Argumentative Essay ICSE 2009

“The use of mobile phones has lowered active social life and has become an addiction.” Express your views for or against he statement. This Argumentative Essay was asked in ICSE 2009 board exam. You can find Previous Year Argumentative Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Argumentative Essay ICSE 2009

“The use of mobile phones has lowered active social life and has become an addiction.” Express your views for or against he statement. (ICSE 2009)

Introduction:
Mobile phones have lowered social life, and have become an addiction for the youth of today.

  • The young generation is enamoured by it, because it provides access to the Internet at any given moment.
  • The virtual social networking, actually weakens active social life.
  • The imposition of callers on important occasions causes social embarrassment.
  • Spending excessive time with mobile phones ruins personal relationships.
  • Medical research has proved that its excessive use causes serious health hazards.

Conclusion:
Mobile phones are indispensable but their excessive use has adversely impacted our social life making us addicted to it.

Mobile phones undoubtedly, are one of the most spectacular developments, ever to have taken place in the field of telecommunication. They offer the easiest and simplest way to stay connected, with our near and dear ones, thus augmenting and invigorating our social life. However on the contrary, they have actually lowered active social life, and have become an addiction for the youth of today.

The young generation is enamoured by this latest gadgetry. Smart phones undisputedly offer many conveniences, like access to the Internet, entertainment, social networking and the ability to use idle time, (time spent in travelling or in leisure) to best use. It is however some of these conveniences that have actually eroded social life.

The urge to stay connected with our own circle of friends and relatives, has made us a social outcast in the society in which we live. It is quite common to find a group of youngsters sitting together in a place talking on phone to people far away, unmindful of the presence of others around. They are thus more concerned and connected to people far away, than to those around them. Such behaviour dissuades them in cultivating new friendship, in the mistaken belief that they are more secure by staying connected to their known circle of friends. This virtual networking, actually weakens their active social life.

The convenience of utilising the idle time also affects us socially. Business executives and professionals are the worst sufferers. They have no time for leisure as they can be called for work whenever the need arises. This not only affects their social life, but also their family life. The ringing of a mobile is a real nuisance on occasions like an important meeting, praying or participating in a funeral.

Nevertheless it is now becoming indispensable and an addiction because of many value added features that provide social networking, and entertainment. These features have caught the imagination of the youth who spend hours on their smart phones. According to psychiatrists, this causes compulsive disorders and is one of the biggest non-drug addiction in the 21st century. Spending excessive time with mobiles isolates the person from the society.

Mobile addicts tend to neglect obligations towards family, work or study and drift away from friends. Being victims of low self-esteem, they have problems of developing social relations, and are more comfortable in the virtual world. They feel insecure without their phones. In its absence they suffer from anxiety, irritability and sleeplessness. Besides the addictive influence of mobiles, medical research has proved that it can cause serious health hazard for the frequent user.

Undoubtedly mobile phones have made our lives more safe and comfortable. However, like all good things their excessive use has adversely impacted our social life and has now become an addiction.

Assignment

‘Success depends on opportunity and not on- character.’ Express your views either for or against this statement.

Argumentative Essay ICSE 2010

‘More lessons are learnt on the sports field than in the classroom’. Express your views either for or against this statement. This Argumentative Essay was asked in ICSE 2010 board exam. You can find Previous Year Argumentative Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Argumentative Essay ICSE 2010

‘More lessons are learnt on the sports field than in the classroom’. Express your views either for or against this statement. (ICSE 2010)

Introduction:
This is a fallacy for the primary activity of a student is to study and acquire knowledge.

  • Developments in the field of science and technology was possible only by efforts of scholars and scientists.
  • Lessons in the sports field like the virtues of discipline, hard work, perseverance, sportsmanship and teamwork can also be acquired by engaging in hobbies and indoor games.
  • History is proof of achievements of great scholars and reformers not known for their sporting skills.

Conclusion:
Classrooms are meant for serious study, while activities in the sports field can at best help recreate and augment the learning process.

I don’t agree with the statement ‘More lessons are learnt on the sports field than in the classroom.’ The primary activity of a student is to study and acquire knowledge. He can do this only through lessons learnt in the classroom.

The giant strides in the field of science and technology was possible only through persistent effort of scholars and scientists. Their thirst for knowledge through lessons learnt in the classrooms made our lives more comfortable and luxurious. Similarly the lessons that we learn in the classroom, help us shape our career and life. In this age of cut throat competition, a shortfall of one mark in academics can make a difference – at times changing the course of our life. The academic achievements not only help in passing competitive examinations, but also mould our personality and future.

Undoubtedly there are lessons to be learnt in the sports field like the virtues of discipline, hard work, perseverance, sportsmanship and teamwork. These too are important lessons that one must learn in life. They teach us to be magnanimous in victory and sporting in defeat. Nevertheless, these lessons and attributes can also be acquired by engaging in other activities, like indulging in one’s hobby, playing indoor games like cards, carrom etc.

History is proof of the outstanding achievements made by great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Mother Teresa and many others who are not known for their sporting skills but who transformed the society by lessons learnt in the classroom or by reading books. We have also before us the great achievement of differently- abled scientist Stephen Hawking and social reformer Helen Keller. Despite being physically handicapped, their achievements can put ordinary mortals to shame.

The lesson that one learns in the sports field can at best help in improving one’s skill in a particular sport. This could be important for an aspiring sportsman and woman, who has chosen to excel in a particular sport. It could also help others to stay physically fit and be a good source of recreation.
However, for students more lessons are learnt in the classroom than in the sports field. This is because classrooms are meant for serious study, while activities in the sports field can at best help recreate and augment the learning.

Assignment

‘Playing games should be made compulsory in school.’ Give your views for or against the proposition.

Argumentative Essay ICSE 2011

‘Private tuitions are a necessary evil’. Give your views either for or against the statement. This Argumentative Essay was asked in ICSE 2011 board exam. You can find Previous Year Argumentative Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Argumentative Essay ICSE 2011

‘Private tuitions are a necessary evil’. Give your views either for or against the statement. (ICSE 2011)

Introduction:
Private tuitions are a necessary evil because of the cut-throat competition for qualifying in competitive examinations.

  • Evil because it is at the expense of childhood carefreeness.
  • Schools have become commercial institutions.
  • Parents do not have time and cannot help.
  • It is advantageous because it augments school learning by clarifying abstract concepts.
  • Private tutors provide better interaction and motivation which improves learning.

Conclusion:
Private tuition plays an important role in shaping the future of

Private tuitions are a necessary evil because of the cut-throat competition for qualifying in competitive examinations, or even getting admission to good colleges. This has led to children as young as six years old going for personalised coaching. The popularity of private tuition can be attributed to the declining standard of teaching and instruction in schools, especially government schools.

Unhealthy as it seems, private tuitions cannot be dispensed with. This is because in the rat race of competition, children lose their childhood carefreeness. After spending six to seven hours in school and another couple of hours at tuition, the child has just no time to play or indulge in other childhood activities.

This is because schools that were once considered to be the temple of learning, have now become commercial institutions. The high student to teacher ratio makes it impossible for teachers to give personalised attention to students. There is also dearth of quality teachers to explain the difficult concepts and lack of creative teaching methods, to address different needs of students. Furthermore, teachers are inaccessible in school, for students fear reprimand on approaching them for clarifying their doubts. The picture in government or rural schools is even more dismal, for teacher absenteeism is quite high. Thus even in rural areas students are forced to go for private tuitions.

The students unable to get help from teachers in school cannot turn to their parents. This is, because they do not have the time, or the skill to help their wards their words at home. The parents thus have no option but to send their wards for private tuitions.

Private tuitions are in a way advantageous, besides augmenting learning in school, they help in clarifying abstract concepts and solve difficult problems of students. The tutor here is more friendly and accessible and the student can look up to him or her without the fear of being scolded.

Furthermore, the interactive method of teaching is more comprehensible and lasting. It inculcates in the student the importance of time management. This is besides school homework they have to allocate some time for tuition and not waste it in unhealthy pursuit. Private tutors besides teaching also motivate, guide and mentor them in their academic pursuit.

The popularity of private tuition is indeed a direct fallout of and testament to the inefficient system of education in the country, where there is a premium on academic excellence. This evil may have affected the childhood of children. Nevertheless it has helped shape their future making them good professionals in their chosen fields.

Assignment

‘Extracurricular activities should be encouraged in schools.’ Give your views either for or against this statement.

Argumentative Essay ICSE 2012

This Argumentative Essay was asked in ICSE 2012 board exam. You can find Previous Year Argumentative Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Argumentative Essay ICSE 2012

‘Money causes more harm than good’. Express your views either for or against the statement. (ICSE 2012)

Introduction:
Money is the cause of most of the problems that plague modem society.

  • Money has an intoxicating effect that goes into the head of its beholder. It makes them arrogant and selfish.
  • Money has also been the root cause of most of the problems that plague the society.
  • ‘Money makes the mare go’.
  • Being unduly obsessed with money, leads to corruption, crime, stress, ailments and unhappiness.
  • Money brings with it fair weather friends, sycophants, scheming relatives, professional rivals.

Conclusion:
Money is essential to live. Need to maintain the right balance, for as we all know ‘money can’t buy happiness, but neither can poverty.’

“They are sick that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing,” said William Shakespeare in his play ‘Merchant of Venice’. This very aptly brings out the role of money in our lives. Excessive money and wealth brings with it problems of security and mental tension, while not having any, reduces one to penury, making life miserable and not worth living. This is for in today’s materialistic world, we have assigned a monetary value to everything. Thus in the words of Somerset Maugham, “Money is like, the sixth sense without which you cannot make complete use of the other five.”

However, money is not the end of all and be all of our existence. There is no denying the fact that money brings with it prosperity, which has a psychological and social dimension. Psychological for the security, self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment it gives to the beholder, along with the increase in social and political status. It has an intoxicating effect, making the person arrogant, selfish and insensitive to others. So great is the intoxication, especially in the neo rich, that they begin to hallucinate in self-glory and pride.

Money has also been the root cause of most of the problems that plague the society. Financial disputes over it have been known to be a major cause of discord in families, making even siblings sworn enemies. It arouses negative emotions like jealousy, enmity and hatred in the family or friends. In its endless pursuit people become unhappy and tense which lead to serious medical conditions like high blood pressure eventually causing diabetes heart attack and brain haemorrhage.

Despite its dubious role there is no denying the fact that, ‘Money makes the mare go.’ It is the biggest and the most effective motivator. Ordinary men have become great and wealthy in its pursuit. The rags to riches stories of Dhirubhai Ambani, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and numerous others, bear testimony to the important role it plays as a motivator. Human progress can,, to a large extent, be attributed to one’s desire to acquire money and wealth. However, being unduly obsessed with money, leads one to indulge in corrupt practices and crime, which invariably lead to punishment, and unhappiness.

Surfeit of money attract fair weather friends, sycophants, and scheming relatives. There are also personal and professional rivals against whom one has to be constantly on guard. This makes life uneasy, insecure and unpleasant.

Undoubtedly money is essential to life. However its endless pursuit, does more harm than good. This is because happiness that comes from the love of dear ones, true friends, and good health are more lasting and essential and they cannot be purchased. It is therefore essential to maintain the right balance.

Assignments

  • ‘The wealthy are not happy’. Give your views either for or against this statement.
  • Pollution of all types has now become a curse to us. Mention some of the causes of pollution, its harmful effects and how it can be reduced, or checked.

Modes of communication are constantly changing. What are some of these changes? Say which one change you like best and why? (ICSE 2012)

Introduction:
Man being a social animal evolved different modes of communication from sign language to words, letters, telegraph and telephone.

  • The advent of the twenty-first century, paved the way for the Internet.
  • Telephones made way for mobile phones.
  • These come loaded with value added features and are the best way to stay connected with your near and dear ones.
  • The integration of the Internet in the mobile phone, is the best change ever to have taken place.

Conclusion:
The advent of the Internet telephony has been the best change ever to happen. Life today is unimaginable without a mobile.

‘Man is by nature a social animal,’ said the Greek philosopher Aristotle. This makes him constantly explore different and more effective ways to communicate with fellow humans. Thus what may have started as a sign language, gradually transformed to words and sentences, by which one could communicate one’s ideas and thoughts. Man’s endeavour to reach out to the vast multitude of people across the globe, led him to make inventions like the telephone and the telegraph. These were powerful and effective in reaching out to people all over the world till the twentieth century. In course of time he found them to be too slow and cumbersome to meet his insatiable desire.

The advent of the twenty-first century, further revolutionsed the mode of communication. The launching of the communication satellites paved the way for wireless communication. The arrival of the computer and the Internet, provided instant connectivity to any one across the globe, through the world wide web. The networking sites on the Internet like Facebook, Twitter and Google, have now reduced the world to a global village. Besides communicating, one can also visually interact with others using web cams and microphones. The boom in information technology has made it possible to assess any information on pressing a key on a computer. It has also enabled many value added services that have made life comfortable.

Mobile phones are the latest gadgetry in communication that has caught the fancy of the youth. Being extremely light and portable they come loaded with value added features like camera, audio, video recording, music, etc. They are undoubtedly the easiest and most effective way to stay connected with your near and dear ones.

The integration of the Internet in the mobile is the ultimate change. The smart phone has now become the most valuable and trusted companion, without which life is unimaginable. It enables me to put my idle time (time spent in travelling or at leisure) to better use. I can now access information on the net for my project work anytime, find my way in the city, or interact with my friends and relatives. It also offers a host of entertainment features like movies, games which I can enjoy in the confines of my home. All this is now possible without using a computer or the hassle of visiting a cyber cafe.

Assignment

‘Science is both a blessing and a curse’. Discuss

Argumentative Essay ICSE 2013

‘Boarding schools are far better than day schools for the all-round education of a child’. Express your view either for or against this statement. This Argumentative Essay was asked in ICSE 2013 board exam. You can find Previous Year Argumentative Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Argumentative Essay ICSE 2013

‘Boarding schools are far better than day schools for the all-round education of a child’. Express’ your view either for or against this statement. (ICSE 2013)

Introduction:
‘The Battle of Waterloo was won in the playing fields of Eton’

  • Boarding schools provide an unequalled academic environment, because of greater interaction between the students and teachers facilitating mentoring
  • Gives an opportunity to mingle with students of different backgrounds and inculcates virtues like tolerance and trust
  • Emphasis on extracurricular activities nurtures their creative talent, making them independent
  • Helps mould character inculcating virtues of self disciplines, open-mindedness, perseverance and hard work
  • Prepares them for the academic rigors and social challenges of college life
  • The tough and hectic life compared to the easy going life at home, inculcates virtues of time management

Conclusion:
Long queues of parents desirous of admitting their wards in boarding schools, despite the high cost, is ample proof of the crucial role they play in moulding the future of children.

‘The Battle of Waterloo was won in the playing fields of Eton.’ Eton being a famous boarding school in England that trained boys for career in the military and civil services. The superior character of the young men from this school, tipped the balance in favour of the British during wars. Indeed many leaders emerged from the hallowed portals of such boarding schools, to guide the destiny of their nation often creating history. It is an undisputed fact that boarding schools are far better than day schools for the all round development and education of a child.

Boarding schools provide an excellent academic environment, because of greater interaction between students and teachers. This interface unlike day schools is not just limited to 6 – 8 hours. The small class size enables teachers to give individual attention to each student. Thus even less academically endowed students also fare better. Greater interaction foster better mentoring of the students taking into account their special skills and attributes. This helps the students to hone specific talent, which stands them in good stead later in life.

The residential campus environment provides a unique opportunity to mingle with students of different communities, religion and culture. This not only leads to greater understanding of others, but also evolves a spirit of camaraderie, friendship, tolerance and trust among them, that endures for a lifetime.

Besides studies there is additional emphasis on extra-curricular activities like sports, music, dramatics, painting through different club activities. Such activities nurture their creative talent, making them more innovative and confident. The ability to think independently makes them more adventurous, outgoing and hence more successful in life.

Playing and studying in a group also mould their character. They inculcate important virtues of team work, sportsmanship, self discipline, open-mindedness, perseverance and hard work which makes them emerge as future leaders. This is evident in the number of leaders-both political and military, coming from such boarding schools.

The campus life prepares them for the academic rigors and social challenges they are to face in college life. Being adaptive by nature, they are better able to assimilate knowledge and also interact with students coming from diverse backgrounds. Accustomed to staying away from home, they are not prone to homesickness and hence adapt themselves to the new environment comfortably.

Life in a boarding school is indeed more tough and hectic, compared to the easy going life at home, where they live a carefree life under the perpetual protective care of parents. Here they have to fend for themselves. This inculcates discipline and the virtue of time management. A virtue that is important in facing the challenge of adult life. It makes them more independent and confident in their professional as well as social life in future.

The long queues of parents, desirous of admitting their wards in boarding schools is ample proof of such schools being better than day schools. This is despite the high cost and the emotional pain of seeing their loved ones staying away from them.

Boarding schools are indeed better than day schools for the all-round development of the child. They play an important and crucial role in moulding the character and personality, making them useful citizens of the society.

Assignments

  • ‘Competition leads to progress’. Give your view for or against the statement.
  • ‘They can who think they can.’ Bring out the truth of the statement based on your own experience.

Argumentative Essay ICSE 2014

‘Working women make better mothers than women who stay at home’. Express your views either for or against this statement. This Argumentative Essay was asked in ICSE 2014 board exam. You can find Previous Year Argumentative Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Argumentative Essay ICSE 2014

‘Working women make better mothers than women who stay at home’. Express your views either for or against this statement. (ICSE 2014)

Introduction:
Working women make better mothers than women who stay at home because they are usually better educated, more practical and efficient.

  • They have good knowledge of social, health and educational requirements of their children.
  • They are more practical and efficient in performing the daily chores at home.
  • They spend more quality time with their children.
  • Their children are generally more disciplined, confident and self dependent.
  • Their additional income enable children to go to better schools, wear good dresses and eat good food.
  • Advanced countries encourage mothers to go out to work because this contributes to the economy and the society.

Conclusion:
They not only help in the growth and prosperity of the family, but also to the economic development of the nation.

‘ The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world ’. A mother undoubtedly plays an important role in the growth and development of her children, who are the future of the country. Working women make better mothers than women who stay at home because they are usually better educated, more practical and efficient. This has a positive impact on children, making them better citizens.

Being better educated they have good knowledge of social, health and educational requirements of their children. This is important for the child’s wholesome development. On the other hand mothers who stay at home, have limited exposure to such issues which are important for their wards.

Working mothers have an identity of their own as they are better informed and financially independent. This makes them more confident and capable of taking decisions, which impact their children’s future. This is woefully lacking in ordinary housewives who are totally dependent on their husbands.

Accustomed to working as per schedule in the workplace, they are more practical and efficient in performing the daily chores at home. They value time and hence do not indulge in idle gossip at kitty parties, or rumour mongering. Such behaviour is usually associated with mothers who stay at home. A common refrain against working mothers is that they neglect their children and home. Their children are led astray, often taking to drugs, or other antisocial activities.

On the contrary, the opposite holds true in real life. There are numerous instances of children of homemakers spoilt because of excessive pampering. Some are so preoccupied in kitty parties and other social commitments that they have little time for their children. Working mothers though hard pressed for time, ensure undivided attention to their children at home. Her interactions are more positive and vigorous, as she shares their joys and apprehensions. The quality time she spends with her children, are more important and useful than the quantity.

Children of working mothers are generally more disciplined, confident and self dependent. This is so for they learn to fend for themselves very early in life. On the other hand children of homemakers lack in discipline and self confidence. This adversely affects their development and personality.

Furthermore, the increasing expectations and lifestyle changes have made it imperative for mothers to contribute to the family income. The money which she brings home, helps in improving the standard of living of the family. Her children go to better schools, wear good dresses and eat good food.

Realising their valuable contribution to the economy and the society advanced countries encourage mothers to go out to work. In China the government runs creches, where mothers can leave their children when they work.

Undoubtedly working women make better mothers than those who stay at home. They not only help in the growth and prosperity of the family, but also contribute positively to the economic development of the nation.

Assignments

  • ‘Familiarity breeds contempt.’ Give your views for or against the statement,.
  • ‘Television is harmful to society’. Express your views for or against this statement.

Argumentative Essay ICSE 2015

All girls’ or all boys’ school provide a better learning environment than co- educational schools. Express your views either for or against the statement. This Argumentative Essay was asked in ICSE 2015 board exam. You can find Previous Year Argumentative Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Argumentative Essay ICSE 2015

All girls’ or all boys’ school provide a better learning environment than co-educational schools. Express your views either for or against the statement. (ICSE 2015)

Introduction:
Co-educational schools provide a better learning environment, than all girls’ or all boys’ schools.

  • Co-educational schools are economical because of a common infrastructure and teachers.
  • Psychologists have observed good behavioural changes in the students going to coeducational schools.
  • The learning environment is also superior because of the healthy competition both in academics and sports.
  • Conservative people oppose this system fearing children would develop immoral relationships.
  • Fears unfounded, for social networking sites have already done away with the social divide.

Conclusion:
Co-education provides a better learning environment, and is good for the society and the nation.

Co-educational schools, in which boys and girls are taught together, provide a better learning environment, than all girls’ or all boys’ schools. Such schools exist in almost all the countries of the world because there are many advantages in this form of education.

Co-educational schools are economical, for they eliminate the need to open separate schools for boys and girls, which a developing country like India cannot afford. Such schools would greatly help in spreading education to the remote areas of the country, making the right to education a reality for all the citizens of the country.

Besides being economical, there would be no need to have separate teachers for boys and girls. This is especially so keeping in mind the acute shortage of good teachers in the country.

Furthermore, psychologists have observed good behavioural changes in the students going to co-educational schools. While boys overcome their curiosity for girls, the girls get over their shyness. They learn to respect and cooperate with each other. The boys dress properly and behave well in the company of girls. They use dignified language and show courtesy. This free interaction helps in eliminating the social scourge of eve-teasing prevalent in the society.

The learning environment is also superior because of the healthy competition both in academics and sports. They work hard in the classroom and on the playground to stay ahead. Besides competition they learn the importance of team work and co-operation, which help them later in life. In a way co-education helps in moulding the character and personality of the future generation of the country.

There are however some conservative people who are opposed to the system of co-education. They point out that it is against our tradition and culture. They apprehend that if boys and girls study together, there is a good possibility of their developing immoral relationship. This could spoil their character and would be detrimental for the society and the nation. These arguments are however not very convincing and do not hold much water in modem times. The easy access to social networking sites like the Facebook, Whatsapp etc, on the mobile, have already done away with the social divide.

Indeed co-education has many advantages. It enables the boys and girls to understand each other better. The dynamic environment in which we live, there is no room to fear loss of moral values. Women today have an equal status with men in the society. There is therefore need to accept the changing order and encourage co-education in schools. Besides providing a better learning environment to the students, they are good for the society and the nation.

Assignment

Books should be allowed in the examination hall. Give your view for or against the statement.

Quotable Quotations

You can find Previous Year Argumentative Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Quotable Quotations

Act now:
Trust no future, howe’er pleasant
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act – act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead! – H.W. Longfellow

Adversity:
Sweet are the uses of Which like the toad, ugly and venomous.
Wears yet a precious jewel on his head; – William Shakespear

Act now:
Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever. – Mahatma Gandhi

Adversity:
Prosperity is the blessing of the old testament;
Adversity is the blessing of the new. – William Shakespeare (As you like it)

Adversity:
Prosperity doth best discover vice,
but adversity best discover virtue. – Francis Bacon

Advice:
Advice is seldom welcome; and those
who want it the most always want it the least. – Earl of Chesterfield

Age:
Crabbed age and youth cannot live together;
Youth is full of pleasance, age is full of care. – William Shakespeare(Poems)

Ambition:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff. – William Shakespeare (Julius Caesar)

Ambition:
That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,
Where to the climber upward turns his face;
But when he once attains the upmost round,
He than unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend. – William Shakespeare

Ambitious:
As Caesar loved me, I weep for him;
as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it;
as he was valiant, I honour him,
but as he was ambitious, I slew him…
Who is there so base that would be a bondman?
If any speak, for him have I offended. – William Shakespeare(Julius Caesar)

Antagonist:
He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill.
Our antagonist is our helper. – Edmund Burke

Aptitude:
It’s your aptitude, not just your attitude that determines your altitude. – Zig Ziglar

Aptitude:
“Nothing can stop the man with the right;
mental attitude from achieving his goal;
nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferon

Ballot:
The ballot is stronger than the bullet. – Abraham Lincoln

Beauty:
Remember that the most beautiful things;
In the world are the most useless;
peacock and lilies for instance – John Ruskin

Beauty:
A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
Its loveliness increases; it will never,
Pass into nothingness. – John Keats

Beauty:
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty.”
That is all Ye knows on earth,
and all ye need to know. – John Keats

Beauty:

Beauty provoketh fools sooner than gold. – William Shakespeare

Beauty:
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. – Margaret Hangerford

Book:
Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature,
Gods image; but he who destroys a good book.
Kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye. – John Milton

Book:
A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit,
embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life. – John Milton

Book:
A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever. – Martin Tupper

Book:
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed;
and some few to be chewed and digested – Francis Bacon

Borrower:
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend. – William Shakespeare(Hamlet)

Brevity:
Brevity is the soul of wit. – William Shakespeare(Hamlet)

Character:
But I am constant as the northern star
Of whose true fixed and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament. – William Shakespeare(Julius Caesar)

Character(Test):
Men have a touchstone whereby to try gold,
but gold is the touchstone whereby to try men. – Thomas Fuller

Character:
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words they become action.
Watch your actions they become habits.
Watch your habits they become character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny. – Frank Outlaw

Change:
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi

Child:
The child is father of the man,
And I would wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety. – William Wordsworth

Childhood:
I have had playmates,
I have had companions
In my days of childhood,
In my joyful schooldays
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces – Charles Lamb

Circumstances:
Man is not the creature of circumstances.
Circumstances are the creatures of man.

Communism:
From each according to his abilities
To each according to his needs. – Karl Marx

Courage:
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare;
It is because we do not dare that they are difficult. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Cowards:
Cowards die many times before their death’s;
The valiant never taste of death but once. – William Shakespeare(Julius Caesar)

Credulity:
Credulity is the man’s weakness but the Child’s strength. – Charles Lamb

Crown /Power:
Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. – William Shakespeare(Henry IV)

Death:
For that which is born death is certain,
and for the dead birth is certain.
Therefore grieve not over that which is unavoidable. – Bhagavad-Gita

Death:
In this world nothing can be said to be certain,
except death and taxes. – Benjamin Franklin

Death:
All that live must die
Passing through nature to eternity – William Shakespeare(Hamlet)

Death:
A man can die but once; we owe God a death. – William Shakespeare(Henry IV)

Death:
When beggars die there are no comets seen;
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes. – William Shakespeare(Julius Caesar)

Death:
We then with brief Thanksgiving
Whatever God may be,
That no man lives forever,
That dead men rise up never,
That even the weariest river,
Winds somewhere safe to sea. – A.C. Swinburne

Death/Fate:
The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows not substantial things
There is no armour against fate
Death lays his icy hands on kings
Sceptre and crown
Must tumble down
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade. – James Shirley

Deeds:
We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, nor breaths.
In feeling, not in figures on a dial
We should count time by heartthrobs.
He most lives;
Who thinks most-feels the noblest-acts the best – P.J. Bailey

Deeds:
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies and fester smell far worse than weeds. – William Shakespeare(Poems)

Deeds(Good):
The evil that men do lives after them.
The good is oft interred with their bones. – William Shakespeare(Julius Caesar)

Deeds(Good):
How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world. – William Shakespeare(Merchant of Venice)

Democracy:
A perfect democracy the most shameless thing in the world. – Edmund Burke

Democracy:
Government of the people, by the people,
and for the people, shall not perish from the earth. – Abraham Lincoln

Democracy:
You can fool all the people some of the time,
and some of the people all the time,
but you cannot fool all the people all the time. – Abraham Lincoln

Democracy:
Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent;
Many for appointment by the corrupt few. – G. Bernard Shaw

Destiny:
I claim not to have controlled events,
but confess plainly that events have controlled me. – Abraham Lincoln

Destiny:
But yesterday the word of caesar might
Have stood against the world; now lies he there,
And none so poor to do him reverence. – William Shakespeare(Julius Caesar)

Devil:
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose – William Shakespeare(Merchant of Venice)

Dictators:
Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers,
which they dare not dismount.
And the tigers are getting hungry. – Winston Churchill

Diplomat:
A diplomat is a man who always remembers;
A woman’s birthday but never remembers her age. – Robert Frost

Discretion:
The better part of valour is discretion. – William Shakespeare(Henry IV)

Duty:
I slept and dreamt that life was beauty
I woke and found that life was duty. – Anonymous

Duty:
The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep. – Robert Frost

Education:
T’is education form the common mind
Just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined. – Alexander Pope

Education:
Education make a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive;
easy to govern but impossible to enslave. – Lord Biougham

Experience:
Experience is a hard teacher because;
she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards. – V S Law

Experience:
You cannot acquire experience by making experiments.
You cannot create experience.
You must undergo it. – Albert Camus

Fools:
For fools rush in where angels fear to tread. – Alexander Pope

Failure:
Success is the ability;
to go from one failure to another;
with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

Forgive:
To err is human, to forgive is divine. – Alexander Pope

Friend:
I shot an arrow into the air
It fell to earth I know not where
And the song from beginning to end
I found again in the heart of a friend. – H.W. Longfellow

Friend:
Forsake not an old friend, for the new is not comparable to him.
A new friend is as new wine; when it is old, thou shall drink it with pleasure. – Anonymous

Friend:
A faithful friend is a medicine of life. – Anonymous

Friend:
Some great misfortune to potend,
No enemy can match a friend. – Jonathan Swift

Genius:
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration. – Anonymous

Glories:
Glories like glow-worms, afar off shine bright,
But looked to near, have neither heat nor light. – John Webster

Goal:
If one does not know to which port one is sailing,
no wind is favourable. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Goal:
A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder. – Thomas Carlyle

God:
God moves in a mysterious way,
He wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm. – William Cowper

God:
Judge not the lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face. – William Cowper

God:
In the beginning;
God created the heaven and the earth,
And God said, Let there be light;
and there was light.
So God created man in his own image,
In the image of God he him;
male and female created he then – Bible

Government:
Every nation has the government that it deserves. – Anonymous

Government:
No government can be long secure without a formidable opposition. – Benjamin Disraeli

Greed:
The love of money is the root of all evil. – Timothy

Guild:
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood;
Clean from my hand?
No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Make the green one red. – William Shakespeare(Macbeth)

Happiness:
Some cause happiness wherever they go,
others whenever they go. – Oscar Wilde

Imperfect(Beauty):
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud;
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun. – William Shakespeare(Poems)

Jealousy:
O! beware, my lord, of jealousy,
It is the green eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds On. – William Shakespeare(Othello)

Kindness:
Little deeds of kindness, little words of love
Help to make earth happy, like the heaven above. – Julia Carney

Labour(fruits):
No gain, no palm, no thorn, no throne;
No gall, No glory; no cross, no crown – William Penn

Law:
Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law – Oliver Goldsmith

Law:
Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed;
too severe seldom executed. – Benjamin Franklin

Leadership:
“Remember the difference between a boss and a leader;
a boss says “Go!” – a leader says “Let’s go!” – E.M. Kelly

Leadership:
“Leadership is based on inspiration, not
domination; on cooperation, not intimidation.” – William Wood

Life:
Tell me not in mournful numbers
Life is but an empty dream
For the soul is dead and slumbers
And things are not what they seem. – H. W. Longfellow

Life:
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal.
Dust thou art, to dust returnest
Was not spoken of the soul. – H. W. Longfellow

Life:
Life is brief – a little hope,
a little dream and then goodnight. – Leon Montenaaeken

Life:
This life at best is as an inn
And we the passengers – James Howell

Little Neglect:
A little neglect may breed mischief…
for want of a nail the shoe was lost;
for want of a shoe the horse was lost;
and for want of a horse the rider was lost. – Benjamin Franklin

Little Things:
Little drops of water, little grain of sand
Make the mighty ocean, and the pleasant land
So the little minutes, humble may though be
Make the mighty ages of eternity. – Julia Carney

Man(Patriotic):
Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said?
This is my own, my native land! – Sir Walter Scott

Man(Positive thinking):
Life’s battle don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later the man
who wins is the man who thinks he can – H.W. Longfellow

Man(Good):
Bad men live to eat and drink,
where as good men eat and drink in order to live. – Socrates

Man(Good):
Nothing can harm a good man,
either in life or death. – Socrates

Man(Honest):
An honest man’s the noblest work of God.- Alexander Pope

Man(Patriotic):
Never in the field of human conflict was
So much owed by so many to so few. – Winston Churchill

Manners:
A gentle mind by gentle deeds is known,
For a man by nothing is so well betrayed,
As by his manners. – Edmund Spenser

Men(Great):
The height by great men reached and kept.
Were not attained by sudden flight.
But, they while their companion slept.
Were toiling upwards in the night. – H. W. Longfellow

Men(Great):
Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime
And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time. – H. W. Longfellow

Men(Great):
Be not afraid of greatness;
some men are born great,
some achieve greatness;
and some have greatness thrust upon them. – William Shakespeare(Twelfth Night)

Men(Great):
No great men live in vain.
The history of the world is but the biography of great men. – Thomas Carlyle

Mercy:
The quality of mercy is not strained
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath; It is twice blessed;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. – William Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice)

Mind:
The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. – John Milton

Miser:
They are as sick that surfeit with too much,
as they that starve with nothing. – William Shakespeare(Merchant of Venice)

Misery:
Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. – William Shakespeare(Tempest)

Money:
Money can’t buy happiness, but neither can poverty – Leo Rosten

Money:
Money is like a sixth sense without which;
you cannot make complete use of the other five – W Somerset Maugham

Mother:
The hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world. – W. R. Wallace

Name:
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet. – William Shakespeare(Romeo and Juliet)

Nature:
Accuse not nature, she hath done her part;
Do thou but thine. – John Milton

Nature:
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body nature is, and God the soul. – Alexander Pope

Nature:
For men may come and men may go.
But I go on forever. – Lord Tennyson

Nature:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd.
A host of golden daffodils – William Wordsworth

Nature:
My heart leaps up when
I behold A rainbow in the sky. – William Wordsworth

Nature:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our power;
Little we see in Nature that is ours; – William Wordsworth

Nature/(Solitude):
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way Ten thousand
saw I at a glance
Tossing their head in sprightly dance…
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude. – William Wordsworth

News:
When a dog bites a man that is not news,
but when a man bites a dog that is news. – Charles A. Dana

Newspapers:
Newspapers always excite curiosity.
No one ever lays one down without a feeling of disappointment. – Charles Lamb

Oblivion:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen
And waste its sweetness on the desert air. – Thomas Gray

Opportunity:
Opportunity is missed by most people
because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work. – Thomas Alva Edison

Patience:
Though the mills of God grind slowly,
‘yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience;
He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all. – H. W. Longfellow

Patriotism:
Happy the man whose wish and care.
A few paternal acres abound,
Content to breathe his native air In his own ground. – Alexander Pope

Peace:
Peace hath her victories No less renown than war.
For what can war, but endless war still breed? – John Milton

Perseverance:
If you wish success in life,
make perseverance your bosom friend,
experience your wise counselor caution,
your elder brother and hope your guardian genius – Joseph Addison

Politics:
He knows nothing;
and he thinks he knows everything
That points clearly to a political career. – G. Bernard Shaw

Power:
Power tends to corrupt,
and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.
Great men are almost always bad men. – Lord Aston

Power:
The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse. – Edmund Burke

Progress:
The reasonable man adopts himself to the world;
The unreasonable one persists;
In trying to adapt the world to himself.
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. – G. Bernard Shaw

Propaganda/Greater Lie:
The greater masses of the people will more easily fall;
Victims to a great lie than to a small one. – Adolf Hitler

Read:
Read not to contradict and confute;
nor to believe and take for granted,
nor to find talk and discourse,
but to weigh and consider. – Francis Bacon

Reading:
Reading maketh a full man;
conference a ready man;
and writing an exact man. – Francis Bacon

Regin:
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven – John Milton

Religion:
Man is by his constitution a religious animal – Edmund Burke

Religion:
Men will wrangle for religion; write for it;
fight for it; anything but – live for it. – Charles Colton

Religion:
There is only one religion though;
There are a hundred versions of it. – G. Bernard Shaw

Religion:
We have just enough religion to make us hate,
but not enough to make us love one another. – Jonathan Swift

Religion:
Educate men without religion and you make them but clever devils.- Arthur Wellesley

Religion:
Extreme remedies are most appropriate for extreme diseases. – Hippocrates

Reputation:
Reputation, reputation, reputation! O!
I have lost my reputation,
I have lost the immortal part of myself,
and what remains is bestial – William Shakespeare (Othello)

Reputation:
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed. – William Shakespeare (Othello)

Superstition:
Superstition is the religion of feeble minds – Edmund Burke

Though:
There is nothing either good or bad.
But thinking makes it so. – William Shakespeare(Hamlet)

Time Management:
“Guard well your spare moments.
They are like uncut diamonds.
Discard them and their value will never be known.
Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Travel:
Travel in the younger sort, is a part of education;
In the elder a part of experience. – Francis Bacon

Triumph:
Not in the clamour of crowded street
Not in the shouts of plaudits of the throng.
But in ourselves, are triumph and defeats. – H. W. Longfellow

Truth:
He who considers this (Self) as a slayer
or he who thinks that this (Self) is slain,
neither of these know the Truth.
For it does not slay, nor is it slain – Bhagavad-Gita

Unity:
Yes we must indeed,
hang together or, most assuredly,
we shall all hang separately. – Benjamin Franklin

Violence:
An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind. – Mahatma Gandhi

Virtue:
There is however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. – Edmund Burke

Virtue:
Virtue may be assailed. But never hurt.
Surprised by unjust force, but not enthralled. – John Milton

Virtues:
Men’s evil manners live in brass;
their virtues We write in water. – William Shakespeare (Henry VIII)

Wealth(Harmful):
Superfluity comes sooner by white hair,
But competence lives longer. – William Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice)

Wealth:
If we command our wealth,
we shall be rich and free,
if our wealth commands us,
we are poor indeed. – Edmund Burke

Wisdom:
Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers. – Lord Tennyson

Woman:
A man is as old as he’s feeling
A woman is as old as she looks – Mortimer Collins

Words:
Words are like leaves; and where they most abound
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found. – Alexander Pope

World/Stage:
All the world a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts. – William Shakespeare(As you like it)

Writing:
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance.
As those move easiest who have learnt to dance – Alexander Pope

Youth:
His best companions, innocence and health;
And his best riches ignorance and wealth.
How happy he who crowns in shades like these
A Youth of labour with an age of ease. – Oliver Goldsmith

Types of Essays

You can find Previous Year Argumentative Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams

Types of Essays

Essays can be broadly categorised into two types.

  1. Imaginative or Creative Essays
  2. Factual Essays / Expository Essays

1. Imaginative or Creative Essays
Such an essay is the subject matter for your examination. It calls for imagination and creativity. Your composition would be judged with respect to the originality of ideas and their proper presentation. Imaginative essays can be further categorized as:

  • Narrative Essays
  • Descriptive Essays
  • Argumentative Essays
  • Topical or Reflective Essays
  • Critical Essays
  • Short Story

2. Factual Essays / Expository Essays
Such essays as the name suggests are concerned with bare facts and not your thoughts and feelings. The word expository means to expose and hence you are required to write on various aspects of the subject. They require clarity of thought and a logical presentation

Narrative Essay

Writing a Narrative Essay
To ‘narrate’ means to ‘relate’. Thus a narrative piece of writing transports the reader to the time and space portrayed by the writer. It is quite similar to a story in that it describes how your character is feeling, by ‘showing’ through his/her actions, rather than by coming right out and ‘telling’ the reader. A good narrative is not just an entertaining story. It should have a point to make, a purpose to convey. The narrative therefore could be a story, or an account of your experience of an incident real or imaginary, which you want to share with the reader. A good narrative:

  • Involves the reader in the story: By using words that show an incident to the reader, than to simply tell it.
  • Relates events in sequence: Follows a chronological order, that is the order in which the incident took place. You can use expressions like consequently, as a result of, immediately, after some time, finally etc. Such words make the order of events clear.
  • Includes detailed observations of people, places, and events: Dwell on the sights, sounds, smells, tactile feelings, and taste. Use actual or re-created dialogue. Give actual names of people and places.
  • Makes a point, communicate the main idea or dominant impression: The narrative should point to the main idea or dominant impression to make it wholesome.
  • Must be creative and appealing: By using dialogues to make the composition as human as the reader. It should bring out emotions that the writer wishes to convey like fear, sorrow, or joy. This is possible by using appropriate words, active verbs and adjectives. It is usually written in the first person using ‘I’. However, third person (‘he,’ ‘she,’ or ‘it’) can also be used.

Before writing a narrative composition, ensure the following:

  • You have an interesting incident to relate about which you have some personal experience.
  • Make brief character sketches of some characters in your plot.
  • Select a proper background or backdrop of the place or time the incident occurred.
  • Decide on the mood of the composition i.e., Whether it is sad, humourous, frightening, or educative.

Prompts to help write a narrative essay:
If you are having trouble choosing an experience to write about, take a quick glance through these prompts. They might help you remember or identify a particularly interesting or significant experience to focus on.

1. A childhood event: Think of an experience when you learned something for the first time like riding a bicycle, swimming, or when you realised how important someone was for you.

2. Achieving a goal: Think about a particularly meaningful achievement in your
life. This could be something as seemingly minor as achieving a good grade on a difficult assignment, or getting the job you desired, or getting admission into the best school to which you applied. ”

3. A failure: Think about a time when you did not perform as well as you had wanted. Focusing on an experience like this can result in rewarding reflections about the positive, emerging from the negative.

4. A good or bad deed: Think about a time when you did, or did not stand up for yourself or someone else, in the face of adversity or challenge.

5. A turning point in your life: Think about a time when something significant changed in your life. This could be anything from a move across town, a major change in a relationship, the birth or death of a loved one, a failure or success in an examination.

6. A realisation: Think about a time when you experienced a realisation. This could be anything from understanding a complicated math equation, to gaining a deeper understanding of a philosophical issue or life situation.

7. An interesting event: In which you had participated like a marriage, festival or a school function.

8. An accident or a natural calamity

9. A vacation or a visit to a place of interest

Suggested guidelines for writing a narrative composition

1. Keep to the chronological order in which the incident happened. You can however make variations for creating special emphasis like using a flash back (event that happened earlier) before coming to the present to make it interesting.

2. Arrest the immediate attention of the reader by beginning with a bang. This is quite difficult, but effective. You may start a narrative composition by

  • Plunging straight into action
    “ Bang, Bang ‘ the sound of gunfire made me sit up instantly.
  • Setting the scene of the incident
    It was a bright warm day unusual for the month of December
  • Beginning with a dialogue
    “Halt! Who goes there? ” The stem command of the sentry sent a chill down my spine. .

3. Create the right atmosphere or the scene: By dwelling on the place of the incident i.e., describing the surroundings, the time of day whether dusk or dawn, the weather etc.

4. Introduce the characters by creating a clear visual image of the character:
Do not only write about his looks, but describe him in a manner that would make the reader see the character, as given below

The weather had improved, a brisk wind from the south west had driven off the fog. Mr Cronch to please himself had walked into the city. He had fifteen pounds in his pocket and looked into the shop windows. He still wore his large black hat and the beggars avoided him. They took him to be a Jewish moneylender or else a Baptist minister. Beggars are shrewd judges of character. They have to decide quickly. Their income depends on it. To beg from the wrong man means loss of time -perhaps prison.

Example of a narrative essay

Learning To Swim

Learning something new can be a scary experience. One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was learn how to swim. I was always afraid of the water, but I decided that swimming was an important skill that I should learn. I also thought it would be good exercise and help me to become physically stronger. What I didn’t realise was that learning to swim would also make me a more confident person.

New situations always make me a bit nervous, and my first swimming lesson was no exception. After I changed into my bathing suit in the locker room, I stood timidly by the side of the pool waiting for the teacher and other students to show up. After a couple of minutes the teacher came over. She smiled and introduced herself, and two more students joined us. Although they were both older than me, they didn’t seem to be embarrassed about not knowing how to swim. I began to feel more at ease.

We got into the pool, and the teacher had us put on brightly coloured water wings to help us stay afloat. One of the students Mary, had already taken the beginning class once before, so she took a kickboard and went splashing off by herself. The other student, Jerry, and I were told to hold on to the side of the pool and shown how to kick for the breaststroke. One by one, the teacher had us hold on to a kickboard while she pulled it through the water and we kicked. Pretty soon Jerry was off doing this by himself, travelling at a fast pace across the short end of the pool.

Things were not quite that easy for me, but the teacher was very patient. After a few more weeks, when I seemed to have caught on with my legs, she taught me the arm strokes. Now I had two things to concentrate on, my arms and my legs. I felt hopelessly uncoordinated. Sooner than I imagined, however, things began to feel “right” and I was able to swim! It was a wonderful free feeling – like flying, maybe – to be able to shoot across the water.

Learning to swim was not easy for me, but in the end my persistence paid off. Not only did I learn how to swim and to conquer my fear of the water, but I also learned something about learning. Now when I am faced with a new situation I am not so nervous. I may feel uncomfortable to begin with, but I know that as I practice my skills would get better. It is a wonderful feeling, when you achieve a goal that you have set for yourself.

Note the following in the above essay

The essay begins with a general statement, “Learning something new can be a scary experience.” This statement introduces the subject of the essay, which is a particular learning experience that the author had. The use of “I” in the essay indicates that what is being described is a personal experience.

The essay is essentially a story about something that happened. The author gives sufficient details about the people, place, and events so that the reader gets a clear idea of how the author feels about them. In the essay, the author “stood timidly” and the teacher “smiled” and was “patient.” These words indicate the author’s fears and the sense of security provided by the teacher who helped the author get over her fear.

In the final paragraph of the essay, the author reflects on the larger meaning or importance of the experience. The author concludes that learning to swim has made her more confident about herself. The idea that self-confidence comes from conquering fear is something that all people can relate to. This is the main point of the story.

Narrating an interesting incident

An Interesting Incident

Once I found a fat female scorpion in the wall, wearing what at first glance appeared to be a pale fawn fur coat. Closer inspection proved that this strange garment was made up of a mass of tiny babies clinging onto the mother’s back.

With infinite care I maneuvered the scorpions into a matchbox and then hurried home. Unfortunately, just as I entered lunch was served; however, I placed the matchbox carefully on the mantelpiece in the drawing room and joined the family for the meal. Dawdling over my food and feeding Roger surreptitiously under the table I completely forgot about my exciting new capture. At last, Larry having finished, fetched the cigarettes from the drawing-room, put one in his mouth and picked up the matchbox I had brought. I watched him as still talking he opened the matchbox.

Now I maintain to this day that the female scorpion meant no harm. She was annoyed at being shut up in a matchbox for so long and so seized the first opportunity to escape. She hoisted herself out of the box with great rapidity, her babies clinging on desperately and scuttled onto the back of Larry’s hand. Larry, feeling the movement of her claws glanced down to see what it was, and from that moment things got increasingly confused.

He uttered a roar of fright, and with a flick of his hand sent the unfortunate scorpion flying down the table, and she landed between Margo and Leslie. Thoroughly enraged the creature sped towards Leslie, who leapt to his feet and flicked out with his napkin, sending the scorpion rolling towards Margo, who promptly let out a loud scream. Mother, completely bewildered by this chaos, put on her glasses and peered down the table to see what was causing the pandemonium, and at that moment Margo, in a vain attempt to stop the scorpion’s advance, hurled a glass of water at it. The shower missed the creature completely, but drenched Mother, who, not being able to stand cold water, promptly lost her breath and sat gasping at the end of the table. The scorpion had now hidden under Larry’s plate, while her babies swarmed wildly all over the table. Roger, mystified by the panic, ran round the room barking

“It’s that boy again,” bellowed Leslie.
“Look out! Look out! They’re coming,” screamed Margo.
“What on earth’s the matter with you all?” Mother kept imploring, mopping her glasses.
“That bloody boy. Every matchbox in the house is a death-trap,” shouted Larry.

Since no one had bothered to explain things to him, Roger assumed that the family was being attacked. As Lucy was the only stranger in the room, he concluded that she must be the responsible party, so he bit her in the ankle.

Note: the narrative style of the composition. The use of ‘I’ in describing the incident makes it more direct and personal. Effective use of dialogues makes the composition more lively and colourful. ’

Descriptive Essays

A descriptive essay mirrors the mood of the writer and conjures images that breathe. It is often regarded as the most structured form of writing, for it is associated with the ability to transfer emotions to the reader through the use of words. A good essay arouses the reader’s senses, and impacts his mind. The writer succeeds if he is able to capture the reader’s attention, and retain it till the end.

The tone of the essay should be gradually built, so that there is one strong dominant emotion. If the purpose of the essay is to cause concern or arouse fear, then the trend must be set in the introduction itself. It prepares the reader for stronger and worse emotions to follow. Before you set about writing such a composition you should identify the following

What do you want to describe?

It’s important for you to identify exactly what you want to describe. Often, a descriptive essay will focus on portraying a person, a place, a memory, an experience or an object. Thus descriptive essay topics can range from describing a rainy day, a sunset or a sunrise or writing about your home, parents, pets, personal success and failure, happiest and saddest moments in life, thrill of achieving a personal goal and ambition. Other topics could be describing, a storm, hurricane, cyclone or any other natural calamity. All such compositions call for creativity, evoking emotion, colour and imagination, so that the reader is able to visualise the event.

Guidelines for Writing a Descriptive Composition

1. ‘Show don’t tell’. An important principle that you must remember while writing a descriptive essay, is the famous saying: ‘show don’t tell’. To understand the difference between showing and telling consider these two simple sentences

I grew tired after dinner.
As I leaned back and rested my head against the top of the chair, my eyelids began to feel heavy, and the edges of the empty plate in front of me blurred with the white table cloth.

The first sentence ‘tells’ the reader that you grew tired after dinner. The second sentence ‘shows’ the reader that you grew tired. Good descriptive essays are loaded with such showing because they enable readers to imagine or experience something for themselves.

The use of active verb helps the reader visualise the nature of emotions, rather than stating the characters or scene in an inanimate and passive manner. Vivid use of words and verbs are thus very effective.

2. Create a vivid experience for your reader: Focus on the five senses sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.

When you focus your descriptions on the senses, you provide vivid and specific details that show your readers, rather than tell them what you are describing. The example below illustrates this.
Types of Essays-Descriptive essays- 1

Example of a descriptive essay highlighting the use of senses.

Going Fishing

Uncle George and I would head out before it got light. The trek to the pond was always exciting. The earth smelled fresh and new. promising warmth, and as the birds awoke, they’d tentatively practice the prologues to their songs. We’d walk past the apple trees, and I could smell the sharpness of the rotten fruit that had dropped to the ground. Occasionally, I’d slip on a peel, so I learned to be careful not to run too quickly. We’d walk past the water troughs where the tadpoles were busy wiggling their way to frog hood and pick up the pond trail on the other side of the musty-smelling old bam. At this point I had to be careful not to get my pole tangled in the underbrush-which constantly grabbed for my dangling hook and bobber-while Uncle George’s flashlight jumped and weaved as he made sure the small circle of light was set for my height. He would hold my hand and tell me about the fish, and I was never scared.

Notice that all senses have been used to describe the scene like touch, smell, hearing, taste, and vision, although you may just pick one or two depending on your style.

2. Dwell on the significant details like the

  • time and season
  • place and the surroundings
  • people around their looks, their attire

3. Start with the general and proceed to the specific detail. It is important to be selective. For example in describing a man, it is not necessary to dwell on every physical attribute like his eyes, nose etc .It would be more apt to dwell on his unique physical attribute like his colour, unusual height, gait, or mannerism. If you are writing about an event, give your paragraphs a chronological order. If you are writing about a place or thing, arrange your paragraphs so that they go from general to specific.

4. Use figurative speech, active verbs and words that vividly describe. The reader is thus able to visualise what is being described. Thus instead of saying she had good hair, it would be more expressive to say she had thick black curly hair that hung down up to her shoulders.

5. Make effective use of comparison, simile and metaphors. This can make the description lively and realistic. Thus instead of describing a room of size 15 ft by 40 ft you can say that the room was the size of an ‘auditorium’.

6. Organize your composition using the time span sequence or the people sequence.
In describing a person or a place you could use the following guidelines.

Describing a Person

  • Write about someone you know well.
  • Give details which make the person different from others.
  • Dwell on the physical characteristics, mannerism, personality traits, especially those that make the person unique.
  • Like the way he or she smiles, laughs, talks, dresses or wears her hair.
  • Based on the above, decide on the overall impression the subject has made on you.
  • Make this a part of your topic sentence and list out the points you intend to cover under it.
  • The reader is thus able to ‘picture’ the person you are describing.
  • Use vivid words to create a colourful and memorable picture of the subject.
  • Provide dialogues. Let the person speak for himself /herself.
  • Give an anecdote or incident that helps illustrate the person’s character.
  • End your description interestingly, by either coming full circle and end where you began, or by stating what you learnt or felt about the person.

Some prompts that would help in describing a person

1. Shape of the face Could be square, round, wide, oval, triangular, or chiseled

2. Skin and complexion This is the natural appearance and colour of the skin, especially of the face. For example, “Sita has a soft, creamy complexion.”
Other expressions that you could also use are: wrinkled, freckled, shallow tanned, pale, fair, spotless, silky, smooth, creamy, baby-soft,, glowing, rough weathered, weather beaten, leathery, etc

3. Eyes Focus on the eyes for they often reveal a lot about a person. Their shape like large, small, almond-shaped, round, squinty, bulging, heavy’-lidded, hooded, hollow, tear- filled,

4. Eye expressions like piercing, mesmerizing, sad, sorrowful, haunted, sympathetic, compassionate, expressive, twinkling, lively, shifty, sly, etc.

5. Mouth and Lips their shape and size like thin, full, pouting, pursed.

6. Mouth Expressions like grin, frown, scowl, sneer, pout, toothy, toothless, dimpled, serious, snarling

7. Hair like black, brunette, blond, gray, silver, white, salt-and-pepper.

8. Texture or appearance like wispy, fuzzy, wavy, curly, unmanageable, straight, spiky, neatly-combed, cascading, long, short, cropped.

9. Facial hair: Goatee beard, bushy, stubbly, bristly, unshaven, clean-shaven, neatly- trimmed.

10. Body: While describing the body use strong verbs and adjectives like : small, slim, thin, lean, skinny, bony, chubby, portly, plump, round, stout, broad shouldered, burly, muscular.

11. Posture: Slouch, flop, lean, recline, sprawl, squirm, slump, stoop, hunch.

12. Adjectives describing appearance: stylish, smart, chic, classy, elegant, polished, casual, carefree, crisp, sparkling, glittery, sloppy, torn, ripped, tattered, disheveled, slovenly, unkempt, faded, worn, frayed.

Describing a Place

  • Write about a place you know, and the impression it had on you.
  • List out the features that make it different from others and the important feelings as you visit the place.
  • Show how it looks, sounds, feels, and smells, and what it means to you.
  • Based on the above, evolve an overall impression the place has made on you.Work this into a topic sentence.
  • Alternatively you can choose to begin with a strong historical background of the place.
  • Use vivid words to make your description colourful and memorable to the reader.

Example of a descriptive composition illustrating the difference between telling and showing.

Describing a Person

I have a co-worker. Her name is Linda. She has three dogs, whom she takes to dog shows very often. During work breaks we would get together and talk about her three dogs and her boyfriends.

The more I get to know her, the more I realise she has low self-esteem. For one thing, she thinks she is over-weight, and her troublesome relationship with her boyfriends seem to confirm that fact for her.

At first, I did not know why she never talked much about her family. But as I got to know her, I realised they were never there for her. Her lousy dad left her shortly after she was bom, and her depressed mom was always drinking. Perhaps that is why she has so much trouble with personal relationship.

Comment: The narrator spends too much time telling us what Linda is like, but readers would rather see for themselves. Besides, the piece moves at one pace and seldom dwells on details, readers would like to know more. The above composition could be made more interesting and colourful by using dialogues and anecdotes as given below.

“Look at my kids! He won Best in Show and she won Best of Breed in the dog show” Linda went on and on, flashing photo after photo of her victorious poodles before my eyes.

I keep no dogs, but have a boyfriend and a cat to look after. During our work breaks, I walk to her cubicle so we can brag about our “kids”. Her 12-by-14 cubicle is right at the far comer with pictures of her dogs all lined up on her shelf, next to her Bible. Numerous dog show certificates on the cubical walls, but no sign of any family photos.

Our daily chat, other than pet anecdotes, consists of not much more than tireless streams of grievances – more from her than me. She could not have lavished more adjectives on canine beauty than on her frustrations of life. “My idiot boyfriend left me again.” “All these stupid people think I’m stuck with losers.” “My boss promoted a tall skinny blonde over me.” “I’m too fat to get a husband.”

When I first heard the last complaint, I took a good look at her – short, plump, black curly hair, hazel eyes, and really rosy cheeks. She looked almost pretty in loose clothing. I told her I would rather be a little bigger myself, skinny as I am. But she said I was closer to the norm, and since her parents passed her such fat genes, she elected not to contribute to the gene pool. She would breed dogs instead.

Describing an Experience Caught in a Tornadoe

Tornadoes are one of the deadliest and most unpredictable villains mankind will ever face. There is no rhyme or reason, to it’s madness. Tornados are one of the most terrifying natural events that occur, destroying homes and ending lives every year. April 29th, 1995, a calm, muggy, spring night I may never forget. Joey, a buddy I grew up with, agreed to travel across the state to visit a friend in New Jersey. Joey and I were admiring the beautiful blue bonnets, which travelled for miles like little blue birds flying close to the ground. The warm breeze brushed across the tips of the blue bonnets and allowed them to dance under the perfectly clear blue sky. In the distance,- however, we could see darkness. A rumbling sky was quickly approaching.

We continued down the infinitely long interstate towards our destination. Thunder clouds continued to rumble in, like an ocean tide rolling closer and closer to the beach front. Within minutes the entire landscape was calm and dark. It looked like a total eclipse of the sun, and the once moving blue bonnets were now completely still and sombre. The rain began to trickle down the sky. The sound of the rain, as it hit our car, was like that of pins dropping on a metal surface. The intensity of the rain increased as we ventured further into the eye of the storm.

As we approached an overpass, we noticed a parking lot of used cars piled underneath. By now, the rain had created a wall of water, which surrounded our car. We decided to pull over and sprint to the underpass to join the other frightened observers. What Joey and I were unaware of, what we couldn’t possibly know, was that a tornado was already on the ground frantically spinning its way towards our position.

The twister had just hit the ground and was gaining power and strength as it devoured everything in its path. We found ourselves even more frightened than we were just moments ago. The whirling “finger of God” was approaching us at a tremendous rate. The sound surrounding us was outrageous, it sounded something like a steam, locomotive roaring towards us, whining and whistling with an awful high pitched roar. As the rumbling cloud of darkness approached us, we started to realise its outstanding power. This event would be one that we wouldn’t soon forget. The rain had almost completely stopped, but the wind was nearly blowing us off the ground as we huddled together under the overpass. We could hear the screeching sounds of car tyres as they started sliding across the rain-soaked cement pavement. Electrical explosions lit up the darkened sky as the tornado ripped over power lines, snapping them as if they were toothpicks. Screams erupted from the crowd as the tornado crossed directly over us, smashing large objects into the overpass pavement. We were terrified as the twister rumbled over the roadway leaving us untouched.

Shortly thereafter it vanished from the sky, leaving only shattered pieces of falling fence posts and telephone poles. Everyone slowly unravelled from the huddle that had protected them moments earlier. The sun started poking holes in the dark rumbling sky; the wind and rain had completely ceased, leaving it morbidly calm. The sun burned away every trace of lingering darkness in the sky. It was amazing to look back and see a mile long trail of destruction surrounded by homes and fences that were left totally untouched.

I remember thinking to myself how amazing this moment was, and how grateful I was to be alive. Anytime I look back on those few moments of my life, it makes me realise that I must cherish every single moment of it.

Argumentative Essay

An argument is defined to be ‘a well-structured, well-reasoned and well-supported point of view on a topic about which there is good reason for disagreement.’ Thus an essential characteristic of an argument is the sense of opposition. Hence an argument has two sides – proposition and opposition (for or against). In order to persuade the opposition, you need to take into account their beliefs and see how effectively you can convince them to support your proposition. Therefore, besides putting across your beliefs, you must also anticipate and overcome objections which the opposition might raise, so as to bring them around to your point of view.

An argumentative essay is therefore a logical presentation of the topic, supported by sound reasoning. It presents one side of an issue using evidence and logic to convince the reader, to draw the same conclusion as the author.

Personal opinion or insight could be the foundation of an argumentative essay, but it must be supported by reason, evidence, and factual information. Needless to say, that a good knowledge of the subject matter is essential, for writing such a composition.

Guidelines for writing an argumentative essay

  • Jot down all the points that come to your mind under the heads ‘for’ and ‘against’.
  • Decide whether you are going to write ‘for’ or ‘against’ the statement. In case you are to discuss or give advantages and disadvantages, then you have to dwell on both aspects of the subject.
  • Begin with a statement of your assertion on the issue, whether it is for or against the proposition. State its importance and relevance.
  • In the body of the composition justify your assertion, by giving practical, and historical evidence, to substantiate your point.
  • Begin each point / justification in a separate paragraph, substantiating it logically.
  • Refute your opponents arguments/points already listed by you point by point, with practical and historical evidence to support your assertion.
  • Don’t use first person. Instead of saying, “I don’t think global warming is worth worrying about”, you may say, “A two degree rise in temperature over the next hundred years makes global warming a trivial problem.”
  • Reserve your strong points or argument towards the end.
  • Conclude with a well thought out personal view on the subject.

Pitfalls of writing an argumentative composition

Having chosen your line of argument, do not waiver, by acceding to the point in favour of the opposition. You may only do so if you are required to discuss the subject, where you have to dwell on both the aspects.

Writing this type of composition is very rewarding. You should attempt it only if you have complete knowledge of the subject. Illogical arguments or arguments not properly supported by factual data or evidence would be counter -productive.

Example of an Argumentative Essay

‘Should Capital Punishment Be Abolished?’ Give Your Views For Or Against The Statement

Introduction: What is Capital Punishment?

List out the points for and against

For

Against

Should not be abolished as there is need to check increasing incidence of crime in modem society. Should be abolished for such a form of punishment is barbaric and has no place in a modem society.
Most effective way of getting rid of undesirable elements to preserve society. Life is a God given gift and nobody has a right to take it away
A physiological deterrent for criminals It is inhuman and cruel. Has no place in modem civilization.
Proved ineffective in controlling heinous crime in countries where it has been abolished Does not deter criminals Advanced countries have abolished
Requires scientific investigation and more transparent and equitable judicial system, Justice is fallible and this form of punishment is irrevocable.
The death penalty should be awarded in the rarest of the rare cases

Topical Essay Or Reflective Essay

A reflective essay is your chance to reveal and talk about your personal insight about a topic. They are used as a self-assessment measure of sorts, for they allow you to address your experience or knowledge. The goal of the essay is to successfully bring out your beliefs, attitudes and observations. The composition could also include abstract topics that are based on social, political and domestic issues like education, democracy, discipline, friendship, patriotism, love etc. Thus for example if you were to write an essay on an abstract topic like ’love’, you could begin by writing your own philosophical meaning of the term, through the prism of your experience. You can further develop on the common attribute by simply answering the questions given below.
Types of Essays-Argumentative Essay- 2

Therefore before writing a reflective essay, make a list of all the relevant material that you plan to include.

Before writing a reflective essay

  • Write down all the material points you have on the subject or the experience.
  • Carefully choose some prominent ideas. It could be the difficulties you faced and how you solved them.
  • Describe your experience as specifically and lucidly as possible.
  • Analyse the weak and the strong aspects of the experience or subject.
  • Evaluate and draw conclusion on the experience.
  • Conclude by summarising the main idea or the learning you got from the experience.

Sample Of Topical Or Reflective Essay

Growing Up

Like all children, when I was growing up, all I wanted to do was to be big. I always kept a close eye on ray role models (my parents) and always tried to do everything they did. The skills I learnt and the attitude I acquired from a young age were of immense help to me in my later years.

From the age.of five, the memories I have are those of following my father around the yard watching him wash the car and mow the lawn. My father would sometimes give me a small sponge so that I could help him wash the car. Although the job I did was insignificant and most likely not done properly, I always got a sense of pride and satisfaction in my work.

In my teenage years my role around the house had changed. My father was no longer around and my mother had the pressure of providing for my younger sisters and myself. During school holidays I was responsible for looking after my sisters and keeping them amused at the same time. Not an easy task at all! Gone were the days of washing the car and playing around. During this time I managed to get casual employment in a departmental store. Although the money I earned was not significant, but it was enough for me to pay for my hobbies and ease some pressure off my mother.

Now as an adult I have a steady job and a tertiary education behind me. I have never seen myself as a victim nor did I accept sympathy from anyone because all the good and bad experiences of my younger years have helped me become a successful and determined person. The support I received and continue to receive from my family was also a major drive for me to want to succeed.

I think that everyone’s life is always full of good and bad experiences. The key is to appreciate the good and find a way of turning a negative situation into a positive one.

Critical Essays

A critical composition is a critique or review of another work, usually a work of art like a book, play, movie, painting etc. It is more than just a summary of the contents of the work of others or your opinion of its value. The critical essay is an objective analysis of the work, examining both its positive and negative aspects. You need not be an expert critic to write such a composition. However, you should have read the book, seen the film or play to enable you to write authoritatively.

In writing a critical essay introduce the topic, including the name of the work that you are analysing, the era in which it pertains to, the author or artist of the work.

In the body, dwell briefly on the theme and the plot.

Comment on the way it is presented – it’s style. Whether it is tragic, philosophical, comical, thrilling, adventurous or it evokes horror.

Comment on the story line, characters and other aspects like dialogues. If writing on a film comment on the direction, acting, dialogue delivery, screenplay, and cinematography etc.

Conclude by stating your personal opinion. How it affected you and why the book or the film impressed you?

Write about a film you have just seen and state what you liked or disliked about it.

THE TITANIC

The Titanic is a real life tragic drama, enacted more than one hundred and fifty years ago, on the luxurious and invincible ship ‘Titanic’. The ship struck an iceberg in the Pacific Ocean, and sank with more than fifteen hundred people on board. The director Steven Spielberg of Jurassic Park fame ingeniously weaves a love story against the backdrop of this tragedy that keeps you glued to your seat.

The film is the story of a poor girl Rose, who falls in love with a young lad Jack, emigrating to America for work. Rose’s mother, an ambitious woman wants her to marry a wealthy young man, travelling aboard the ship. The drama has the usual twists and turns, with the wealthy man conspiring, and accusing Jack of stealing a diamond necklace ‘The Heart of The Ocean’. At this juncture the ship collides with an iceberg, and starts to sink gradually. There is a wild scramble, as people behave like animals, for their own self-preservation fighting for life jackets and lifeboats. The young couple on the other hand, risk their lives to save each other. The hero finally succumbs to the icy waters, to save his beloved.

It goes to the credit of the director, who has been able to extract a stellar performance from Kate Winslet as Rose and Leonardo Di Caprio as Jack in their debut performance. The film has excellent cinematography and elaborate sets. The grandeur of the ship has been recreated, by actually constructing the same. The excellent camera work, and digital stereo sound effects, give a ‘true to life’ experience. So much so, that you can actually feel the emotions of the people struck by the calamity. The screenplay, dialogue delivery, costumes, make up and props, truly reflect the period of the tragedy.

So realistic was the film, that it is bound to strike an emotional chord in the viewers, some of whom would be moved to tears. On the whole, it is a well-made film offering wholesome entertainment and thrill, justifying the cost of one hundred million dollars that went into making it. Undoubtedly, it deserves the eight Oscar awards, and is bound to be a runaway success.

Short Story

This is difficult to attempt in 35 minutes, unless you have very good command on the language, and the ability to weave a unique plot. The story should be original for it is specifically enumerated in the rubrics which states ‘Write an original story’.

Introduction and Conclusion of Essays

You can find Previous Year Argumentative Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams

Introduction and Conclusion of Essays

Introduction
The quality of an essay’s introduction often determines whether the essay gets read in the first place. A fine introduction gives the reader a good initial impression, enticing him/ her to read on, and encourages an excellent evaluation at the end.

Hence the introduction paragraph in an essay serves to attract the reader’s interest, introduces the topic, and explains what the essay will be about. Thus an essay’s introduction has three features which usually appear in the following order:

  1. Catching the reader’s attention
  2.  Some background information
  3. The central idea

1. Catching the reader’s attention: Some common strategies to catch the reader’s interest to your essay are given below . You might begin your essay by choosing any one of the following:

(a) By making a startling / or by giving a striking information:
The information must be true and verifiable, and not totally new to the reader. It could simply be a pertinent fact that explicitly illustrates the point you wish to make. Such an opening is very effective, if it conveys the central idea which crystallises the theme of your composition. Thus, for example, if you were to write an essay on environmental pollution you could begin by stating.

Environmental pollution threatens the survival of the entire human race.
All criminals should be hanged.
School examinations should be abolished.

Such an opening sentence tells the reader what the composition is all about. It is a good way to begin an opinion based or fact based composition.

(b) Relate a dramatic anecdote: An anecdote is a short story that illustrates a point that is relevant to your topic. It could be an interesting or humorous incident that creates the right atmosphere and adds a spark to your writing. Be sure your anecdote is relevant and to the point.

(c) Dialogue: Using dialogues between the characters is another good way to begin a narrative or descriptive essay. The reader must however understand the point you are trying to convey. Use only two or three exchanges between characters to make your point. Follow the dialogue with a sentence or two to elaborate vour point. For example
“Winter is the best of all the seasons. ” said my friend as we cycled to school. “No, I prefer spring” saying this I waved towards the trees laden with flowers on the roadside. I really wonder how people can let this wonderful season go by unnoticed. .

(d) Expose a commonly held belief: You can also begin by stating a belief which is common and known to all. Stating it boldly in the opening sentence, would catch the reader attention. Thus, if you were to write a composition on ‘Bribery’ you could begin by stating:

Every man has a price
This is the growing belief among people wanting to get any work done from people in authority.
Similarly, if you were to write a composition on banning cigarette smoking you could well begin by stating.

‘Cigarette smoking is injurious to health’ is printed on all cigarette packets. This should normally deter one from smoking. Unfortunately it is not enough to deter educated people what to talk of the poor and the illiterate.

(e) Ask a provocative question: You can also begin the above composition on cigarette smoking by asking a provocative question. Here the reader is compelled to think about the question, which instantly involves him in your writing. The questions are rhetorical and the answer is obvious. Thus, for example if you were to write a composition on ‘Should smoking be banned in public places’. You could begin by posing a question.

‘Would you spend money every day for a dose of poison?

(f) Present surprising facts and statistics: You can also begin by stating facts and statistics that are verifiable. Thus if you are to write a composition on, ‘Population explosion in India’, you could begin by stating

The population of India would be 150 crore by the year 2020.

(g) Use a fitting quotation: This is done by quoting words of great philosophers or thinkers. Such an approach riot only adds value to your composition but also make it more relevant and convincing. You must however ensure that the quotation is intricately tied to the subject of your essay. Thus if you were to write a composition titled ‘Greater the power greater the abuse’, you could begin by a quote.

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely” said Lord Aston.
This aptly sums up what power can do to normal mortals.

(h) Tell a story, or give an example: This is another excellent way to begin your composition , provided the story is short and relevant. A personal story or an experience attracts the reader’s attention.

(i) Define a key term: This approach is useful when you are writing a topical, factual or free-choice composition. Here you can start by defining the term or explaining its meaning. Such a strategy is useful in writing composition on topics like ‘Terrorism’, ‘Charity’ “Euthanasia’ etc.

(j) Create an atmosphere: This is a commonly used approach in a narrative or descriptive composition where you begin by creating a proper atmosphere. This helps the reader visualise the incident or description making it more interesting and appealing. Thus if you were to write a composition on ‘An exciting trekking experience’ you could begin thus,

The earth smelled fresh and new, promising warmth, and as the birds ‘ awoke, they tentatively practiced the prologues to their songs. We had walked past the apple trees, and I could smell the sharpness of the rotten fruit that had dropped to the ground.

Or begin your narrative composition stating The house shook, the windows rattled and flung open

(k) Begin with a proverb or a witty’ statement: All that glitters is not gold. Successful people are seldom nice.

2. Provide background information
Providing background information in an essay’s introduction serves as a bridee to link the reader to the topic. How long this bridge should be depends on how much information you think the reader will need to understand the issue being discussed in the essay.

3. State the central idea
The central idea in an essay’s introduction is the most important part of the essay and is indispensable. It can be in one or two sentences and should tell the reader what the whole essay is all about.

Being aware of the three features of an essay’s introduction, you can choose a specific strategy to begin your composition. This would however depend on the type of essay you wish to write.

Conclusion
A conclusion is the last chance to persuade the reader to your point of view. The impression you create in the conclusion will stay after they have finished reading the essay. The end of an essay, therefore, should convey a sense of completeness and closure.

Concluding your composition
You can conclude by stating:

  • A quotation which amplifies your main point or puts it in a different perspective.
  • Redefine one of the key terms of your argument.
  • Stating your considered opinion on the subject.

The three R’s of a complete concluding paragraph

  • Reiterate: Having proved your point, restate your central idea with suitable emphasis and conviction. You can also repeat the best or strongest point of your argument.
  • Reply: In an argumentative essay you may reply to counter-arguments if it supports your central idea. However, use it only to further your argument.
  • Recommend: Having proved your point you could suggest some course of action.

Finally, some advice on how not to end an essay:

    • Don’t simply summarize your essay.
    • Avoid phrases like “in conclusion,” “to conclude,” “in summary,” and “to sum up.” Or taking into account the above factors I would like to conclude, or It is thus obvious that
    • NEVER add new information

Few examples of conclusions are given below.

Spare the rod and spoil the child.
Physical punishment can be a useful method of discipline. However, it should be the last choice for parents. If we want to build a world with less violence we must begin at home, and we must teach our children to be responsible.

Should dangerous sports be banned?
Our society would indeed be healthier if more and more people took part in sports of all kinds. We should continue to try to prevent accidents and injuries. However, we should also ensure that sports are challenging, exciting, and above all, fun.