Essays that Answer a 'Should' Question

Argumentative (Opinion) Essays that Answer a "Should?" Question

Developed by Terry Coye for the Gallaudet University Department of English
Adapted for English Works! by Ellen Beck and Patrick Peters, June 1999

Most college students will at one time or another, write an essay that answers a "should?" question. This kind of essay will usually explain either a "yes"response or a "no" response. Some writers do choose to give a yes/no response, but this is a more complicated approach to writing and requires quite a lot of organizational skill.

As in any essay, you must organize the essay into three parts: the introduction, the body and the conclusion. The essay can range in length from one paragraph to as many as twenty or more depending on your teacher's requirements.

In a "should" essay, the introduction can have a little background information and your thesis. The answer to the question is your thesis. The body will explain one, two or three reasons why you believe your thesis statement. The conclusion sums up your opinion.

Following are some strategies to help you write an essay that answers a should question.

Should Gallaudet Disband the Football Team?

YES

THESIS

If you decide to answer YES to this question, the focus of the essay will be on advantages, improvements, benefits of disbanding the football team. The thesis can be as simply written as just answering the question.

Possible THESIS STATEMENTS for a Yes answer:

  • Gallaudet should disband the football team. There are three reasons why I believe this.
  • There are several reasons why Gallaudet should disband the football team.
  • Gallaudet should disband the football team because the football players' grades might improve, Gally will save money, and players won't get hurt.

INTRODUCTION

The introduction can include a little bit of background information or a statement that explains the controversy. The introduction must include your thesis statement.

Possible INTRODUCTION for a YES answer:

Gallaudet has had a football team for many years. Recently, some students, faculty and administrators have said that we should disband the football team. I agree. I think Gallaudet should disband the football team. (This is the thesis).

The Body

The body of your essay should discuss ADVANTAGES/ IMPROVEMENTS/ BENEFITS. Each new advantage, benefit, reason, should have its own topic sentence that begins with a transition. Each new example should begin with a transition word, too.

Possible TOPIC SENTENCES for your "first" reason, advantage, benefit:

Possible TOPIC SENTENCES for your "second" reason, advantage, benefit:

Possible TOPIC SENTENCES for your "third" reason, advantage, benefit:

Possible CONCLUSION for a YES response:

If Gallaudet disbands the football team, there will be several improvements. The football players might get better grades, and Gallaudet might save money. In addition, football players will have fewer injuries. Therefore, I think that Gallaudet should disband the football team.

Should Gallaudet Disband the Football Team?

YES

Introductory Paragraph

(Thesis)
Gallaudet has had a football team for many years.  Recently, some students, faculty and administrators have said that we should disband the football team. I agree. I think Gallaudet should disband the football team.
First supporting paragraph The first reason is that the football players' grades might improve.  Each fall semester, several football players get low grades because they spend so much time practicing their sport.  For example, one smart boy in my biology class last fall started the semester with an "A" average. Then he started practicing football every afternoon and he did not have time to study for his biology tests. By the end of football season in November, his average had dropped to "D".  His parents and VR counselor were so angry that he had to withdraw in December.  Almost 25 percent of the football players go on AP at the end of fall semester.  If Gallaudet disbands the football team, then the players' grades might improve.  My biology classmate could get an "A" instead of a "D", and Gallaudet probably will have fewer students get on AP in December.
Second supporting paragraph Second, Gallaudet should disband the football team because Gallaudet might save money. Every year Gallaudet has to pay more than $100,000 to support the football team. The coaches salaries add up to more than $50,000, and new equipment costs about $10,000. Insurance costs about $7,000. Also, maintenance of the field and of the old equipment costs as much as new equipment. Furthermore, Gallaudet has to pay for transportation, public relations, telephone calls to parents and other schools. All this is very expensive, but Gallaudet does not earn much money from selling tickets. If we disband the football team, Gallaudet will have more than $100,000 to spend on important other costs, like better furniture in the dorms and classes. Students and faculty would both benefit from the extra money.
Third supporting paragraph The last reason why Gallaudet should disband the football team is that football players will have fewer injuries. During football season, several players get hurt. Most players have bumps and bruises, but some have very serious injuries such as broken bones and deep lacerations. Although Gallaudet has been lucky, in some schools, football players have died from heart attacks and broken necks. My roommate's boyfriend still walks with a limp from a football injury he received two years ago. If Gallaudet disbands the football team, we will have healthier students. Football players will not have to miss classes or wear casts anymore. The total rate of injury may be reduced by 50 percent in the fall, and more boys will be able to dance at the Rock Festival in the spring.
Concluding paragraph To sum up, if Gallaudet disbands the football team, there will be several improvements. The football players may get better grades, and Gallaudet might save money. In addition, football players will have fewer juries. Therefore, I think that Gallaudet should disband the football team.

 



Should Gallaudet Disband the Football Team?

 

NO

THESIS

If you decide to answer NO to this question, the focus of the essay will be on disadvantages, problems that could occur if Gallaudet disbands the football team.

Possible THESIS STATEMENTS for a NO answer:

Possible INTRODUCTION for a NO answer:

Gallaudet has had a football team for many years. Recently, some students, faculty and administrators have said that we should disband the football team. I disagree. I think Gallaudet should not disband the football team. (This is the thesis).

THE BODY

Your body paragraphs should discuss PROBLEMS and DISADVANTAGES. Each new disadvantage or problem should have its own topic sentence that begins with a transition. Each new example should begin with a transition word, too.

Possible TOPIC SENTENCES for your first problem, disadvantage:

Possible TOPIC SENTENCES for your second problem, disadvantage:

Possible TOPIC SENTENCES for your third problem, disadvantage:

POSSIBLE CONCLUSION for a NO response:

If Gallaudet disbands the football team, there will be several problems. Then fans will be disappointed, and Gallaudet will lose publicity. Furthermore, football players might decide to leave. In my opinion, Gallaudet should not disband the football team.

Should Gallaudet Disband the Football Team?

NO

Introductory Paragraph

(Thesis)
 Gallaudet has had a football team for many years. Recently, some students, faculty and administrators have said that we should disband the football team. I disagree. I think Gallaudet should not disband the football team for three reasons.
First supporting paragraph The first reason is that the fans will be disappointed. During the football season, students, faculty and staff enjoy going to games and rooting for the Bison. Everyone gets excited and yells for the home team, which is great fun. Also, students and faculty share something important when they cheer together. Most of the time, students and faculty feel like they are fighting, so it is nice when they both can feel the same way about a football team. In addition, fans talk about football all the time, which is exciting because everyone discusses the game together. If Gallaudet disbands the football team, everyone will be disappointed. Fans will have no game to go to on Saturday, and won't be able to cheer and shout. They will feel empty and frustrated. Students will have one less thing in common with faculty, and the exciting Monday discussions will disappear.
Second supporting paragraph The second reason why Gallaudet should not disband the football team is that Gallaudet will lose publicity. Now, Gallaudet gets a lot of free advertising because our name appears in the newspaper and on TV each time we play a football game. Our university is very small, but people see our name when they read the sports pages and listen to the news. Also, when Gallaudet had a winning season several years ago, reporters talked about us all over the U.S. and Canada. Some people heard about us for the first time. If Gallaudet disbands the football team, then we will lose all that free advertising. Our name will not appear in the newspaper or on TV, and we will become invisible. We will have to spend more money to advertise Gallaudet and to recruit more students.
Third supporting paragraph Finally, Gallaudet should not disband the football team because the football players might decide to leave. Our football players come to Gallaudet excited and eager to play on our team. They work hard and feel proud of themselves and their university because they play on a fine team. If Gallaudet disbands the football team, the players will lose their enthusiasm. They will have nothing to do at four each day, and their Saturdays will be empty. Their excitement about Gallaudet will be reduced, and they might want to transfer to another school.
Concluding paragraph If Gallaudet disbands the football team, there will be several problems. The fans will be disappointed, and Gallaudet will lose publicity. Furthermore, football players might leave. In my opinion, Gallaudet should not disband the football team.


  • The third reason why Gallaudet should not disband the football team is that football players might decide to leave.
  • Finally, if Gallaudet disbands the football team, the football players might leave Gallaudet.

  • Second, Gallaudet should not disband the football team because Gallaudet will lose publicity.
  • Another reason why is that Gallaudet will lose publicity.

  • The first reason is that the fans will be disappointed.
  • The first reason why Gallaudet should not disband the football team is that the fans will be disappointed.

  • Gallaudet should not disband the football team.
  • There are several reasons why Gallaudet should not disband the football team.
  • Gallaudet should not disband the football team because the fans will be upset, Gallaudet will lose publicity and some football players might leave.

  • The last reason is that football players will have fewer injuries.
  • Third, Gallaudet should disband the football team because football players will have fewer injuries.
  • The third reason why Gallaudet should disband the football team is that football players will have fewer injuries.

  • The second reason is that Gallaudet might save money.
  • Second, Gallaudet should disband the football team because Gallaudet might save money.
  • The second reason why Gallaudet should disband the football team is that Gallaudet might save money.

  • The first reason is that football players' grades might improve.
  • First, Gallaudet should disband the football team because football players' grades might improve.
  • The first reason why Gallaudet should disband the football team is that football players' grades might improve.
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