INDEPENDENT WRITING: Argument

Question:

Some students like to take distance-learning courses by computer. Other students prefer to study in traditional classroom with a teacher. Consider the advantages of both options, and make an argument for the way that students should organize their schedules.

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Model:

Both distance-learning courses and traditional classes provide important but different experiences for college students. On the one hand, there are many advantages to distance-learning courses. One of the most important benefits is the opportunity to attend class at your convenience. This is very important for students hold full-time jobs since they can choose to take their classes on a schedule that allows them to continue working. Another advantage is the chance to complete assignments at your own pace. For students who can work more quickly than their classmates, it is possible to earn more credits during the semester. A huge advantage to international students is the option of listening to lectures more than once.


On the other hand, there are advantages to attending a traditional class. The structured environment is beneficial, especially for students who are not as highly motivated. In addition, it is more likely that you will develop a personal relationship with the teacher, an advantage not only for the course but also after the course when you need a recommendation. By seeing you and talking with you face-to-face, the teacher will remember you better. It is also easier to get an immediate response to questions because you only have to raise your hand instead of sending e-mail and waiting for an answer. Last, the opportunity for study groups and friendships is different and more personal when you sit in the same room.


Given all the advantages of both types of courses, I think that students would be wise to register for distance-learning courses and traditional classroom courses during their college experiences. By participating in distance-learning courses, they can work independently in classes that they may be more difficult for them, repeating the lectures on computer at convenient times. By attending traditional classes, they can get to know the teachers personally and will have good references when they need them. They will also make friends in the class. By sharing information with other students, they can organize their schedules for the following semester, choosing the best classes and including both distance-learning and traditional courses.

(coped from Barron’s, pp. 85)

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