Writing Argumentative Essays

Putting together a paragraph for an argumentative text

On this page you will practise building a paragraph for an argumentative text. The text is about whether fees should be charged for university courses.

Task 1: Dividing the sentences into opposing and supporting arguments
The sentences below all make up a paragraph from an argumentative essay on the topic of whether the government should charge fees for university courses. Divide the sentences into two groups:

Group 1: those sentences which support the writer's main premise
Group 2: those sentences which oppose the writer's main premise

Charging fees for university courses
Writers main premise: Students should have to pay fees for university courses

1. Furthermore, there is money to fund more places for students so that in the future we will not have the shortage of places we had in the past.
2. It is asserted that the skills that students learn at university are important for the future social and economic development of our nation.
3. However, as John Dawkins (1988:1) explains the government is able to invest the money it gets back into the higher education system so that overall quality is improved.
4. Joan Sprat (1989:13) argues that the government should provide free university education because such education benefits the whole community.
5. Moreover, it is unreasonable to expect taxpayers to pay for students' education when those students get well-paid professional jobs after they graduate.
6. According to this argument, when students are forced to pay for their education themselves fewer of them will enrol in higher education courses.
7. Therefore,so this argument goes the government should invest money in education as it does with other vital resources.

Check your answer here

Task 2: Building a paragraph
Now write a paragraph arguing for the premise that students should have to pay fees for university courses using all the sentences from your two groups,

Check your answer here

Top Back to the top of this page ©Bill Daly, 1997
just a blue and white bar
Next Next: Choosing your own premise and writing a paragraph
Back Back to Using connectives and problematising phrases in a paragraph
Home Back to Front Page