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Argumentative essay- Thesis Statement - Watching television makes people smarter?

julienruyter 1 / 1  
Jun 6, 2012   #1
I am writing an argumentative essay on whether television makes you smarter or not. this is what I have so far (the introduction) All comments are welcome!

Can someone help me out with the thesis statement please? I;m not sure whether "while there are many concerned people convinced that watching television makes people brain-dead, you might well be surprised that watching television can actually make you smarter." is a good thesis statement for an argumentative essay.

What I am going to write about is:
-series like 24 actually makes you smarter
-news on television is often better than biased newspapers.
-children from low income families learn more from the television than their parents.

All suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Madman59770 2 / 2  
Jun 6, 2012   #2
Here's my editing of your first paragraph. The first edit is subject-verb agreement and the second got rid of some redundancy (in my opinion). I like the content btw!

Now on to your actual concerns-your thesis. I think your current one isn't too shabby, but if you did want something more specific, here are some that I just made up (please keep in mind that I am assuming you can make stuff up for this lol... Take out "statistics" and other such words with something else, unless I happen to be making up something that is legit) :

1. While some people argue that watching television is counter-productive, stimulating and interesting shows like 24 cause one to learn more about the world and think better (you could talk about logic i suppose?), news channels are more unbiased and informative than their paper-based counterparts, and statistics suggest a correlation between academic performance and television exposure in low-income families.

2. Contrary to popular opinion, watching television regularly can be a very intellectually stimulating and rewarding experience.

3. While some doubt that television benefits people, these naysayers ignore the fact that television makes people more informed and thoughtful.

Obviously, you can "mix" together these theses as you see fit. I personally would go with my #1, but of course, this is up to your discretion. At the same time, maybe you don't like any of the ones I've provided! Regardless, best of luck on your interesting essay.
OP julienruyter 1 / 1  
Jun 7, 2012   #3
hey Anthony... This is what i have got so far, if you have time to take a look again that would be great. Let me know what you think... My deadline is later today, and I still need to write a conclusion of about 300 words. (and a title of course) I will have a look at your essay most definitely later on! When is your deadline?


Idiot box, boob tube, telly, goggle box, or whatever you want to call it, the television has been around for decades now and in nearly every household there is at least one television set to be found. It has become part of most people's daily lives; we might watch the news, movies, documentaries, game shows, reality shows, talent shows, series, and whether we like it or not, a lot of advertisements. There is something on T.V. for almost everyone. There are cartoons for children of different age groups, shows for seniors, programmes for business people, daytime series for housewives, wild-life programmes for nature enthusiasts, and the list goes on. Since the television made its appearance in society, there has been a lot of debate on whether it is good for us or not. The average person in the United States now watches over 151 hours of television a month, which is well over 5 hours a day, and while there are many concerned people convinced that watching television has a negative impact on today's society, you might well be surprised that watching television can actually make you smarter.

First of all, we are warned that watching television has the same mind-numbing effect on the brain as staring at a wall. When we engage in watching television the mind shuts off and goes into a state similar to that of being deeply relaxed or even asleep. However, watching shows like Fox Network's hit show "24", a series of 24 episodes per season covering the life of an anti-terrorist agent using the method of real time narration , really make the viewer's mind work. Mindless escapism is no longer an option as you have to make sense of the fast-paced story line and get to know the 21 characters and their role in the plot. The brain is constantly stimulated, and has to process lots of bits of information to keep up with the ever evolving story. The viewer must pay close attention during the hour, make inferences, and keep up to speed with the ever changing social relationships between the characters. Shows like these on television are, in fact, enhancing the viewer's cognitive faculties, not making us brain-dead. Therefore, the popular media today is steadily, yet almost imperceptibly sharpening our minds while we slouch on the couch watching these shows. This sort of positive brainwashing is also called: the Sleeping Curve.

Secondly, many studies persist on the negative effect that television is said to have on children. Kids watching several hours of TV per day are spending less time on their homework and are therefore performing badly in school. It is also pointed out that they are to be socially less competent because there is less conversation to be had at home. Parents are advised to limit their hours before the TV to a minimum. Even though there is some truth in these notions, this does not apply to anyone. Children of impoverished families benefit enormously from watching many hours of television on a daily basis, and even achieve better grades in school because of those hours spent in front of the T.V. Sadly, it is true that most parents who are on welfare provide no intellectual stimulation for their children, and spend less time speaking to their kids as working class families and higher educated parents with busy careers do, resulting in a much weaker vocabulary as opposed to kids their own age from wealthier families. Stimulation is what children need and if they cannot find that in their parents, they are better off watching the telly. This can also be seen on an international scale. Just like children living in low income families, kids living in poor countries that get exposed to a couple of hours of television per day, dramatically enhance their reading capabilities and perform better in school; thus, becoming smarter than kids who do not get a chance to watch television. On top of this all, when kids are watching the right programmes, and with the right parental guidance they can learn even more about things they did not have any prior knowledge of, and can be inspired and motivated to do wonderful things.

Another common belief that many people, especially politicians and higher educated people share, is that newspapers are more trustworthy, and contain more information than the news on TV does. They also claim that this news is more factual and more retainable, saying that you actually learn more from newspapers than from watching the news on TV. Unfortunately though, many newspapers are biased in their reporting and are often considered to be left wing or right wing, or tend to favour a single political party all together. Although this is no secret to anyone, it does however, raises the question whether you are getting factual news, instead of what you would either want, or expect to read. The channels of the British Broadcasting Corporation, though, have been providing their audience with a predominantly serious news agenda, both foreign and domestic, and have remained unbiased and impartial, and have not shifted towards the more popular tabloid approach. Also, studies have shown that when watching the news on television the memory is retained better rather than reading the same news in a newspaper; consequently, making people who watch the news on TV gain more knowledge; thus, becoming smarter.

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