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Some people argue that the movie rating system is unfair, outdated, and/or ineffective.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.