Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sample Argument Essay

The School Uniform Question
Introduction with hook, background information, and one-sentence thesis statement that includes the claim and the reasons the claim is true 
Individualism is a fundamental value in the United States. Balancing the right to express ourselves with other rights and needs of society and individuals can be difficult. This balancing act has become a hot topic in our public school classrooms.  The issue is school uniforms. Should public school students be allowed to make individual decisions about clothing, or should all students be required to wear a uniform? School uniforms are actually the better choice because they simplify students’ lives, they help students act more responsibly, and they bring a feeling of equality to schools.

First body paragraph with transition, topic sentence, evidence, and elaboration
First, wearing school uniforms would help make students’ lives simpler. They would no longer have to decide what to wear every morning, sometimes trying on outfit after outfit in an effort to choose. Uniforms would not only save time but also would eliminate the stress often associated with this chore.

Second body paragraph with transition, topic sentence, evidence, and elaboration
Second, school uniforms influence students to act responsibly in groups and as individuals. Uniforms give students the message that school is a special place for learning. In addition, uniforms create a feeling of unity among students. For example, when students do something as a group, such as attend meetings in the auditorium or eat lunch in the cafeteria, the fact that they all wear the same uniform would create a sense of community. Even more important, statistics show the positive effects that school uniforms have on violence and truancy. *According to a recent survey in Hillsborough County, Florida, incidents of school violence dropped by 50 per cent, attendance and test scores improved, and student suspensions declined approximately 30 per cent after school uniforms were introduced.
*The same sort of findings came in a study by Virginia Draa, assistant professor at Youngstown State University in Ohio (Wilde, 2012).

Third body paragraph with transition, topic sentence, evidence, and elaboration
Finally, school uniforms would help make all the students feel equal. People’s standards of living differ greatly, and some people are well-off while others are not. People sometimes forget that school is a place to get education, not to promote a “fashion show.” Implementing mandatory school uniforms would make all the students look the same regardless of their financial status. School uniforms would promote pride and help to raise the self-esteem of students who cannot afford to wear stylish clothing.

Counterclaim and rebuttal to that claim
Opponents of mandatory uniforms say that students who wear school uniforms cannot express their individuality. This point has some merit on the surface. However, as stated previously, school is a place to learn, not to flaunt wealth and fashion. Society must decide if individual expression through clothing is more valuable than improved educational performance. It is important to remember that school uniforms would be worn only during school hours. Students can express their individuality in the way they dress outside of the classroom.

Conclusion with transition wraps up the essay
In conclusion, there are many well-documented benefits to implementing mandatory school uniforms for students. Studies show that students learn better and act more responsibly when they wear uniforms. Public schools should require uniforms in order to benefit both the students and society as a whole.
* Information from an outside source, cited.
This model essay is adapted from
Folse, K., Solomon, E. & Muchmore-Vokoun, A. (2004) Great essay (2nd Edition).United States of America: Thomas Heinle