Rabu, 14 Desember 2011


What is it?

Discussion is a kind of text which presents a problematic discourse. Discussion text will see and elaborate the problem or issue from at least two different points of view. It presents pro and contra opinion on the issue, one side agrees with the issue while the other disagrees. The different point of views on the generic structure is actually the core of the discussion text which differentiates from the other text types. The two different points of view not only must be treated fairly but also be supported with reasons and evidence. If the writer chooses to support one particular view in the conclusion, plausible reasons must be given then.
We can discover various perspectives to get the meet point between two different ideas before coming to the conclusion. Therefore discussion is the effective method to calm down any friction and different thought and perception in many social activities.

Social Function

The function of discussion text is to present at least two points of views about an issue or controversial topic.

Generic Structure

It contains an opening statement presenting the issue which is going to be discussed. The issue must drive problematic discussion.
Arguments for (pro)
It provides arguments to support the pro opinion. It is completed with supporting evidence/examples.
Arguments Against (cons)
It states the arguments which disagree or con to the stated issue. These contradictive arguments are also supported with evidence/examples.

Conclusion or Recommendation
This paragraph says the writer’ conclusion or recommendation for the discussed issue on how people should concern with it.

Language Features

Using thinking verb e.g.: feel, hope, believe, etc.
Using additive, contrastive and causal connection e.g.: in addition, similarly, on the hand, however, therefore, consequently, etc.
Using modal e.g.: must, should, could, may, etc.
Using adverb of manner e.g.: deliberately, hopefully, etc
Using simple present tense e.g. Like all animals, we need clean air and water, food and shelter for survival.

Text Examples:

National Exam in Pros and Cons

National exam becomes the hot topic in most of discussions. Though the Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by the government on the organization of the national exams, the controversy over whether it is necessary to maintain the national exams (UN) has continued. Some debates include the primary questions such as; does the quality of Indonesia education depend on the national exam? Will the quality of the Indonesian education system worsen without national exam?
People, who support the national exam, explain that the quality of the Indonesia education system will drop without the national exam, so they try to defend the current system.
However there are people who disagree with the opinion. Those who against this national exam kept in our high school education say that it doesn’t need the national exams because the quality of education does not just depend on the national exam. Further, the national exam only measures a small portion of students’ competence in specific subjects, and does not measure students’ competences throughout the semester.
In fact, the national examination can still be useful as an instrument to evaluate or detect the level of students’ cognitive competence in several subjects, on a national scale.
Taken from: http://understandingtext.blogspot.com which is arranged from: www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/12/19/quality-education-and-national-exams.html

Hacking: Pro and Contra?

Do you know what a hacker is? Well, a hacker is a person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems on computers and they like to stretch the capability of the systems. And you know what, the activities they do in the computers are called ‘hacking’.
So, what’s the problem with ‘hacking and its hackers’? Well, the problem is whether ‘hacking and its hackers’ legal or illegal? What I mean is that people in the world have many different views about hacking and the hackers. Some of them take sides, but many object.
To get back to what I was saying previously, let us see the positive points of a hacker, shall we? Although in most places breaking into computer systems is considered illegal, I believe that hackers don’t do anything illegal because they only want to know and try the systems. I dare to say that a hacker likes finding the strengths and the weaknesses of a computer system. They feel proud if they can find the weaknesses. So I don’t really see the crimes in this case. In addition, these hackers sometimes help the police catch the ‘white collar criminals’, such as bank robbers, money launderers, credit card forgers. For example, in 2000, the U.S. hackers caught some Singaporean hackers who made ‘Virus Love’ to break up the programs of the U.S. National Security system.
Nevertheless, those who object to the good points of a hacker say that hacking is a crime. The reason is that some hackers use their brilliant skills to break into banks and other vital institutions where they can get money, destroy information, and the worst thing is they can get secret information and sell it to another country. This is a treachery. Take for example, in1994; the U.S. government broke a conspiracy of computer hackers out of Majorca, Spain. These hackers were responsible for accessing and eliminating 190,000 telephone credit card numbers over computer bulletin boards in America and Europe. Seeing this fact, I don’t blame those who think negatively about hackers.
To put the whole thing in a nut shell, I personally think that hackers are not bad people with their brilliant skills. However, they could be bad because of money orientation to get the wealth. That’s just the point.
Taken from: http://bos-sulap.blogspot.com

Gift Cards Bring Advantages and Disadvantages

Gift Card
Gift cards become more popular during recent years. For example, in one season of holiday, sales reach $19 billion in United Stated and seem to grow more in the following season due to their convenience in the side of consumers and retailers.
In retailers’ side, gift cards bring them some benefits. Selling gift card is simply selling product. When the cards are sold, they will get benefit. Additionally, gift card tends to be a matter of image and trend which means it is not strictly influenced by the functionality. Since gift card is the trend, the sales will increase significantly.
However, there are potential disadvantages in the side of consumers. For example, itune gift cards apply process in the way of completing the shopping. They need one step to another step in processing the shopping. Likely, most of the steps apply time and date of validity or expiration. When certain step looses that validating date, the gift cards may be in risk. The gift card can be rejected to redeem. Again, in retailers’ side, producing card itself is costly. It means that there is additional cost which retailers have to pay.
In whatever thing, we need to be wise. If we can use that gift card effectively, the disadvantages can be reduced.
Taken from: http://understandingtext.blogspot.com

Is Drinking Milk Healthy for Humans?

Milk is one of the most popular beverages in the United States. We have been told it “does a body good,” but some scientific studies have found that contrary to popular belief, drinking milk may do more harm to our bodies than good.
Proponents of milk say calcium and other vitamins and minerals in milk make it an important part of a healthful diet for people of all ages. They argue that milk’s benefits include weight loss, strengthening bones, improved cardiovascular and oral health, cancer prevention, and relief of PMS.
Opponents of milk argue that it contributes to obesity, calcium deficiency, allergies, heart disease, cancer, and other health ailments. They argue that claims regarding milk’s benefits are merely advertising campaigns designed to promote dairy sales and that many nutritious alternatives to cow’s milk exist.
Taken from: http://milk.procon.org/

Should the Death Penalty be Allowed?

Death Penalty
1,136 people were executed in the US from 1977 through 2008, primarily by means of lethal injection. Most death penalty cases involve the execution of murderers although capital punishment can also be applied for treason, espionage, and other crimes.
Proponents of the death penalty say it is an important tool for preserving law and order, deters crime, and costs less than life imprisonment. They argue that retribution or “an eye for an eye” honors the victim, helps console grieving families, and ensures that the perpetrators of heinous crimes never have an opportunity to cause future tragedy.
Opponents of capital punishment say it has no deterrent effect on crime, wrongly gives governments the power to take human life, and perpetuates social injustices by disproportionately targeting people of color (racist) and people who cannot afford good attorneys (classist). They say lifetime jail sentences are a more severe and less expensive punishment than death.
Taken from: http://deathpenalty.procon.org/

Can Alternative Energy Effectively Replace Fossil Fuels?

Alternative Energy
Whether alternative energy sources such as biofuels, hydrogen, solar, geothermal, or nuclear energy can meet energy demands better than finite fossil fuels such as oil and coal remains hotly debated.
Proponents of alternative energy argue that fossil fuels are inefficient, unsustainable, environmentally destructive, and the primary contributor to global climate change. They say renewable energies are a viable and immediately needed alternative to fossil fuel use that could boost the US economy and reduce reliance on foreign energy sources.
Opponents contend that many technological hurdles have to be overcome before alternative energy can replace even a small portion of the power provided by fossil fuels. They say that fossil fuels will last hundreds of years longer, be made increasingly efficient, remain the most economical choice, and that reliance on inefficient alternative energies will hurt the economy.
Taken from: http://alternativeenergy.procon.org/

The Pros and Cons of Animal Testing

Animal Testing
Animal testing is the use of animals in scientific experiments. Most animal testing is done by universities, pharmaceutical companies, and medical schools. Most animals used for research are breed for the specific purpose of testing and few animals used for testing are captured from the wild. Some animal testing is done for basic research such as behavior studies and genetics while other animal testing is done for the benefit of humans. This research includes drug testing, surgical procedures, medical equipment, and somewhat inconsequential applications like; cosmetics, and other household products. Most animals that are used for researched are euthanized once the experiment is finished.
Many who are against animal testing claim that the treatment of the animals is inhumane. Many groups argue that animals have the same right to life as human beings and that it is not worth euthanizing animals for the benefit of mankind. Many also argue that using animals to test the effects of cosmetics and household products is not an important enough reason to sacrifice an animal.
Those who argue for animal testing point out all the amazing breakthroughs that have already come from animal testing research such as organ transplant and open-heart surgery techniques; life saving drugs; effective insulin and cancer treatments; and vaccines for deadly diseases like polio, rabies, rubella, and tuberculosis. Animal testing also benefits the lives of animals such as the heartworm medicine that has saved many dogs lives.
However animal testing is the most accurate way to learn the effects of substances in a living body. Using cell cultures can only reveal side effects on a molecular level and cannot unfortunately, reveal side effects like organ failure, rashes, tumors, or cardiac arrest like animal testing can. Using computer models cannot always predict unknown variables that can be discovered with animal testing. Animals may not have the exact same philology as humans but animal testing is accurate enough to test whether a substance is even safe enough for human trials.
Simplified from http://www.edubook.com

The Pros and Cons of Solar Energy – Everything You Need to Know

By Mark Raynes
Solar Energy
Sunlight is a non-exhaustible source of energy and believe me, if all the coals on earth disappears or even if humans also become extinct, sun will continue to peep out every morning and carry on its job. For this reason, switching over to solar power is something that wise men would follow.
Global warming is on rise these days and by switching on to the solar energy, you not only save environment and stop global warming, but you also save plenty of money every month by switching to alternative energy sources.
Recession has affected us badly and why not save money instead? Seems like a nice idea and for those who want to implement this idea, switch to solar power and you can literally save hundreds of dollars every month.
As we know that there are some places on Earth where they do not get adequate sunlight, or where the conditions are mostly cloudy skies, solar energy can still be opted but they won’t be as efficient as they should be. Unavailability of sunlight for less than 4 hours a day in average would damage the efficiency of solar panels.
The starting cost of installing solar panels would pinch on the pockets but thinking long term, they would help you financially as well.
Thus, after comparison of pros and cons of solar energy, we still find out that deciding to go with solar power isn’t a bad step at all. Instead, it is one of the wisest things to do at this point of time.

Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Foods

By Geri Guidetti
Genetically Modified Food
For the past two decades scientists have experimented with genetically modified crops and animals. In order to genetically modify a plant or animal such as soybeans, DNA from a soybean is crossed, or sliced, with the DNA of something else, such as a pesticide or another type of plant that may produce more nutrients. This is known as recombinant DNA, or rDNA, technology.
Arguments exist on both sides for and against the growing trend by many of the world’s nations as to why they should or should not alter the genetic make-up of plants and animals.
Advocates for genetic modification argue that DNA-enhanced livestock and crops can better sustain the burgeoning world population. They cite examples such as:
o Hybrid seeds fortified with more nutrients, such as increased iron
o Plants that produce their own pesticides
o Leaner livestock modified with healthier traits, such as no trans fats
o Plants and animals lacking allergens
Proponents also believe that such advances in technology will enable people living in poorer regions of the world to better feed their populations.
Opponents to genetically modified produce and animals believe that such “frankenfoods” may have devastating effects on the natural world order. They are concerned with issues such as:
o Crops cross-pollinating with other plants, creating “superweeds”
o Unclear labels thereby reducing the public’s awareness that their food has been modified
o Unknown health risks associated with genetic modification
o Monopoly of the food supply by those producing modified crops and livestock
Currently many countries already produce genetically modified food including the United States, China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa. The U.S. is the biggest producer with crops such as corn, soybeans, canola, and cotton.
Due to the concerns from both advocates and opponents, both sides of the debate have come together over the past couple of years in forums and summits all over the world to discuss the issue. Some have called for tighter restrictions and labeling of all products, others believe that more testing should be done. And still other individuals have begun storing and selling non hybrid seeds in an attempt to preserve natural species in case of an unforeseen event that may damage the world’s food supply.
No matter which side an individual chooses remaining informed about genetically modified food is one of the keys to understanding the debate and making healthy eating choices.

What are the Solutions to Illegal Immigration in America?

Illegal Immigrants
With over 10 million undocumented immigrants in the US (as of 2009), the issue of illegal immigration continues to divide Americans.
Some people say that illegal immigration benefits the US economy through additional tax revenue, expansion of the low-cost labor pool, and increased money in circulation. They contend that immigrants bring good values, have motivations consistent with the American dream, perform jobs that Americans won’t take, and that opposition to immigration stems from racism.
Opponents of illegal immigration say that aliens who break the law by crossing the US border without proper documentation or by overstaying their visas should be deported and not rewarded with a path to citizenship and access to social services. They argue that illegal aliens are criminals and social and economic burdens to law-abiding, tax-paying Americans.