cover for introducing increasingly tight control over people's lives. Public buildings, so this argument goes, are places where all members of the community should have equal access. It is claimed that people should be free to do what they like so long as it does not harm other citizens. However, as Rugby (1989) states, setting aside rooms for smokers does not mean that the harmful effects of smoking are limited to smokers alone. Public buildings are air conditioned and this means that any harmful tobacco smoke that is produced in one room will spread to other rooms through the air conditioning system. Moreover, because we rightfully have a universal health insurance system in this country, the costs of treating tobacco-related illnesses are shared by all the community, smokers and non-smokers alike. These illnesses create a terrible and expensive burden on our health system. They increase the overall cost of medical services and use up scarce medical resources.

Note: Not many listing connectives were used in the second half of the premise 2 text because there are only two arguments but each argument is made up of more than one sentence - listing conectives are used for listing arguments, not for listing sentences



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