Interpreting the question asked | The argumentative/ persuasive essay | English Language eBook

Interpreting the question asked | The argumentative/ persuasive essay | English Language eBook

Interpreting the question asked

Let’s take a look at a typical question that requires an argumentative response:

Question:

‘Society cannot progress without man changing the environment. If we are to develop, it means we must cut down a few trees to build industries.’

Write an argumentative essay either AGREEING or DISAGREEING with this statement.

How do we approach writing this essay? If you remember Lesson 1 we spoke about

I.P.W.

  1. Interpreting the question asked

  2. Planning the essay

  3. Writing the essay

This approach is what we need to do to write any essay.

Interpreting the question asked

Let us pick out the key words in this question:

Progress

Changing

Environment

Develop

Industries

These five words hold the key to the argument we will take. The word progress is the same as develop. It means how we grow or get better as a people or society. Then we have the words Environment, which is linked to trees, and Industries, which relates back to progress and develop. Then we have our last main word ‘Changing’. This is the key to the question, since the question seems to be about how we are changing from one environment to another; that is from a natural environment, filled with trees, to an industrial environment.

If we put the main words that are connected together we can interpret our question as saying: For man/society to progress/develop, we must cut down the natural environment/trees to make room for industries. You should always breakdown the question so that you understand what it is asking. This question is simple. Do we believe that the natural environment should be preserved? Alternatively, should we build more industries to produce items for our needs?

Now what side of the argument do you feel most strongly about? Do you think we need to build more industries to benefit society or do we try to hold on to our natural environment, i.e. trees?