For and against Essays

A ‘for and against’ essay is a ‘pros and cons’ essay in which a topic is considered from opposing points of view. You are required to present both sides in a fair way by discussing them objectively and in equal detail. The writer can state his/her opinion on the issue directly or indirectly.
A ‘for and against’ essay is a formal piece of writing. The purpose of this essay type is to take a balanced consideration of the stated issue. You need to explain the opposing viewpoints with relevant reasons, statistics, facts and examples. This kind of essay topic entails you to avoid any strong or emotional language to express your opinion.
Structure of ‘for and against’ essay:
The ‘for and against’ essay can be organized as follows:
INTRODUCTION (states the topic along with its present situation without giving writer’s opinion)
BODY:
Paragraph 1: (Arguments in favour- along with reasons, examples, facts, etc.)
Paragraph 2: (Arguments against- along with reasons, examples, facts, etc.)
.
.
CONCLUSION (states the writer’s opinion directly/indirectly and gives a balanced view of the topic)
Strategies to write a ‘for and against’ essay:
  • Language skills:
    Avoid using stereotyped phrases or expressions in your essay, especially in introductory and concluding paragraphs. E.g.: in modern society, in the current climate, throughout history, etc. Some of the words and phrases that can be used:
    To introduce points in favour/against:
    One point of view in favour of/against is that..
    Some experts/scientists advocate/support/oppose the view that..

    To point out opposing arguments:
    Opponents of this idea claim that..
    Others opposethisviewpoint..
    Some people may disagree with this idea.

    To state your conclusion:
    In my opinion..
    Achieving a balance between X and Y would..
    In conclusion, I firmly believe that..
    On balance, I think it is unfair that..

    To make contrasting points:
    On the other hand..
    However..
    It can be argued that
    ..
    Although..
  • Evaluate your essay in terms of following parameters:
    Content:
    Make sure that appropriate transitional expressions are used to present reasons in favour of as well as against the topic. You should start the essay by stating the current situation.
    Argumentation:
    The arguments and justifications presented must be relevant to the given topic. Also, the concluding paragraph should include a balanced viewpoint of the topic.
    Essay Organization:
    The essay needs to be structured in a logical manner. Your personal opinion should be stated only in the concluding paragraph.
    Choice of words:
    Use opinion words (e.g. I think.., in my view, etc.) only in the concluding paragraph and not in the introductory or main body of the essay. Lastly, check your essay for any punctuation, grammatical or spelling mistakes.
Examples of ‘for and against’ essay topics:
  • Money can buy happiness
  • Smartphones- a blessing or curse?
  • Online shopping
  • Should euthanasia be illegal?
  • Should death penalty be abolished?
  • Home-schooling
  • Animal rights and experimentation
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