Argument Essay Prompt: Movie Ratings

The current system for rating movies in America has been in place since 1996. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, “Movie ratings provide parents with advance information about the content of movies to help them determine what’s appropriate for their children,” and they “provide parents the tools they need to make informed decisions about what their children watch.”

Some people argue that the movie rating system is unfair, outdated, and/or ineffective. Others feel that a system is an effective tool for parents who need a method by which they can judge the appropriateness of a movie for viewing by their children.

In your opinion is the current movie rating system adequate? Or should it be changed? Using appropriate evidence, write an essay in which you evaluate the pros and cons of changing the current movie rating system and indicate why you feel one position is more persuasive than the other.

The ratings used from 1996 to present are the following:

  • Rated G: GENERAL AUDIENCES—All ages admitted
  • Rated PG: PARENTAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED—Some material may not be suitable for children
  • Rated PG-13: PARENTS STRONGLY CAUTIONED—Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
  • Rated R: RESTRICTED—Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
  • Rated NC-17: NO ONE 17 AND UNDER ADMITTED

Essay Writing I: Example.

Now that we have learned about the what is an essay and about the standard structure here is the example of each component in response to the following question:
“Do changes that make our lives easier not necessarily make them better?” (College Board, 2012; p575).

A1: Hook| What is the meaning of life? A2: Information| Over the last few decades, technological improvements have made many previously difficult tasks easy and given people more time to pursue personal
goals, however, have also caused some problems that did not exist before. A3: Thesis| Consequently, not all changes that have made our lives more convenient, have also made them better. A4: Signpost| Evidence taken
from fast-food, mobile phones and cars will reinforce the thesis.
B1: Topic| The introduction of fast-food has made life more convenient, but with its negative impact on health, has not made life better. B2: Information| After a full day of work, people are now unwilling to cook for themselves, but instead prefer to rely on fast-food to save time. This trend is becoming more common and seriously damages the health of the people. B3: Evidence| For example, due to the massive increase in fast-food outlets and consumption, China is currently suffering an obesity crisis. B4: Analysis| China was a country once famed for its delicious food and healthy diets. But with the increasing pressure from society, Chinese citizens have turned to unhealthy western fast food chains in order to save time, but as a result are damaging their health and suffering from obesity of a serious scale. B5: Link| Therefore, although fast food has undouble made our life more convenient, due to the health-related consequences it has not made life better.
C1: Restate| In conclusion, not all changes that have made life convenient have also made life better. C2: Reasoning| More convenient does not mean necessarily better, as in the case of fast-food, mobile phones and cars. C3: Future| If everyone valued only convenience, all other aspects of life would fall apart and so too would human ability.

Essay Writing I: Standard structure.

As it was said in the previous post – the minimum number of paragraphs an essay can have is 3 (Introduction, body, conclusion), however, in most cases, this is not an acceptable format for an essay. The most commonly accepted standard essay format is 5 paragraphs with 3 body paragraphs.

Intro –  Thesis statement (“OK interesting idea, but what support do you have?”)

Body 1  – “Hmm , well It could be true, but I’m still not convinced”

Body 2 – “Alright it Seems that it might be true”

Body 3 – “Ok, its probably true”

Conc. – “Its true”

 

Essay: Components of each paragraph.
The introduction, conclusion and body paragraphs all have different purposes within an essay. As does each component of a paragraph. For instance, the reason statement of a body paragraph is not designed to achieve a
different goal to that of the evidence.

A. Introduction.

COMPONENT:                                                      PURPOSE:
A1. Hook statement   –  To attract the attention of the reader.
A2. More information -To introduce and give some details about the topic area.
A3. Thesis statement – To provide a direct answer to the question.
A4. Signposting – To show how the essay will support its thesis.

B. Body paragraphs.

COMPONENT:                                                     PURPOSE:
B1. Topic (reason) sentence – To clearly show the topic (reason) of the paragraph, which should support the thesis.
B2. More information – To develop the paragraph topic and add more important details.
B3. Evidence – To provide evidence to strengthen the paragraph topic (reason).
B4. Analysis – To show how the evidence is directly connected to and supports the topic (reason).
B5. Closing link – To clearly link the entire paragraph to the essay thesis.

C. Conclusion.

COMPONENT:                                                     PURPOSE:
C1. Restate  – Thesis To remind the reader of the argument being made.
C2. Reasoning outline – To remind the reader of the reasoning that was used to support the thesis.
C3. Future statement  – To make the reader think in a deeper way about the presented argument.

Essay Writing I: The Basics of an Essay.

Essays are an important part of formal education in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America. They are useful tools for educational institutes to assess student understanding of a topic or idea.

What is an essay?

An essay is a logical and well-organized piece of writing that presents and argues a point of view (opinion) on a topic or question. It uses evidence to support any claims made in an attempt to remain factual and objective.
Simply put:
“An essay is a written ARGUMENT that contains evidence and logic to support its reasoning and conclusions.”
Although an essay is used to present an author’s point of view toward a topic or specific question, it does not become an effective essay until it turns this point of view (opinion) into an argument.

Opinion vs. Argument: The difference.

Simply, an argument is an improved opinion. The Oxford Dictionary (2010) defines them as:
• Opinion: “A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge”
• Argument: “A reason or set of reasons given in support of an idea, action or theory” As an example consider this question (College Board, 2012; p575):
“Do changes that make our lives easier not necessarily make them better?”

Essay: Standard structure.

The minimum number of paragraphs an essay can have is 3 (Introduction, body, conclusion), however, in most cases, this is not an acceptable format for an essay. The most commonly accepted standard essay format is 5 paragraphs with 3 body paragraphs. Each body paragraph should progressively make the argument more convincing (shown in the
illustration below), therefore the more body paragraphs present, the more the more support the thesis receives and the more convincing the argument will become.
“No, not all changes that have made our lives more convenient have made them better.”
• Simply answers the question
“No, not all changes that have made our lives more convenient have made them better. Some have made us unhealthy.”
• Answers the question and provides some reasoning.
“No, not all changes that have made our lives more convenient have made them better. Some have made us unhealthy. Take for example fast food.”
• Answers the question, and provides some supported reasoning.
NOTE: To form a 4-5 star argument, analysis of the support (the evidence) for the reasoning is needed.