Writing to argue - Shawon Notes

English Language > Writing > Writing to argue


Sample answer

Look out for some of the techniques from the previous pages used in the following sample answer.

Example letter arguing against school uniforms

Dear Mrs Andrews

I am writing because you chair a committee in charge of the compulsory wearing of school uniforms. I am a student at Brinsley High School, a friendly and successful school where uniforms are not worn.

I believe that there is good evidence that wearing school uniform is now outdated. I fully understand that uniform looks smarter than casual clothes and that this might attract parents on Open Day. However uniforms are expensive and forever need replacing as students grow. This poses a real worry to financially stressed families. This is made worse by the fact that the uniform is only available from an expensive school shop rather than from inexpensive and competitive retailers.

It's true that wearing uniform means students don't spend all morning choosing what to wear or beg parents for clothes that will impress their friends. However there is another side to this argument: uniforms breed uniformity. We are a culturally diverse nation and if we all dress the same, this encourages us to be the same. At Brinsley High, we are encouraged to express our individuality, yet this seems to be in conflict with the message enforced uniform sends to us.

A big argument in favour of uniform is one of safety. We are easily identifiable and this can be very useful if there is an accident. This appeals to parents who are always worried about new dangers facing us. But could it also be that wearing uniform can bring potential problems? Two friends of mine have been bullied while walking home just because their school uniform identified them as being from a "rival" school. Surely, you wouldn't want this to happen to one of your own children?

In conclusion, I can fully understand the motivation for making students wear uniform to look smart, to worry less about wearing the right clothes and also for safety. However, I hope I have shown that there is another case to be made. School uniforms can be a burden to parents with less money and to students identified as being different. They also stifle a sense of freedom and self-expression. I believe this rule is outdated and is in many ways illogical. It needs to change.

Yours sincerely,

Gary White

 

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