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AQA - An exam question a week - Question 6

This question asks you to argue or persuade

It is important that you consider the form you are being asked to write in and the audience you are writing for. There are subtle differences in the form of web article and newspaper article and these would be conventions that you would be expected to follow.

Don't worry about spending time thinking up a headline or title (these are not wholly necessary) but think about the variation in tone you might have for your purpose.

As with all writing you need to remember your five key areas:

But also think about the writing MOT you've received:

Your grammatical expression as well as spelling are important too.

Remember your difference between argue and persuade. One must be balanced (argue) and one biased (Persuade). Remember your types of paragraphs you can use for this like respectful, one sided, attacking the other side of the argument.

The top band for the creativity of your writing states your writing needs to be:

Subtle and Manipulative

You can achieve this with juxtaposition of language or juxtaposition of tone:

1) A mixture of both formal and 'informal language for effect' (notice the inverted commas around the latter part; informal language must be used for effect and often inverted commas can point this out to the examiner).

2) Varying the tone of your paragraph - mixing serious points and silly images.

3) For argue you can juxtapose paragraphs showing balance and respect with ones that are more one sided or accusatory in tone.

Your task is:

You have been asked to write a letter to a local newspaper.

Argue for or against the construction of a new extreme sports complex in your town.

Good Luck

Mr Milne
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15 February 2014 at 18:54

I wrote this to the mayor, because I had already done one to the local newspaper. I tried to use different points and change my tone slightly.

Dear Mr Jones,

As our executive manager for the construction of new buildings, youth clubs and items of societal need, I thought that it would be you who is administrating the construction of the new – and apparently, exciting – extreme sports centre. But it has come to my concern that many teenagers are not going to use this sports centre as well as you probably want, for the prime reason that we believe that are other more important things that need to be built. Surely you want the people of Ealing to enjoy living here, right?

Well, don’t build it!

An extreme sports centre – what is it? A place where us teenagers can ‘rock up to’, try a ‘crazy’ sport – like jumping out of a plane – and then fail to acknowledge why we even did it. That’s not fun! That’s not helpful! That’s not what we need! What we do need, however, are libraries, public parks and local shops. Whilst in school, last week, I asked my friends about what they thought of Ealing, and the most commonly appearing negative was “there are no libraries for us to study, and so we don’t have an opportunity to excel”. Is this what you want – children of your borough having the opportunity to experience a wild, aimless sport, while not even having the opportunity to get good GCSE grades that are vital for the future, especially with the reduced job opportunities? Of course not! So, forget about making, yet another, pointless sports centre and make something that everyone can benefit from.
It might not be so pointless, you might argue. And I agree: some children cannot wait for this sports centre to be fully built! However, according to the Teenage Sports Trust's poll, only 6% were in favour of extreme sports. What's does that mean for Ealing? Less than 1000 teenagers actually enjoy extreme sports, which means that the contstruction of the £9860 extreme sports centre will be a complete waste. Alternatively, you could build a parade of local shops. This will not only mean that it will reflect well on Ealing's schools, since we wouldn't have to walk the 7 minute journey to the shops every morning, but if you run it through the council, it will also boost your revenue. What more can you want? You'd be happy, and so would we.

All in all, we all appreciate the amount of effort that you are putting in to try to make this a better place to live in, for us teenagers. Taking the regional view on things, however, is explicitly showing that focusing on what we need, and not what 'looks good', is more important - and that's coming from teenagers! The idea is to get the community involved, and allow everyone to have a contribution on what is built, instead of just inventing quite arbitary ideas, like these 'crazy' sports centre. Visit my school and see what we want - that way, everyone will be happy.

Yours sincerely,

23 February 2014 at 15:29


Your writing is well structured and well thought through. I like the use of punctuation you've used both accurately and effect.

In terms of the points you make, you are mainly highlighting your own 'against' point of view and for an 'Argue' task you need to ensure that you have some sort of balance in your writing.

For top marks in accuracy I would also need to see you use (correctly) a wider range of higher level vocabulary. See the advanced vocabulary link on the right hand side.

I'd give you 13/16 for your content and 7/8 for your accuracy.

Well done

30 May 2014 at 14:05

It is said to be an added bonus and a ‘swanky’ new construction; something that will awaken the sporty alter ego inside of every young adolescent. But what I don’t understand is what is the point in consuming builders energy by creating a fatuous sports centre that people only bother to attend when the pubs shut, internet is down or your parents are driving you insane.

Furthermore youths already have a ‘sport’- which involves them lying around either in their onsies or if it is extremely warm weather with nothing on at all. They do not need to move a minute inch or produce any lactic acid (well maybe there is some arduous work for their ‘gaming fingers‘) these are all things that the Xbox/play have to offer.

The whole idea is a fa├žade: it’s just not going to happen.

However orchestrating this centre could have some benefits for the get fit mums that seem to be everywhere in society today. Everyone’s mums, nannas, aunties are looking to lose that cheeky pound by those classic fat lifting classes such as spinning, zumba and yoga.

But they are not the classics! Them rudimentary classes don’t need a tennis court or a football pitch. A decent sized village hall will do.

So what is the point?

The crux of the matter is there is not valid reason why we shouldn’t insert this centre but then again there isn’t one that explains why we should. Yes, it would be nice to actually have a astro pitch that doesn’t have colossal wholes in it -health and safety and all that- but then again why can’t we just repair the homespun one we’ve got.

It’s a fickle problem.

Although we have to understand that the next David Beckham or Andy Murray could come from the Mildenhall town. Who are we to deny the children that actually care about their future the chance to have a decent sized hall to play basketball?

The new sports centre would offer them that chance. Can we deny them their future?

Here is my question five answer. How could i improve?

1 June 2014 at 18:28

Lovely use of language and some great turns of phrase. I love 'lose that cheeky pound'.

Be careful of overusing your sophisticated vocabulary as it can sound unnatural 'inset this centre' doesn't quite work.

Overall you are ticking off the key variety points though there are a few errors like:

'them rudimentary' ' a astro' and 'wholes' are all incorrect.

15/16 7/8

Well done

6 May 2015 at 22:09

You are asked to write a letter to your local newspaper.
Argue whether or not to build a new extreme sports complex in your town.
The new sports centre is said to guarantee effervescence in our young minds of today encouraging a higher level of sport played in our town. The adolescent generation will be up and moving, ready to play more sport than ever before, all down to our swanky new complex. Utter rubbish. Let’s be frank here, the only time this sports complex will ever get a double take is when the laptop dies, the Wi-Fi is down, or the nagging parent becomes too much for our young teens to handle. So they have no choice, but to ponder down to our sports complex, to see what they can do to pass the time, before returning to their bone idle and futile teenage lives.
Yes, we would all love our town’s future doctors, teachers and police force to be down at the complex once or twice a week, playing a friendly game of basketball, football or whatever sport they love most. Harsh reality? They don’t have one. You see, although the twenty first century means faster cars, new medicines, and overall better technology, it also means an army of zombified teenagers. But, instead of getting their fix from eating humans, they get it from refreshing twitter, Instagram, Facebook and god knows what else they have downloaded onto their smart phones.
Of course, £45 for an iPhone six is pointless right? All that money could go to something far better. For example sports lessons! Our new sports complex could potentially transform our snorers into swimmers, our texters into tennisers, and our YouTube worshipers into some Olympic champions. On saying this, it’s a sports complex, not a fairy god mother. We could provide the most high tech, exciting sports haven just down the road from our teens, but will they even bat an eyelid? No, of course not. Who needs a running track or a gymnasium when you can see what your favourite celebrity had for breakfast this morning simply by logging on to twitter.
Ridiculous I know-but some things never change!
Saying all of this, I am aware that the entire population of our town is not made up of 16 year olds, so other users of the sports centre would also have to be taken into consideration. As sad as it is, who has the time to play sport anymore? All of our adult citizens get their daily hour of exercise jogging for the train, manoeuvring paperwork, or generally rushing through their busy weekdays. Sad I know, but the reality is that absolutely nobody in this town has the time for even a friendly tennis rally. Honestly, I think the whole idea is completely pointless.
Efforts for an active community are simply too little too late, and I hope this is realised during your contemplation to build the complex. You know that this would be a mistake, and the “swanky new complex” would soon turn out to be the “What’s in there?” building.

could I have some feedback please, thankyou

12 May 2015 at 20:53

You've got some lovely turns of phrase here and nice juxtaposition of fantasy and reality. I like the tone here but there are some phrases that are a little awkard e.g. adolescent generation. A generation is a period of time that outlasts adolescent so you would either need Adolescents or the younger generation.

The main thing I would work on is structure. Some paragraphs contain too many ideas and so you lose the purpose of the paragraph. For example after 'Utter Rubbish' a new paragraph would be more appropriate because you are looking at a different view of the sports' centre.

I'd give this 11/15 and 6/8 (you have a couple of fragmented sentences here).

Well done.

5 December 2015 at 15:50

Sport developments are the way forward in improving children and adults health. If nothing is done to make exercise seem exciting and fun then why would we want to start doing it?

Experts today are telling people to do more exercise as the percentage of people obese is increasing and if this level keeps rising the majority of the country will be overweight.

This needs to stop now or our country will find itself in serious trouble!

This new extreme sports centre is a good idea as there is nothing like it in this area and 68% of adults in this area say they are more likely to start doing sport if everyone else is new as they will be more comfortable so if this sports centre has new activities that are completely different then everyone is new. This is our solution to help reduce the percent of overweight people in our area as more people will do exercise and doing this will help them lose weight.

Everyone says it is difficult to lose weight so if this extreme sports centre is built we have provided opportunity to take part then we are helping others and this is the next step to make a difference to people's lives.
We need new and exciting developments to get people involved in sport, if something new is opening up people go and try it out as they want to find out what it is like. I believe that people in the modern world like trying different activities so if this extreme sports centre has a variety of activities that are new and upcoming then people will leave there houses and do exercise.

This new complex will also be good for the older teens and young adults in the area as there is nothing exciting for them.
This is not right as everyone is entitled to enjoy themselves.
Most people of this age love the feeling of adrenalin rushing through them so the activities here will be just right. Many of the children drop out of sport when they get to their teens as they have had enough of doing the same, boring, old sports that they have done through out their childhood so providing the opportunity to try extreme adventure sports right here, in their town centre will provide a chance to get into sports that they will never want to stop.
In the long run, this will also reduce the percentage of adults overweight because if children love doing a sport, they will carry it on throughout their lives.

This extreme sports complex is very valuable to changing the lives of people in our town, it doesn't just help people's health but it also value to the area as people want to stay nearby as they want to carry on doing the activities. It doesn't just improve people's health it also can create jobs for people and this is very important in out world as unemployment level is increasing.
Even though some people may think it is a waste of money and an 'eye saw', I believe that any of these disadvantages would be out weighed by the benefits in improved health and fitness.

The sports centre is a must for this area, it needs to be built as it is a very good opportunity to change lives for the better.

Please can you give me a mark and say any improvements I need to improve my level.

21 March 2016 at 17:40

What is the main thing to remember when answering Question 6 in general, what are the pitfalls? And what do you look for? Thanks in advance

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