Numbers: How to write them (lesson and practice)

  • Although usage varies, most people spell out numbers that can be expressed in one or two words and use figures for other numbers:
  • over two pounds
  • six million dollars
  • after thirty-one years
  • eighty-three people
  • after 126 days
  • only $31.50
  • 6,381 bushels
  • 4.78 litres  

Days and Years

  • December 12, 1965 or 12 December 1965
  • A.D. 1066
  • in 1900
  • in 1971-72 or in 1971-1972
  • the eighties, the twentieth century
  • the 1980’s or the 1980s

Time of Day

  • 8:00 A.M. (or) a.m. (or) eight o’clock in the morning
  • 4:30 P.M. (or) p.m. (or) half-past four in the afternoon


  • 16 Tenth Street
  • 350 West 114 Street

Identification Numbers

  • Room 8
  • Channel 18
  • Interstate 65
  • Henry VIII

Page and Division of Books and Plays

  • page 30
  • chapter 6
  • in act 3, scene 2 (or) in Act III, Scene ii

Decimals and Percentages

  • a 2.7 average
  • 13 1/4 per cent
  • .037 metric ton

Large Round Numbers

  • four billion dollars (or) $4 billion
  • 16,500,000 (or) 16.5 million

Notes on Usage

Repeat numbers in legal or commercial writing.

  • The bill will not exceed one hundred (100) dollars.

Numbers in series and statistics should be consistent.

  • two apples, six oranges, and three bananas
  • NOT: two apples, 6 oranges, and 3 bananas
  • 115 feet by 90 feet (or) 115′ x 90′
  • scores of 25-6 (or) scores of 25 to 6
  • The vote was 9 in favour and 5 opposed

Write out numbers beginning sentences.

  • Six per cent of the group failed.
  • NOT: 6% of the group failed.

Use a combination of figures and words for numbers when such a combination will keep your writing clear.

  • Unclear: The club celebrated the birthdays of 6 90-year-olds who were born in the city. (may cause the reader to read ‘690’ as one number.)
  • Clearer: The club celebrated the birthdays of six 90-year-olds who were born in the city.

Numbers that represent time, dates, ages, sizes, scores, money, and points on a scale

  • in about 6 years
  • 2 days ago
  • at 12 noon
  • $5
  • 6-year-old children

Numbers that represent a place in a series

  • year 7 of an 8-year project
  • room 9
  • Figure 2 (in an article)
  • Chapter 5
  • row 1

Numbers in a list of four or more numbers

  • 1, 2, 4, and 8 bits, respectively

Numbers less than 10 that do not represent exact measurements.

  • only three times
  • four 32-bit words
  • eight lists
  • nine pages
  • a three-way interaction

Any number that begins a sentence, title, or heading.

  • Sixteen-bit processors were used.
  • Thirteen of 20 processors failed.

Common fractions

  • one-fifth of the users
  • execution time was reduced by two thirds
  • in one half the time

Widely accepted phrases

  • the Fourth of July
  • the Ten Commandments

Combined figures and words.

  • 3 million cycles
  • 32 million bytes
  • in 2 three-part modules
  • twenty-four 8-bit words

Ordinal numbers.

Treat ordinal numbers as cardinal numbers

  • a second-order relationship
  • a third-generation chip
  • the 3rd and 12th rows of the matrix

Exercise 1: Each sentence contains at least one error. Correct them.

  1. I bought 3 computers.
  2. I bought three computers and 20 printers.
  3. 10 people came to the meeting at 10 o’clock.
  4. They have sold four million copies of this software so far.
  5. The 1st new computer system is ordered already.
  6. I’ve tried this 2 or 3 times.
  7. This sentence is 6 words long.
  8. This increases processing speed by five per cent.
  9. The screen is 32.56 cm wide and eight cm tall.
  10. Look in lab number seven.
  11. Chapter 7 of this book begins on page 1,230.
  12. The probability of getting this relationship by chance is less than 0.05.
  13. 2 or three weeks ago that bug was fixed.
  14. They voted by a 2/3 majority.
  15. When the result is multiplied by one hundred, you get a percentage.
  16. The first and tenth lines of the matrix contain 0s
  17. Two two-part modules were added.
  18. All of these 8’s have to be written as words.
  19. Please wait outside Room Seven.
  20. This chip has a drawing speed of eight ns/pixel with 32 bits per pixel.

Company in trouble (vocabulary practice)

I Fill in the blanks using ONE word only:

Last year we started producing a new product _______ a client. It took some time before they gave us the green light_________ they wanted to see all the production details and double-check them. It then took them a further 3 months to sign the contract and our company didn’t go into production until they had everything in black and __________.

Unfortunately, the client was unable to get the new product off the ground and they decided to stop production. As a result ____ this, the company is starting to run short of orders and we’ll be in the red within a month if we don’t _______ some new clients soon.

Yesterday we _______ a meeting with the president and it looks like he means business. The shares of the company have taken a nosedive and because of this he wants to keep track of all the expenses that are going out and will be cutting back on the social events that had already _______ planned.

We are not very ________about this as the president himself got into trouble for offering handouts to politicians in return for lucrative contracts. Nobody wants us to produce anything anymore because of this. Currently, there are several new projects in the pipeline to ________ the image of the company. In the meantime, he will be cutting corners to keep spending to a minimum.

II Fill in with the suitable word or phrase:

priorities, allocate, consult, venue, estimate, bargaining position,
behaviour, etiquette

Preparing to negotiate

  1. If dealing with people from another culture, find out about its_____________ and negotiating styles: the way people negotiate what they consider acceptable and unacceptable ______________, and so on.
  2. Work out your initial ______________position: what are your needs and objectives? Decide your_____________________ (the most important objectives).
  3. Try to _____________the needs and objectives of the other side.
  4. Perhaps you are in a position to influence the choice of ____________the place where you are going to meet.
  5. If you are negotiating as part of a negotiating team, ___________your colleagues about the previously mentioned points, and _______________roles and responsibilities.

III Circle the correct answer

  1. Trish isn’t employed but she has some part-time ______________. a) work b) job c) employment
  1. If everyone works nights shift we will be able to ______________. a) catch up b) break down c) fall behind
  1. She surely has _______________ too much work. She will have to stay longer today. a) caught up b) broken down c) taken on
  1. They have sent their _______________ with their CV. a) application b)skills c) resume
  1. An entire country can depend ______ a single transnational. a) of b) on c) at
  1. Draw up a to-do-list for the short __________. a) term b) plan c) time
  1. When doing a presentation, you must know basic things about your __________. a) public b) audience c)listeners
  1. The British wait in lines patiently and they never ___________. a) chat b) grumble c) tip
English 1

Prepositions practice

VI Fill in using IN, ON, AT, FOR, WITH, TO, ABOUT, OF, FROM:

  1. I am so fond _________ the picture __________ the wall. It’s amazing.
  2. We were born ___________ the same day but we are still very different _________ each other.
  3. He is talking ________ the phone _______ his best friend who lives ______ Madrid.
  4. They celebrate their wedding anniversary ________ 5th May.
  5. This juice is rich ________ vitamins.
  6. All kids are capable _________ creativity.
  7. I was looking _______the picture ________ the wall and thinking ________ my hometown.
  8. Maria and Dave are opposed _______ the new dorm rules. They are keen ________ having no rules at all.
  9. We left for Barselona ________ the afternoon. We arrived ________ the airport ______ midnight.
  10. Brian is much different _________ his sister who lives _________ Germany.
  11. The text I was telling you ________ is _________ the page 54.
  12. He is famous _________ his songs and he has become very popular ________ younger audience. He is the best singer I have ever heard _______.
  13. She told me that she is ________ the train and that she will come ________ time, but I am very doubtful _________ it.
  14. We had our wedding reception _______ 25th August _______ the Royal hotel.
  15. Nobody is interested _________ good news; it is only bad news that we read ______ the newspapers.
  16. The kid is sitting ________ the writing table. He is reading a book ________ sport.
  17. We had a meeting ________ 10 o’clock ________ the morning _______ Friday.
  18. I am so proud ________ my son – he is good ______ almost every subject at school.
  19. The book which is ________ the shelf is very rich ________ design.
  20. Brian was talking ________ Sue ________ their prom night. They plan ______ choose their outfits _______ a famous shop _______ their town.
  21. We left for England _______ 2005 and we started living ________ a small farm ______ Manchester.
  22. I am very pleased _______ your answers. Wait _______ me outside the office, please.

Jingle all the way: Going eco-friendly with holidays – in academia, (example of good practice)

While we usually demonstrate eco-friendly behaviour on a regular basis and think twice when choosing plastic over paper, we somehow repeatedly get infected by the shopping craze during the Christmas holidays, not thinking ‘green’. Wherever you set your foot in December, you can witness how Christmas is overburdening businesses, schools and households with an excess of unrecyclable wrapping paper, plastic trees and tons of super expensive shiny decoration.

The world Economic Forum reports on the devastating environmental impacts of our 21st century Christmas: globally, celebrating Christmas intensifies consumerism so much that of all the materials flowing through the consumer economy, only 1% remains in use six months later. Unfortunately, holiday shopping and the culture of gift-giving has become a vulgar extension of the consumption economy – it is said that households debt burden continues to rise in Canada, the United States, Australia, China and elsewhere. In 2018, Australians wasted an estimated 10 million dollars on unwanted gifts. The total amount of wrapping paper used only in the UK can cover the world 9 times over. Businesses feel forced to decorate their facilities early in December or even earlier.

To raise the awareness of the ‘toxic’ character of the Christmas spending sprees and to prevent unreasonable spending, especially in the workplace, the role of public educational institutions during this time of the year seems crucial. A wonderful example of good practice comes from the University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Technical Sciences in Čačak. Since the National Foundation for Environmental Education Serbia awarded this Faculty in recognition of their excellent achievements in ecology the status of an international ECO-school, based on the strict criteria, an Eco-friendlier approach to Christmas decorations the Faculty displays in its public premises has been adopted there. Every year in December, the entrance, halls and classrooms get changed into festive clothing, yet, all the materials used for the decoration are recycled or re-purposed: old cotton, hemp sacks, used chipboard, woollen ropes, upcycled glasses used as light bulbs etc. As a rule, unused or old pieces of furniture and thrift shop items are collected throughout the year and carefully stored so that they can be used later for this project. After both teachers and students carefully design a non-spending agenda for the forthcoming holidays, they brainstorm the ideas. Several teams partake in the crafting sessions, unleashing their creativity. Being accustomed to seeing many creative displays, the Faculty employees, students and visitors look forward to a new Christmas design hoping for a magical Eco-friendly atmosphere with zero waste.

The last December (2019) the Faculty went the extra mile. The traditional Christmas decoration project of the Faculty was enriched with a wider organizer’s initiative, with the right cause: for the first time, stakeholders and NGOs were actively involved in the process. The highlight of the 2019 event was the lecture given by the representatives of the Birds lovers’ association ‘Owls on Alert’ and Shabby Chic Design Studio, on how responsible spending habits and implementation of circular economy in everyday actions can help save the planet. Finally, at the end of the sessions, the mayor’s assistant in ecology gave a talk sharing an official 2020 Eco agenda on behalf of the local authorities, hoping to motivate students to broaden their eco-perspective and encourage their further activism in the community. It is estimated that the 2019 decoration project had engaged more than 200 students and teachers, both in lectures and decorating sessions.

It is essential that, at the times of the year when we might be less conscious of our actions, the initiative to ‘go greener’ takes place in academia, i.e. the adult educational institution. As a gathering place of young adults, educational professionals and industry representatives, academia serve as a fantastic eco-hub for the community, capable of mapping the spots of eco-intervention which might bring about the change. With the reputation universities have especially perceived as centres of science and progress, similar projects would likely be warmly welcomed and learned from, for the benefit of local communities and their inhabitants no matter their age or profession.

Universities, with their wide range of educational practices, have proven to possess the know-how, public attention and creative potential to change the negative trends in ecology. Academia easily adopts the role of a nucleus which incites collaboration, disseminates knowledge and searches for solutions in the field of sustainable development. Sometimes it is not enough to offer undergraduate or graduate studies in ecology or provide certificates for students who attend eco-seminars. Neither it is always necessary to write complicated eco-projects with big budgets whose first results are to be seen in the distant future. In many cases, what we need to see is small but sustainable actions of goodwill in which diverse structures of participants are involved in the same task – to demonstrate that we can bring about the change – here and now.

So Marry Christmas and happy ECO New Year.


Technical English, practice 1

  1. Circle the correct option:
  • Two different crash test dummies (1) USE/ARE USED in standard European vehicle crash test. The first dummy (2) USE/IS USED for font impact crashes, and the second one is a side-impact crash dummy. The dummies, which (3) MAKE/ARE MADE of steel, aluminium and rubber, (4) CONTAIN/ARE CONTAINED many sensors. Three types of sensing equipment (4) USE/ARE USED: acceleration sensors, lead sensors and motion sensors. The dummy head (5) CONTAINS/ IS CONTAINED three accelerometers which (6) SET/ARE SET at right angles. In addition, a front-impact crash test dummy (6) HAS/ HAVE steel ribs fitted with motion sensors which (7) RECORD/ARE RECORDED front rib movement.

2. Fill in using the given words. One word is EXTRA so you do not need to use it.

wheel-gun, ignition, frame, installed, cloth, unscrew, load, derrickman, pressure
  1. You must loosen the nuts with the _____________________.
  2. Please, check the air ________________ in the tyres.
  3. Always use a clean _________________ to clean the visor.
  4. Thin metal sheets are welded together to a __________________.
  5. The electrical wiring must be carefully _______________.
  6. To check the amount of liquid, __________________ the cap on the reservoir first.
  7. The process of starting the combustion of fuel in the cylinders of an internal combustion engine is called _________________.
  8. A ____________ is a technician who works in the drill crew.
  • Fill in using the given words:
broke, crushed, spill, torn, installed
  1. Be careful not to ____________the coffee on the table.
  2. A van drove into the back of my car and the bumper got _____________.
  3. The documents with the instructions were __________ so he had to print a new one.
  4. They ____________ the handle of my suitcase at the airport.
  5. They ___________ over half the cables in the train tunnel last month.
  • Write the opposite:
  1. put together _________________
  2. raise __________________
  3. audio _________________
  4. old ___________________
  5. recharge ______________
  6. screw _________________
  • Make questions for the given answers:
  1. Ben got a shock because he touched an earthed live wire.
  2. Metal is heated to make it softer.
  3. The first mass-produced pencils were made in Germany about 2200 years ago.
  4. The smoke detectors are installed in most buildings to warn people of wire.
  5. I am writing an email to customer service.
  6. Reading comprehension. Read the text and answer the true or false questions below.

What is GPS?

GPS stands for the Global Positioning System. It can tell you precise location anywhere on the Earth to within 6 metres. A group of 24 or more satellites orbit the Earth at an altitude of 11,000 miles. Every 12 hours, a satellite makes an orbit or one complete cycle in space around the Earth. The satellites transmit signals to receivers on the ground. The user has a GPS receiver which detects the signals from the satellites and calculates their distance from the receiver. Receivers can be held in your hand or mounted in a vehicle, such as a car or a ship. A hand-held receiver is about the size of a mobile phone, but the newer models are even smaller.

  1. GPS is a device which gives information about places on the Earth. _______________
  2. A satellite needs a half a day to make an orbit. _______________
  3. Signals are transmitted from the receivers to satellites. __________________
  4. Receivers are made in many sizes. ________________
  5. Receivers can only be used in cars or other vehicles. ___________________

Fill in the gaps using ONE word only to complete the definitions:

a) When you tighten a screw, it ___________________ clockwise.

b)The antenna on a mobile phone ____________ radio signals.

c) This musical website allows you to ____________________ music.

d) An ammeter is a device which measures electric _________________.


Citizenship education in Serbian higher education: re-defining curricula for better results

Many years ago, while I was still teaching at Grammar school in my hometown, I applied for a programme designed for shaping future leaders in education. Having been fully funded by the American government, the opportunity to stay at an American university for a month was super attractive for both teachers and students. Citizen education had been a compulsory subject in elementary and secondary schools in Serbia at that time, so the basic values of the field were well institutionalized. Needless to say, the process was highly selective, aiming at discovering the hidden potentials of the candidates. Luckily though, two of my students and myself were among the 5 teachers and 15 students from Serbia who were awarded the fellowship.

In all the initial excitement, we learned that the idea behind this initiative was to gather young people from South-East Europe in a structured programme to teach them collaboration, democracy, and civic engagement. Indeed, the experience proved to have been what was advertised: 4 weeks of intensive work on classes and seminars ended with a group of youngsters flashing around their newly acquired competencies. I remember I was amazed at seeing all of them solve complex environmental issues in heated debates while offering creative solutions to popular political misconceptions. At the end of the process, as they were all demonstrating respectful behaviour towards the nationality, race, and gender of their collaborative peers, the 16 year-olds lavishly displayed their understanding of the world expressing the viewpoints I did not know even existed.

Not only were my students transformed by this programme, it was ME who also learned so much: I got trained to understand the importance of civic engagement is social changes and to use the skills once I get back home. With the programme being a complete success, my students and I showed some reasonable benefit from it: one of them graduated from the Law faculty and started his own business in Belgrade, and the second mastered quantum physics and works as a scientist in Germany. I left Grammar school and pursued a career in higher education.

I thought that students who attend universities already possessed skills and willingness to tackle current societal issues, especially those students who could directly relate to various discrepancies of the ‘what the world is’ and ‘what it should be’. One of the reasons I thought students would be interested more, was the fact that they had already been familiar with citizenship education in their previous education. At the point when they become ‘full of age’ and are actually legally approved to vote on the elections, they must have been eager to take the matter into their own hands and start changing the society for the better. Or it is what I thought. I was wrong.

The ‘citizenship culture’ has not been established in any of the small neighbouring towns my students have been coming from. By introducing ‘the culture of change’ in communities with the aim to put into practice things learned at school, the citizenship etiquette with its norms and goals would definitely be assured. Drawing public attention to societal issues usually IS a cry for action, but sometimes, an established pattern of civic engagement makes that path more approachable and more prone to success. If you have SEEN an action being debated on, improved – polished – upgrades AND adopted, you have actually traced the citizenship culture in a community. At the same time, you have given the added value to curricula which offer citizenship education as a university course.

Unfortunately, ideas of cosmopolitanism turned into practice, with individuals considering themselves (and others) citizens of the world, have clearly been strange to my students. They neither perceive themselves as potential policymakers nor they understand their role in shaping a generation of community leaders. Even when they are invited to partake in activities which have the potential to enable social changes and, more directly, mobilize young people to create ‘citizenship culture’ as such, students generally tend to ‘choose to remain inactive’. They just ‘do not have to get involved’ – they have never seen other students do it, so why bother now? Disbelief in change is high in the percentage. If the change depends on them, even more.

To sum up, what all those young people have learned in secondary schools stays in the realm of those ‘boring subjects’ we just have to attend. However, it is not them to blame. After the educational ties to citizenship education have been violently cut off with the ending of the secondary education, a question can be raised: Why teaching citizenship education to the minors and then just stop once they become legally allowed to act on a number of actions, ones they initiate themselves, or of the others?

If the 21st-century skills are widely recognized as the 4C’s: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity, how can higher education add to the shaping of citizenship culture to blend them all? Collective learning for social change among thoughtful and committed colleagues at this educational level, under the guidance and support of university teachers, can really make a change. We, teachers, should not be only those who advocate for and strengthen students’ citizenship skills, we are responsible for making THEM bring about the changes that matter. And by doing so, young people will define the core values in the ‘citizenship culture’ which, once settled, will only serve us for the better.

English 1

Tenses Practice (Present, Past, Future, Mixed)

I Put the verbs in brackets into the correct tense, Present Simple, Present Continuous, Present Perfect:

Tim: Hi, Diane! I (1) ________________ (not see) you lately. What (2) _______________ (you do) here? Diane: Hello, Tim! Well, I (3) ________________ (do) shopping. Tim: Oh, but you (4) ________________ (not like) shopping. Diane: Yes, that’s true. My brother (5) _______________ (have) a birthday party Tim: I see. (7) _____________ (you, want) me to help you choose the present? Diane: Of course, Tim. That (8) ____________ (be) so nice of you. Tim: It’s not a problem. I think that he (9) _______________ (like) art books so we can gp to the bookshop.
Diane: Good idea! He (10) ______________ (wait) for me in the car, so let’s do it quickly!

II Put the verbs in brackets into the correct tense, Past Simple, Past Continuous:

Dave and I (1) ___________ (have) an unusual accident last summer. We (2) ______________ (be) on our honeymoon holiday in Paris. Everything (3) __________ (be) great but on our way back, our plane (4) ______________ (not, show) up. We (5) ___________________ (wait) in the airport lounge for some time when the voice (6) ________________ (announce) the plane wasn’t ready to take passengers. They (7) _________ (tell) us that the problem (8) _________ (be) with our luggage. While we (9) ________________ (sit) in the hall we (10) _______________ (think) how our holiday was perfect except of this.

III Put the verbs in brackets into correct tense expressing Future:

  1. Oh, I have gained so much weight this year. I ____________ (go) on diet on Monday!
  2. Phil is leading the race! He _______________ (win)!
  3. The film ____________ (start) at 8 o’ clock sharp. Don’t be late!
  4. Many people in future ________________ (have) robots to help them around in houses.
  5. What (you, do) _________________ this weekend? Do you have any plans?
  6. We (plan) _______________ a wonderful winter holiday in the Alps.
  7. I don’t feel well. I (go) ______________ to bed now.
  8. (you, help) _______________ me with these books, Maria?
  9. Mike, I can’t make it to the meeting. I’m sorry. ________________ (you, let) me know about the conclusions?
  10. Every school year ___________ (start) on the 1st of October.

IV Put the verbs in brackets into correct tense:

  1. A: What (all those people, do) ____________________ in the middle of the street?
    B: They (make) ___________________ a movie. Most of the crowd (be) ___________ local people who (work) _______________ as extras.
    A: It (sound) _____________ fun. Maybe I (can) _____________ try it. Let’s go and ask!
  2. Last year, Peter and Ann (want) ______________ to redecorate their sitting-room themselves so they (choose) ______________ some yellow paint for the walls.
  3. Sarah usually (not, have) _______________ any breakfast but this morning she (have) ______________ an omelet because she (be) ______________ so hungry!
  4. A: When (the film, start) ___________________, Mickey?
  5. B: I (be, not) _______________ quite sure. Just a second, Jill. I (check) ______________ it in the newspapers.
  6. The house next-door (be) ________________ full of policemen yesterday. They (look) _________________ for some criminals, but they (not, find) ________________ anybody suspicious yet. The thief (can) ____________ be anybody!
  7. A: What (you do) ___________________ tonight? Any plans?
  8. B: Not really. Just sleeping. I (have) ______________ such an awful day at work today.

Sample Argumentative Essay, post 2

Animal Testing should not be Banned

Each year about five million dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, monkeys, and other animals die in deadly dose tests which are performed in the U.S. The subject of animal testing is very open to question. In my opinion, animal testing should not be banned for a number of reasons.

The first reason for supporting animal testing is that many products must be tested on animals to ensure* that they are safe for use by humans. For example, diabetics would not be able to inject insulin to control their diabetes if it had not been developed by testing it on animals.

Moreover, the effects of certain chemicals such as insecticides can be observed on animals and their offspring and results are achieved faster since animals have shorter life duration than humans and the ability to multiply easily.

The final and most important point in favor* of animal testing is that it is aimed at finding cures for diseases such as cancer. Most of these tests cannot be done in any other way. Forty years ago polio was a common tragedy amongst children. Animal testing led to the discovery of a vaccine and now this disease is very rare in developed countries. While some animals undoubtedly suffer, the end justifies* the means.

Contrary to popular belief, laboratory animals are not ill-treated and their suffering is kept to a minimum. As already stated, I am in favor of* animal testing, provided that is conducted under strict conditions and that there is no alternative. (231 words)


Sample Argumentative Essay

Necessity of Technological and Scientific Advancement

Moving towards the 21st century, technological advancement has become a focus of today’s society. Technology has entered the lives of even the poorest members of society, and it is very rare to find anyone who does not have some form of modern technology such as a TV or a food processor, in their home.

There are many things to be said in favour of technological advancement, the most obvious being that it undoubtedly makes people’s lives easier. Without the benefits that technology brings, the world would be a much harder place to live in. For example, how would any business operate without faxes, photocopiers or telephones?

On the other hand, technology also has the potential to destroy everything at the touch of a button – a point made by Quentin Reynolds when he said, “The scientists split the atom; now the atom is splitting us.” The danger of technological advancement is that machines will completely replace humans, leaving fewer jobs and reducing human contact in everyday life, which cannot be a good thing for society.

In conclusion, although technology has the potential to provide a better quality of life for everyone, it is also capable of destroying everything within a very short space of time. As such it should be developed with caution and should never be allowed to take the place of human contact, because this is what ultimately holds a society together. (241 words)


Argumentative Essay

When you have an opinion and try to convince your listener or reader to accept your opinion, you are agreeing with or disagreeing with something. For example: In an everyday situation, you may try to convince a friend to go somewhere or in a composition or speech class, the instructor may make an assignment in which you must support or oppose the use of nuclear energy to produce electricity. If you agree or disagree on an issue, you will want your reader or listener to accept your point of view.

There are a few types of argumentative compositions such as:

  1. Advantages and disadvantages
  2. Expressing opinions/providing solutions to problems
  3. Expressing arguments for and against a topic
  4. Compare and contrast something or somebody


* An argument follows when two groups disagree about something.

* People can have different opinions and can offer reasons in support of their arguments. However, sometimes it might be difficult to convince the other group because the argument could be based on a matter of preference, or religious faith.

* Therefore, arguments of preference, belief or faith are NOT the type of arguments. The kind of argument that can be argued logically is one based on an opinion that can be supported by evidence such as facts.

* An argumentative essay is also one that attempts/tries to change the reader’s mind, to convince the reader to agree with the point of view of the writer.

* For that reason, the argumentative essay attempts to be highly persuasive and logical. For example, a thesis such as “My first experiences with Americans were shocking” has a central idea ‘shocking’ but it is not really strongly persuasive, and it is certainly not argumentative.

* When you write an argumentative essay, assume that the reader disagrees with you. But please remember that your reader is no less intelligent than you.

* So, write objectively, logically and respectfully. Try to understand your opponent’s point of view. If you do not, you are not likely to convince the reader.


  • An important point to recall is that when writing to an argumentative essay, your reader may not agree with you.
  • Writing to persuade is, therefore, more challenging and more imposing than many other types of writing.
  • Your goal may be to change your readers’ minds or move them to action.
  • Your goal may be to sell a program, defend an idea, or disprove an opponent.
  • In all these instances, you should consider writing to persuade as an important method for shaping your environment toward your vision of reality. 

To write well developed paragraphs:

  • Avoid strong feelings (don’t say: nobody does this, or it is impossible to disagree with me)
  • Use generalizations (e.g. people say/believe/consider)
  • Do not use generalization (e.g. everybody believes that…..)
  • Do not use strong personal expressions (e.g. I think)
  • Use linking words (e.g. therefore, although, however etc.)
  • Use sequencing (e.g. firstly, secondly, lastly)
  • Make reference to other sources (e.g. The government claims that…)
  • Give examples – not personal thoughts (e.g. products such as sprayer can destroy the environment)
  • Give up banal introductions. Write something more original (Don’t write: This topic has been important since ancient times. When? Too vague = unclear)