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Argument 1

Learn to Argue / Persuade

Task 1

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Title: Sample Argument


This is a student response to the question listed in the blue box on the right.  It takes a clear stance but also debates the other side prior to the conclusion.
Good for showing both sides of the issue, exploring critical thinking and for having students go back and add argumentative features

Argument 1 - Question and Sample

Sample Argument:


Sports stars and movie stars do have an obligation to behave as role models.  The athletes we see on television and the celebrities the grace the covers of magazines today are at the pinnacle of their careers and they have made sacrifices to achieve their goals.  They have worked very hard to get into the spotlight and they are fully aware of the effect they can have on younger generations.  Young people respect their achievements, enjoy their talents and look up to them as examples of what to strive for.  As a consequence of being a paragon of sporting or acting excellence, athletes and actors - who are paid considerable sums of money - must be role models in their professional and private lives in the active promotion of self-discipline, charity and responsibility.


The temptations at the height of any professional are difficult to resist.  Many athletes and actors come from low-income to middle-income backgrounds and when they achieve success they also achieve millions and million of dollars as well as fame and critical acclaim.  Thus, their self-discipline, ironically what we presume got them to their current status, is placed under scrutiny.  It is placed under extreme pressures.  With money comes power and with power it is easy to lose sight of what is important.  By our children being witness to our glorified celebrities succumbing to various addictions (or bankruptcy) we are instilling the paradigm that achievement can bring about failure.  Is this the message we want to impart on our children?


Athletes and actors must be role models and they should use their celebrity status to do works of charity or support good causes.  Michael Jordon uses his money to support sports in inner-city schools so that other low socio-economic children can have the opportunity to feel better about themselves and about school in general.  However, it doesn't have to be just charity work.  Angelina Jolie's current role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador has directly raised the profile of third world countries as people are drawn to her celebrity.  Also, her decision to adopt children from both Cambodia and Africa has raised the status of multiethnic adoption.  Younger generations can clearly see that she has tremendous resources, but that she values her celebrity status and will knowingly use it for good.


To become a star athlete or actor you need to have a high sense of responsibility.  Therefore there is no excuse when celebrities do not behave like role models.  While it is difficult to be an example of excellence at all times, celebrities who exist in the public spotlight must be aware of the effect they have on younger generations.  Children look up to these men and women as heroes and when they mess up, the need to take the opportunity to display responsibility by admitting they are wrong.  Mike Tyson, who perhaps has the most massive public image problem, has even given money to domestic abuse groups in an effort to show he has changed his ways from his previous run-ins with the law.  We do hold celebrities on a pedestal and when they fall we expect them to rectify the damage they have done.  Taking responsibility for one's actions is being a role model and its impact is far-reaching to young people everywhere.


To examine the other side of the issue briefly it can be argued that celebrities increase their status (and wealthy) through misbehavior and we - as consumers - are responsible for this.  A significant proportion of us want to see how far they can rise and how far they can fall.  If misbehavior continues to be the route to status then celebrities will have no incentive to behave professionally at all times.  If we expect athletes to be responsible then we must show the same level of responsibility in our continual expectation that they be good role models.


In conclusion, our celebrities our paid a lot of money and live a very luxurious lifestyle.  A lifestyle that many of us support directly through attending sporting events and films; it is not too much to ask them to behave responsibly in return.  Young people are impressionable and we can only conceal them so much from the media and from the world around them.  When celebrities are no longer role models we need to let their status (and bankability) drop; if we let them know our disapproval then we will promote the obligation that they behave like responsible adults.




Sports Stars and movie stars have an obligation to behave as role models to young people who look up to them.  In return for the millions of dollars they are paid, we should expect them to fulfill this responsibility.

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