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Writing Task of the Week - Q6

Completing the full exams worth of questions, here is a Q6.

Argue / Persuade

Remember - Writing to Argue should be balanced and Writing to Persuade - Biased 

It is worth 24 marks with 8 of those being for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. You have 35 Minutes to write it in and you must aim to write 1 1/2 pages - 2 Pages.

Following on from a discussion in class today,  here is a task:

Write an Article for an Animal Rights blog arguing that all children should / shouldn't have access to pets to help them develop.

Remember - be daring, engaging, sarcastic and eloquent.

Show off your grasp of the English language and your wide and varied vocabulary. Try and switch between the humorous and serious / formal and informal.

Variety is key - Happy Weekend.

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Chris Hambling
18 November 2012 at 10:38

The Child: an apprentice, a beginner, a student of life and all the rules and skills that follow with it on its back. A child must learn a range of millions upon millions of different aspects of life, one of them being to accept life and death and to cope with the intense struggle to move on that comes with the package. We’ve all seen the Lion King and we’ve all seen how badly Simba takes it as he casts himself away from society to learn the ways of adolescence before he returns to overthrow his evil uncle who took his father’s life. And I ask you this simple question: do you want your child to be like this? And thus I present to you the solution to your problems: a pet.
With a pet your child can learn to grow love for this being, carry it with them day-to-day and sleep with it at the bottom of its bed every night. It can stroke it and pet it for months or years on end and know every day that it’ll be there waiting for them. A friendship, a bond will grow between the two and pictures will fill up the mantelpiece of the child cuddling the dog too tightly around the neck, or home-videos of the child chasing after his/her cat in the garden will spill from the DVD rack. New memories will grow between the pet and the family as the cat ages, moving to new houses and buying new bed-sheets which it will take fondly too. Laughter will erupt and tears will fall when the cat scratches the child; now the child knows how to accept the boundaries of someone else’s patience and fully-well knowing the negative effects that follow.

Chris Hambling
18 November 2012 at 10:39

Unfortunately, we all realise that this pets life is soon coming to an end as daddy takes it to the vets to be ‘Put to sleep’ as mummy would say. (Or worse case scenario, Dad digs a 6ft hole in the garden and lays it delicately there, wrapped in a thick blanket to rest in eternal peace... Once it’s dead, of course). And you see, this is where the child will learn how to accept that the pet won’t be there, eyes gleaming as they walk through the front door from school. It won’t be there to silently listen as they spill their guts about a boyfriend that’s dumped them. It won’t even be there to crawl amongst the wrapping paper on Christmas morning or to rustle in the tin-foil-covered dishes on the worktops while the family are eating their dinner. This is the stage of their life where they learn to move on and accept these facts. This is where they learn that sadly that life does unfortunately end and they will have to repeat the same process with almost every living being around them.
I hate to sound so grim. This is one of the main things which every child should learn to develop or every death in the future will hit them hard like a sucker punch hook to the cheek.
I strongly advise you not to buy them a Buzz Lightyear because we’ve all most definitely seen Toy Story 3 and we all obviously know how sad that film ended as we lifted our overly-priced 3D glasses to wipe the tears gathering in our eyes. Even today as a teenager I’m still revisiting the film and I attempt to convince myself that my childhood hasn’t driven away in the back of Andy’s car. But as Woody reassures us “You’ll be fine, Partner.”
Although this may come across as difficult to you; buying a pet and always being at work so you suddenly can’t look after it enough, I seriously recommend you follow this somewhat rudimentary process: buy a pet! If it makes you feel better, rescue one!
Now I ask you to take a step back and think about not buying a pet. I hear you ask ‘What’s so special about a pet?’ and I agree with you. The difference between a pet and an actual human being is humongous. Pets cannot talk, pets don’t even know your name and pets only really like you if you give them a ‘Dreamie’ (The treats cats crave). I can guarantee your pet dog doesn’t even know something really simple about you, something as simple as your favourite colour. Animals are arduous. They’re messy beings and will more than likely tear-up your three-piece suit. I’m pretty sure a human being won’t bring in a dead bird and look at you with beady eyes that scream ‘Look what I’ve brought!’
Let’s face it, your child is probably only going to develop and react to death when someone actually dies, as horrible as it sounds. I personally think that you should buy a pet as I myself have been caught victim to the death of my cat which followed me in life for 14 long years. Marmie was a fantastic animal.
But I guess it’s just your own matter of opinion.
“Ah yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” – Rafiki, The Lion King.

18 November 2012 at 16:09

Well done Chris, you've created a balanced article that is engaging and subtle making it a top band answer. You've successfully mixed humour in with some more serious points and moved between informal / formal language.

You're beginning to build in the more sophisticated vocabulary into your work and would gain 16/16 on the creativity of your work.

There are still elements of the accuracy side that can be worked on. Possessive apostrophes are missing in a few 'cat's' and the following paragraph is a bit clumsy in its syntax:

Although this may come across as difficult to you; buying a pet and always being at work so you suddenly can’t look after it enough, I seriously recommend you follow this somewhat rudimentary process: buy a pet! If it makes you feel better, rescue one!

Overall this would be have you in the top band for accuracy but a 7 rather than an 8 giving you an overall total of 23/24.

Well done.

Tattered Toast
18 November 2012 at 17:35

Just as a parolee can be trusted with a pit bull, supposedly the most dangerous domesticated dog in the world. Why can't a child be trusted with a puppy or a kitten. The lessons are the same ... responsibility. I'm sure you have all experienced the recent outbreak of very young children without consequence. The parents that just don't understand about parenting or the rules that go with it like the responsibility, or the punishment. Will you suffer the inconsiderate behaviour of the 'untamed' children? No! I say "Rain cats and dogs!". With a dog in the leadership of a child not only are you teaching the greatest lesson of all you are giving a dog a new life. At the moment 78% of the population of dogs in the entire world live either on the streets or in kennels. This means that if every child in this country alone was given a dog to look after that 78% would be cut down to 72%. Now, imagine that over the planet. No more seeing have dead dogs on the side of the road, no more being bullied by a child who is twenty years younger than you. This is the way to ensure a safer neighbourhood, a safer community. By teaching smaller children from a younger age you can teach simple courteous values that can be appreciated throughout life, thus cutting criminal productivity. Lets be honest, who really wants to have to feed a dog or put it out to 'piddle' or walk it. Your giving a child a lesson and giving a tattered adult a chance to take a break. If you could trust a child with a dog (essentially a dangerous animal) you could trust a child with anything ... money, tools, choke hazards, anything is my guess.

Tattered Toast
18 November 2012 at 17:42

I believe all children should have the right to understand general values and rules and be able to understand the importance of a dog. To give responsibility to a child and life to a dog can not only change a persons life but also the entire communities opinion on child-dog relationships.

18 November 2012 at 18:41

You have created some nice images in this piece, but there are a range of features that could be improved upon.

Firstly, did you time yourself for this task? Did you take the full 35 minutes of concentrated writing? I would expect this to come up at around 500 words when typed (1 1/2 - 2 Pages handwritten).

Secondly, the accuracy of your writing holds back the creativity. Your first two sentences should be one:

'Just as a parolee can be trusted with a pit bull, supposedly the most dangerous domesticated dog in the world. Why can't a child be trusted with a puppy or a kitten.'

'Just as' works as a subordinator so your first full stop should be a comma and then you use the word 'why' indicating a question but without the question mark.

There are also a few homophone errors (your should be you're and have should be half etc)and a comma splice every now and again. Remember your friend the semi colon!

In terms of your creativity, I like your use of idiom 'rain cats and dogs' and some of the images such as 'untamed' children, 'tattered' adults and your 'money, tools, choke hazards'.

I'm not sure if you meant your statistics to be 78% to 72%. Is that really a persuasive drop?

Finally, a third of your creativity marks are given to your use of paragraphs in terms of how they link and their variety. You don't use any! No paragraphs = No C or above. I would be looking for the balance in your article to come from a range of paragraphs - the fors and againsts. That gives it its balance and has it meet the 'argue' task title. Here I only get one side of the argument from you.

In terms of marks: You'd lose 5 marks for the lack of paragraphs and continuity between them and another 3 or so for it being more persuasive rather than a balanced argument. That would leave you with a potential 8 marks for the sophistication of your writing. I'd say you would gain 6 out of the potential 8 for the images you conjure.

Overall Creativity would be 6/16 marks.

Accuracy would be about half marks with the errors in syntax, homophones and punctuation giving you 4/8 marks.

10/24 is a D. As I said - no paragraphs no C+!

I'd have another go at this after the mock exam and see what you can come up with.

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