Expository Writing (Discursive & Argumentative)
In this lesson 3, the learning objectives are:
1. Be familiar with the structure of an expository essay
2. Know what the essential elements are in an expository essay
Read the discursive essay below, then watch the video and write your annotations. You may also download the handout which highlights the elements.
Celebrities are terrible role models for young people. What are your views?
“I don’t want children cursing. I’m very strict with my nieces and my little brother. They have to listen to clean versions of music. Even my music.” This quote by American singer Nicki Minaj, also known as the Queen of Rap, might surprise many people because her music is infamous for profanities. Quotes such as these show us how even though celebrities are often blamed for being terrible role models for young people, many famous people in entertainment, sports and politics in fact strive to leave a positive impact. Some celebrities serve as great role models because they have admirable achievements that inspire young people to push themselves to succeed. Others use their fame to support social causes and motivate
others to do good. However, there are some who promote unhealthy values by their words and actions, and are thus a negative influence. As such, I believe that celebrities are more of a positive influence for young people.
Body Paragraph (BP1) – AGAINST
To begin with, some celebrities are positive role models because their achievements may encourage young people to aspire for excellence. Outstanding athletes and musicians often set the standards for excellence in their field. With these role models, young people may feel motivated to follow in their footsteps in pursuit of personal achievement. The journey of Singaporean swimmer Joseph Schooling is one such example. When Schooling first met his hero world champion swimmer Michael Phelps in a competition, Schooling lost, but Phelps encouraged him to not give up. Eight years later, Schooling not only won Singapore’s first Olympic gold medal in swimming, but he did so by beating his role model, Michael Phelps. This example shows us how celebrities can be positive points of reference for young people, challenging them to achieve their dreams.
BP2 – Use a connector to suggest another point AGAINST
Moreover, there are stars who use their fame to raise awareness of social causes and encourage others to take positive action. From causes ranging from mental health, gender equality to environmental sustainability, celebrities can catalyse public support for beneficial change. British royal Prince Harry regularly uses the media attention on him to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and promote his initiative, Heads Together. Similarly, a spate of recent suicide cases in the Korean popular music industry has led celebrities such as Kim Dong-wan of Shinhwa and Taeyeon of Girls’ Generation to speak out against toxic and abusive attitudes towards gender, body image and work culture in the music industry. When influence is used to support the wellbeing of others, celebrities can encourage their fans to also take action for good.
BP3 – Use a transitional statement to show another point of view.
While some celebrities may exert a positive influence on youth, not all of them do. There are celebrities known glamourising unhealthy body image ideals. One example of this is American social media star Kim Kardashian, famous for her controversial scandals and cosmetic surgery procedures. Other stars have publicly espoused negative values such as racism. For instance, American professional boxer Floyd Mayweather has publicly shared racist slurs and made offensive comments about Asian culture with reference to Filipino world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao. As we can see, there are celebrities whose behaviour or values are damaging for young people to emulate.Even though some celebrities do serve as positive role models for young people, this is not always the case.
On the whole, celebrities can serve as positive role models for young people, though there are some whom youths have to be wary of emulating. Given that some celebrities are known for controversial or damaging behaviour, other celebrities have qualities and contributions that can inspire young people to do better. Even though Nicki Minaj’s music can be divisive, she is also known for her public support of personal empowerment and self-confidence. Ultimately, celebrities will continue to be a part of our lives. As we become increasingly critical thinkers and discerning consumers of the media, we will have to make our own informed choices when deciding which role models are worthy of us to follow.
Expository writing assignment
If you would like more practice on narrative writing, download the assignment below.
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