Sample Pro-Con Essay

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Student Name                                               Sample “Pro-Con” Essay
                                                    4 500-plus words
McDowell                                            4Unmistakable opinion-based thesis
                                                    4 Topic sentences relate to thesis
Writing 121                                         4 CON-PRO-PRO-PRO structure
                                                     Careful: dated, “sexist,” formulaic
October 27, 1981

                                  Home on the Radar Range

        With the advancement of technology, men have explored the unknown

regions of outer space. More efficient mass transportation methods have been

developed. Small businesses are equipped with up-to-date computers and word-

processing equipment. Even the average household is filled with all the

conveniences money can buy. Modern technology is responsible for these new

developments, but it is also largely responsible for the decline of the close-knit

American family.

        It may be true that, as individuals, family members have more advantages

due to advanced technology. The head of the household now needn’t spend

hours on financial matters; a simple hand calculator can save him time on

keeping up the budget, paying the bills, and balancing the checkbook. The

homemaker can cut down on time spent on household duties with the help of a

portable dishwasher, a microwave oven, and numerous electrical cooking and

cleaning devices. Modern conveniences create more free time for her to pursue a

career, attend school, or simply watch soap operas. The children in an American

family have greater educational advantages due to technology. They can borrow

Dad’s calculator to do math assignments accurately, watch educational

television, or study with the aid of a home computer.




121 RothbellRadar Winter03 / February 10, 2003 / 3:00 PM
                                                                                Name 2


       While new developments in technology may provide advantages for the

individual family member, they stunt the growth of the family unit. For example,

school-age children learn more advanced methods than their parents learned. It

is difficult for a child, therefore, to relate to his parents what he learned in data

processing class or business machines class; the modern equipment and methods

are probably unknown to the parents. A child was once able to ask for help with

homework or share his school experiences, but now a communication gap has

developed between parent and child in this area.

       With technology, the routines of everyday home life are simpler, but are

far less gratifying to the family as a whole. For example, the modern heating

process in a home is triggered by the flip of a switch or the turn of a dial.

Without this expensive convenience, a family might opt to drive into the woods

to cut firewood. This chore could be viewed as an excursion, complete with fresh

air, exercise, and teamwork. At the end of this adventure, the family would feel

refreshed, satisfied, and closer to one another. After the tiring excursion, the

family could return home to feast on a meal of fresh food prepared with loving

care, or using modern methods, they could eat processed food or frozen TV

dinners warmed in a microwave oven.

       Technology has also introduced new forms of entertainment for the

family. Television is a common form of entertainment found in most homes.

Family members spend hours staring with glazed eyes into a screen that

transmits light rays and sound. A television viewer need not think or talk while

engaged in this activity. A newer form of entertainment, the computerized

pinball machine, also keeps an individual’s attention for long periods of time.
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The machine, complete with flashing lights and staccato space-age sounds, can

absorb a person totally. These two forms of entertainment require no creativity,

offer little or no information, and widen the gap between family members; they

are individual, not group activities. Some alternative forms of entertainment

which the whole family might enjoy instead are campouts, hiking trips, group

reading sessions, word games, or home improvement projects. These activities

require exercise, thinking, creativity, and teamwork.

       So while modern technology supposedly advances the American people

as a whole, it actually interferes with the closeness, communication , and growth

of the family unit. If people first learn to work as a team at home, then they can

use their knowledge of communication methods, their skills in the completion of

everyday tasks, and their willingness to participate in group efforts to a greater

advantage in the outside world,. The progress that can be made in America with

these attributes would surely be a leap for mankind.
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  Intro ¶                                 Introduction



                                                •
             Modern technology is . . . responsible for the decline of the . . .
  Thesis
             family


 Body ¶ 1       It may be true that, as individuals, family member have more
   Con       advantages due to advanced technology. . . .



 Body ¶ 2       While new developments in technology may provide
  Pro #1     advantages for the individual family member, they stunt the
             growth of the family unit. . . .



 Body ¶ 3       With technology, the routines of everyday home life are
  Pro #2     simpler, but are far less gratifying . . .




 Body ¶ 4        Technology has also introduced new forms of entertainment . .
  Pro #3     .




  Thesis     . . . modern technology . . . actually interferes with the closeness,
reworded     communication, and growth of the family unit.
                                                 •
Conclusion
    ¶

                                           Conclusion


Thanks to Lucille Vaughn Payne for the diagram, from The Lively Art of Writing.