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English Class -- persuasive essay -- School Uniforms


drasagon 1 / -  
Feb 16, 2009   #1
Okay, this is a persuasive essay for my 8th grade English class about implementing school uniforms for/against:

Wars, Global Warming, The Apocalypse, these epic calamities amount to nothing when faced with the terrible might of this topic, School Uniforms. Schools all over the United States are implementing these wretched creations of oppression. They are like shackles that chain kids to school. Schools should not force kids to wear uniforms. Its a bad idea with awful consequences if implemented.

For the most part, School Uniforms limit free thinking, and creativity. If the next generation of children were to have no creativity or free thought, they would become zombie fascists. Without the upbeat attitude kids bring to school everyday, kids wouldn't learn as well. They would probably not be able to express themselves fully. They would probably do terrible in subjects that require creativity, such as English.

Furthermore, some schools may argue that uniforms create a better learning environment with fewer distractions. Unfortunately they have not fully considered all the information about them. When kids are in school, they will always be distracted. If you remove one distraction, they will just concentrate on something else. From first hand experience it can easily be said that most kids are proficient at finding ways to waste time.

Thirdly, if School Uniforms were enforced, students would not mature properly in some ways. After kids graduate from school they would have no idea how to dress themselves because they have been told exactly what to wear since they were born. Consequently, they might grow up with the mentality that they will be told what to do for the rest of there lives. If this happens, we will probably all be doomed to a future where our leaders have no idea what they are doing.

In essence, don't force kids to wear uniforms. They will suck the creativity out of kids, give them distractions, and not let them mature. If implemented they could cause the downfall of the human race. Also, schools are doing just fine without uniforms, so why have them?

Can anyone offer me some tips on how to make it better?

EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Feb 16, 2009   #2
I don't know who told you that hyperbole was an effective persuasive technique, but they did you a grave disservice. To be persuasive, you must either appeal to your readers emotions, craft a logical, well-reasoned argument, or, ideally, do both simultaneously. Hyperbole might entertain me, but it won't convince me of the validity of your arguments (quite the opposite), and while I might be amused, I probably won't feel particularly strongly about the issue of school uniforms. Thus, your essay fails to employ either of the two main persuasive techniques that you could legitimately turn to.

So, to revise this essay, you might want to start by doing some research and coming up with evidence that you can use to form a logical argument around your thesis and evidence you can use to support your main points. For instance, you write that "School Uniforms limit free thinking, and creativity." What evidence do you have for this? There must have been some studies carried out that would either prove or disprove this. Or, you could look at famous historical figures known for their creativity. So, Picasso, Einstein, Wagner, etc. Where did they go to school? What were those school's policies on uniforms?

"When kids are in school, they will always be distracted. If you remove one distraction, they will just concentrate on something else." Yes, like their schoolwork! You have disproved your own position. Even if you rephrased it, the logic will remain shaky: if kids are easily distracted, that seems like a good reason to remove as many distractions as possible, not like a reason for giving up on not distracting them!

"After kids graduate from school they would have no idea how to dress themselves because they have been told exactly what to wear since they were born." This is just silly. At worst, they would continue to dress relatively formally, hardly a catastrophe for the world.

"Also, schools are doing just fine without uniforms," Again, some evidence would be nice. I don't think anyone thinks schools are doing particularly well in America. Schools in other countries produce students with much higher marks. Perhaps you should look at the schools in countries with admirable school systems and see what their policies are.

Good luck.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,337 129  
Feb 17, 2009   #3
Without the upbeat attitude kids bring to school everyday, kids wouldn't learn as well.

Hey, now! You can have an upbeat attitude while wearing your soccer uniform,or any other uniform associated with something you like. The uniform should not necessarily ruin one's good attitude. When people feel good about what they are doing, they don't mind wearing uniforms. I am not saying your argument is wrong-- just be careful of "false logic."

I was reading a book called the Borgois College Reader the other day, and it had an essay by Friedman who gave 5 reasons for education: prepare people for work, preserve culture, teach minds to think, "liberate" the mind, and teach morality. For the first three of these, uniforms help, but I don't know if they help to free the mind or teach morality. Depending on what one thinks the purposeof education should be, uniforms are either appropriate or not.

Can I just say that I still have a sample of my own writing from the 8th grade, and I was nowhere near as good at it as you are. Read Stephen King's On Writing to keep your skill improving.

I think I disagree with Sean about the argument pertaining to kids learning to dress themselves! You know, I still have not got the hang of dressing myself, so perhaps it is good to get to know yourself that way during high school!! Uniforms to impede that kind of self-expression, and to the extent that fashion is self-expression.. I don't know... if you never give a kid a paint brush, he can't get good at painting.

However, maybe the purpose of school is NOT to teach us to express ourselves through fashion, and maybe the harm of kids judging each other is too much to justify with arguments about freedom of expression.

It is no good to say that uniforms are distracting. They eliminate distraction, and they even clear our minds by giving an environment of block colors that do not take up too much attention.

BTW maybe "zombie fascists" is not quite fair, ha ha!!!

Good luck with your writing!!!


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