Check out the full essay by xsaber on the following question below:

QUESTION 17 - Free textbooks for all students

Textbooks should be free for all students. Do you agree or disagree? Argue your point.

Free Textbooks For All Students by xsaber

Whether textbooks should be free to all students is a much-debated topic in school boards across Australia and also many other countries around the world. Textbooks should not be free to students since retail companies supplying the textbooks won't get much profit if any at all if they are supplying the textbooks for free and we are moving to an age full of technology so we should prepare students for that, not change their learning style to that of the 1900s.

If textbooks are free to all students, then retail companies supplying the books won't get much profit if any at all for the books. When retail companies won't get profit, then it will be harder for them to keep supplying the books if they won't get enough money to consistently buy the materials for the books and maintain the shop. If a retail company is asked to supply textbooks to a High School in Brisbane, for all 6 years, then the company will eventually go bankrupt since they won't get enough money to keep the shop up and running since they have to supply the textbooks for free.

Another reason why textbooks should not be free to students is that we are moving to an age full of technology, so why change the students learning style to that of the 1900s. We should always prepare students for the future, not teach them useless learning techniques that they will never need. If students were taught from books, then they won't get much of a feel of online interactive learning, hindering them from learning the ways of the future. This should never be done, so textbooks should not be free to students.

However, technology can harm one's eyes, which textbooks can't do. Of course, that is bad but software engineers have recently announced that they are creating technology that can't harm one's eyes since they will use different materials to create a safe-to-eyes, eco-friendly piece of technology.

Textbooks should not be free to students since textbooks won't develop profit for retail companies, forcing the companies to go bankrupt and we should also prepare students for the future, not hinder them from learning the ways of the future.

Word count: 359

Solutions to this essay

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submitted 4 months ago by Exam Success Team - Ella

Hi! Great job with your piece - it’s on par with average marks and some further tweaks will help you bring it to a higher standard.

Kridaya, you have a strong first argument and have provided a specific example which supports this argument. Many students forget to do this, so well done!

Here’s feedback that focuses on around 3 areas in Expert Writing Insights to help you improve your piece:

1. On-topic arguments
Take time to select strong and solid arguments. You can come up with arguments (this is different from development of argument) by considering the health, economic and social dimensions of the topic. There is an increase in score for arguments that are sophisticated and require more thought.

In your piece:

Your first argument is fantastic, however, your second argument is off-topic. In this argument, you say:

“Another reason why textbooks should not be free to students is that we are moving to an age full of technology, so why change the students learning style to that of the 1900s. We should always prepare students for the future, not teach them useless learning techniques that they will never need. If students were taught from books, then they won't get much of a feel of online interactive learning, hindering them from learning the ways of the future. This should never be done, so textbooks should not be free to students.”

This isn’t a valid reason as to why textbooks should not be free. Giving students free textbooks doesn’t really have any correlation with their future preparation. It also doesn’t mean we would change their learning style “to that of the 1900s”. The prompt is asking you to argue whether or not textbooks should be free for students, not whether or not textbooks are beneficial (which is what this argument seems to be discussing).

Proposed changes:

You have come up with a great first argument about retail companies losing profit if textbooks were free, so perhaps you can also think about who else may lose money if textbooks are free. What about the authors, editors, publishers and printers?

Here are some ideas for a more on-topic second argument:
→ If textbooks were free, then authors of these textbooks would not be getting any compensation
→ It costs a lot to print textbooks, so making textbooks free isn’t a feasible option
→ If textbooks were free, authors may become lax with their research as they would not be getting paid for their work

2. Counter-argument
If a counter-argument is presented, a suitable and valid claim for the opposing stance should be presented after all other arguments have been presented and before the conclusion and reorientation. A counter-argument should be clear and to the point usually in 1-2 sentences. It is not necessary to present a counter-argument if time is limited, however, if it is presented, it should be done properly. No marks are lost if a counter-argument isn't presented, but marks can be lost for poor counter-arguments. Main can be gained through a good presentation of a counter-argument.

In your piece:

Your counter argument is also off-topic and doesn’t present a valid claim:

“However, technology can harm one's eyes, which textbooks can't do. Of course, that is bad but software engineers have recently announced that they are creating technology that can't harm one's eyes since they will use different materials to create a safe-to-eyes, eco-friendly piece of technology.”

Again, the prompt is asking you about textbooks, so when you talk about technology you actually stray from the prompt and your argument becomes confusing. Your counterargument should present an argument that supports the opposing side. In this case, it should be a reason as to why textbooks should be free. What you have written doesn’t really present a suitable claim.

Proposed changes:

Have a look at some of these counter-arguments:

→ Textbooks should be free because most students already pay large sums of tuition money
→ Some students may be unable to afford textbooks and as a consequence their learning is affected
→ Some students have other expenses, like rent and groceries, and buying expensive textbooks is not always practical so it would make more sense to have free textbooks

These claims all relate directly to the prompt because they discuss reasons as to why textbooks should be free.

3. Economical sentences
Write clear, straightforward sentences. If necessary, break the information up into two sentences. When sentences use too many words (verbose) such as adjectives and adverbs unnecessarily, sentences often sound flowery, confusing and overwhelming. You wouldn't gain extra points for this but more likely to lose points as sentences are not economical. To fix this up, cut out words along with restructuring sentences to use the least amount of words necessary to convey what you want in a particular sentence.

In your piece:

You have a number of long sentences in your piece. For example:

→ Textbooks should not be free to students since retail companies supplying the textbooks won't get much profit if any at all if they are supplying the textbooks for free and we are moving to an age full of technology so we should prepare students for that, not change their learning style to that of the 1900s.
→ When retail companies won't get profit, then it will be harder for them to keep supplying the books if they won't get enough money to consistently buy the materials for the books and maintain the shop
→ If a retail company is asked to supply textbooks to a High School in Brisbane, for all 6 years, then the company will eventually go bankrupt since they won't get enough money to keep the shop up and running since they have to supply the textbooks for free.
→ Textbooks should not be free to students since textbooks won't develop profit for retail companies, forcing the companies to go bankrupt and we should also prepare students for the future, not hinder them from learning the ways of the future.

When one of your sentences takes up three or four lines, it usually means you have too much information in it. This can make your writing wordy and difficult to read and also means readers may not understand to point you’re trying to make.

Proposed changes:

To make your sentences clearer, remove any excess information and break them up into a number of smaller sentences. Here is how you could rewrite the above sentences:

→ Textbooks should not be free to students. Firstly, the retail companies who supply textbooks to schools will not receive much profit if textbooks are given to students free of charge. Secondly, we are moving to an age full of technology and so we should prepare students for that.
→ If retail companies don’t get profit, it will become harder for them to keep supplying the books. They will not be receiving enough money to buy book material as well as maintain the company.
→ For example, if a retail company is asked to supply textbooks to a high school in Brisbane for all six years of a student’s school life, then it is possible the company will go bankrupt.
→ Textbooks should not be free to students because free textbooks will not generate profit for retail companies. Furthermore, we should prepare students for the future, not hinder them from learning the ways of the future.

Now that you’ve done your essay and gotten feedback, what’s next?

Take this feedback on board and do another essay. Take about 30 minutes writing it, then about 1-2 hours to edit (editing means checking through it, changing sentences around, rewording things to make it clearer and better) it over a number of days. Remember, to make sure you’re checking your newest essay against the feedback given so that mistakes aren’t repeated.

Well done and keep on writing!

submitted 4 months ago

Rank

Total score: 6.58 / 10

Based on this score, we consider this essay to be not competitive for the exam.

Major Weak Points


Thought Quality

On-topic arguments - 1.0 / 10

1 or more arguments are off-topic.

Argument clarity & sense - avoiding nonsense or illogical arguments - 1.0 / 10

1 or more arguments are nonsense or illogical.

Selection of supporting detail - 5.0 / 10

1 or more but not all instance of evidence used was selected carefully and enhanced the argument.

Selection of argument: Exaggerations and non-proven claims - 5.0 / 10

1 instance of exaggeration language but supporting detail makes claim somewhat believable.

Structure

Counter-argument - 1.0 / 10

Counter-argument does not present a valid claim.




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