Part One: Discussion

Work with your partner(s) and discuss the following statements. Try to think of both sides of the issues.

  • People need to eat meat to be healthy.
  • Fast food should be heavily taxed like alcohol and tobacco.
  • Cooking should be taught to all children in elementary school.

Part Two: Organization

Many writing tasks are based on your opinion. Your job as a writer is to try and persuade the reader. However, an opinion is only strong if it is supported by a developed argument. You should try to support your opinion with three clear reasons, and you should expand upon each reason with specific details. Details, such as specific examples, will develop and explain your reasons so that they are clear to the reader. All of your sentences need to be logically organized so the reader can easily follow your points. Consider the organization of the paragraph below, which argues that people don’t need to eat meat to be healthy.

Even though eating meat may have cultural or social value, human beings do not need meat to be healthy. First of all, meat is not the only source of any nutrient that people need. The proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients present in meat are also present in a well-balanced plant-based diet. Not only that, but some of the nutrients in meat are present in much higher levels in plants. Second, a meat-free diet can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions. Regularly eating meat, especially processed and red meats, greatly increases your chances of getting these diseases. According to some research, vegetarians live up to 8 years longer than meat-eaters on average and have a lower risk of developing these deadly diseases. Finally, eating a plant-based diet can help you lose weight. Studies of vegetarians and vegans who eat a well-planned diet of fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods show that they tend to weigh less than meat eaters. Vegetarian diets also help people lose weight faster. People continue to eat meat for many reasons, but it’s clear that eating meat is not the healthiest choice.

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