Model Essay #2 + Explanation
Grammar and Writing Tips
Topic Prompt: Should recycling be mandatory?
According to Chief Seattle, an Indian who lived in the western part of North America in the 1800s, “Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
[This first part of the introduction includes a quote as a hook. A hook is a way to capture the reader’s interest and add coherence to your essay.]
The main hooks to begin an essay with are
1. posing a question or two,
2. quoting a relevant proverb or saying,
3. mentioning a startling statistic or fact, or
4. telling a short story.
[‘an Indian who lived in the western part of North America in the 1800s’ is an appositive. Appositives give more information and context about a person or organization.]
This statement illustrates the importance of taking care of the earth, not merely to avoid global warming, but to preserve the natural balance of the planet.
[The sentence begins with ‘This statement illustrates the importance of taking care of the earth’ to state the general idea of the essay.]
[‘to avoid’ and ‘to preserve’ must have parallel construction.]
[‘not merely… but’ is a variation of ‘not only… but also’ grammar.]
Some of the most pressing problems are the destruction of natural habitats, the depletion of natural resources, and the polluting of rivers, lakes, and oceans.
[Many specific examples are given here to show the importance of the topic.]
One idea now debated is whether or not the government should require communities to participate in recycling programs.
[This sentence introduces the central controversy of the essay, and ‘debated’ gives the reader the idea that at least 2 sides are involved in the argument.]
Although some argue that individual communities are free to choose if they take part, many people believe that due to the interconnectedness of the planet, governments have an obligation to encourage and require communities to participate in the recycling effort.
[This sentence is the thesis statement. The phrase ‘Although some argue’ shows that some people disagree with the writer’s thesis. Notice that the writer does not say ‘I think that’ or ‘I believe’. In academic writing, authors seldom use ‘I’ or ‘you’ when writing argumentative essays. The author uses facts, examples, and statistics to support the thesis statement.]
BODY PARAGRAPH 1
Some overly optimistic people contend that natural resources are for the most part replaceable, such as trees, or too abundant to worry about, such as oil.
[The phrases ‘overly optimistic’ and ‘contend’ are used to demonstrate the author disagrees with this view.]
However, the fact is that currently trees are being cut down faster than it is possible to repopulate the forests.
[‘However’ sets up the contrast point. The information that follows contradicts the first view and is what the author believes.]
Furthermore, water is a finite resource that is polluted from oil refining and the creation of many modern products, for example plastic. In fact water shortages and water pollution are both problems affecting most every country around the world. Certainly, without clean, fresh water, life would not be possible.
[The rest of the sentences in the paragraph go on to support the author’s viewpoint and further disprove the opponent’s perspective, as stated in the first sentence. ‘Furthermore’, ‘In fact’, ‘Certainly’ are all transition words to guide the reader.]
BODY PARAGRAPH 2
Some people assert that it is too difficult or complicated for citizens to recycle.
[The phrases ‘Some people assert’ and ‘too difficult or complicated’ are used to demonstrate the author disagrees with this view.]
However, logistically recycling requires only a separate trash bin for tossing in plastic, glass, aluminum and steel products.
[‘However’ sets up the contrast point. The information that follows contradicts the first sentence and is what the author believes.]
Newspaper, cardboard and office paper can be collected in another box. Once set up, recycling is as easy as throwing away materials in one trash can. The communities set up collection to coincide with the trash pick up days, so it can be as easy as when not recycling. Once people realize the importance and ease of recycling, they get involved and change their trash habits. In fact, community members feel a sense of pride when contributing to the betterment of the world.
[The rest of the sentences in the paragraph go on to support the author’s viewpoint and further disprove the opponent’s perspective, as stated in the first sentence. ‘Once set up’ and ‘In fact’ are more transition words to guide the reader.]
BODY PARAGRAPH 3
A few naysayers have argued that products will be recycled naturally by the earth over time.
[The phrase ‘A few naysayers have argued’ is used to demonstrate the author disagrees with this view.]
Even though recycling does happen naturally over time, some products never do, such as batteries.
[‘Even though’ concedes part of the point to the opposing sides, but the author goes on to support the opposite view. The information that follows contradicts the first sentence and is what the author believes.]
Also, with the tremendous rise in global population and use of natural resources, humans have to effectively combat these increases by recycling goods. In addition, recycling saves not only the resources that go into creating products but also landfill space when the products are tossed out. Some of the chemicals and materials that are put into the ocean are poisoning the fish, for example. Since fish are part of the human food chain, people are further poisoning themselves by eating polluted food.
[The rest of the sentences in the paragraph go on to support the author’s viewpoint and further disprove the opponent’s perspective, as stated in the first sentence. ‘Also’, ‘In addition, and ‘for example’ are more transition words to guide the reader.]
Recycling is only a part of the solution, but it is an easy and important first step to fight pollution. Recycling aids in maintaining limited resources and is not too difficult to implement. People are happy to lend a hand in the deceleration of the global warming process.
[These sentences summarize and restate the thesis and support.]
Overall, recycling supports the earth and supports life.
[‘Overall’ is a transition word that begins a summative statement.]
Chief Seattle said the world is interconnected, so taking care of the earth is like taking care of our home.
[This last sentence ties the hook in the introduction to the concluding statement in the conclusion, weaving the ideas together and adding cohesion to the essay.]