Example Persuasive Writing

Student Submission

Students Should Keep Using Physical Textbooks

     Using physical textbooks to study is better than using tablets to study. Most people have experienced studying with physical textbooks. That may not let them think about why physical textbooks are more useful than any other materials. Nowadays, because of the development of technology, there are many ways that technology can help students to learn. One of the ways to learn is by using tablets to study during and outside of classes. Gayle R . Jesse (2014) said, “37% of college students feel e-textbooks have a positive effect on their learning, and 41% state no difference on the effect of their learning” (p. 235). At the same time, there are still many students who prefer using physical textbooks. Kent Anderson (2010) said, “The new survey also confirmed a finding of NACS’ 2010 OnCampus Student Watch survey, conducted last fall, in which 74% of college students preferred print over digital”. There is a great number of differences in whether to use e-books or physical textbooks. Although the technology has been developing in past few years, many more people still choose to study with physical textbooks. It is because there are advantages of using physical textbooks that people can not compare with using e-books. Studying is the most essential fundamental step in order to learn well. Students should study with physical textbooks. Studying with physical textbooks protects students’ health, helps them to be focused, and allows them to study anywhere at any time.


     First, it is significant to protect students’ health as they study. In order to have better study, they need to have a better condition to make effort to improve. If they are not healthy enough, they may not be able to study what they want to do as well. Because protecting students’ health is mandatory for them, they need to use materials that don’t bother their studies. However, because of the development of technology, there are many students using mobile devices to study which makes them unhealthy.

     All technological devices have a screen to look at. In general, that screen is a limited small range screen with bright light. Due to Bekah Written, “According to The Vision Council, Many individuals suffer from physical eye discomfort after screen use for longer than two hours at a time." (2018, para 8) I have experienced many times feeling my eyes tired and having a headache after using devices for a certain time. Students study for a long time in a day; they study during classes, do homework after school, and do additional study based on what they want to improve. The total amount of time could be more than 6 hours in a day. If they use devices for their study, that absolutely affects their health.

     Moreover, not only does it affect their eyes by using devices, but it also affects the other parts of their body. Bekah Written also claims that “It’s not only our eyes that may be affected, however. Some worry that digital eye strain may also affect your head, neck, and shoulders, depending on your posture as you use different devices.” (2018, para 9). I often get a headache after using devices. The action of using devices makes their bodies hurt in many ways. Based on a Harvard health letter, “Dr. Rozental notes that typing may bring out the symptoms of the condition, such as pain, tingling, and numbness in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and inner half of the ring finger.” (2018, para 6). In addition to headaches, neck aches, and shoulder aches, it also makes their hands hurt. Using devices leads them to type with their fingers a lot. At the same time, it doesn’t require every finger to type. Mostly, they need to use their fingers except for their little fingers. Using technological devices brings them a hindrance to their body and health.

      However, using textbooks does not bring those problems. A textbook doesn’t have a limited small-sized screen with bright light which affects their eyes and the insides of their body. It does make them take note of what they need to learn from textbooks but doesn’t leads them to use their certain fingers a lot. Yet, textbooks are not perfect too, however, on the report of the research, it makes a big difference in their health if they study with physical textbooks.


     Second, they can only learn well when they are focused on what they are doing at the moment. People study from an early age because they need fundamental knowledge in their life. The things they learn in elementary school, Junior high school, and High school may be not needed in every situation in life, however, having fundamental knowledge from an early age helps them to apply to life skills. As they study, they have to be focused. If they are distracted by other things, they are not able to learn because their attention is toward different things. Studying with printed books helps students to be focused on what they are studying because printed books only contain the topics they need to know at the moment.

     On the other hand, having and studying with Tablets makes them unfocused. Because Tablets is a high technology, it contains much information that they do not need to know when they are studying. There are apps that they can look at, pictures, and videos. Those convenient kinds of stuff in general distract them from studying. Bernard R. McCoy (2013) found, “the average respondent used a digital device for non-class purposes 10.93 times during a typical school day for activities including texting, social networking, and emailing. Most respondents did so to fight boredom, entertain themselves, and stay connected to the outside world. More than 80% of the respondents indicated such behavior caused them to pay less attention in the classroom and miss instruction”. (2013, para1) Students can kill time when they feel bored or run away their mind from class when they do not understand what teachers are teaching. If they could stay their mind in class continually, they could learn at least a few things in class which is better than nothing. However, using tablets allow them to take out their attention from class. If their attention is directed toward something on tablets, they won’t be able to learn what they need to learn in class.

Portability and Access

     Finally, having textbooks allow them to study anytime when they need to anywhere. Students are needed to study on their own outside of school in order to improve, get a higher grade, and get knowledge to be theirs. They may have places they can more focus on studying; it can be at home, a library, a cafe, a park, and so on. Finding places where they can concentrate is indispensable for them to study effectively. Studying with physical textbooks allows them to fulfill their needs to study wherever they want to. Physical textbooks don’t need to have any electromagnetic waves to connect. It contains all the information that students need to learn at the moment. However, what about those students who don’t have physical textbooks to study? Of course, they have their preferred places to study as others do. Yet, obviously not everywhere in the community and houses have electromagnetic waves. For instance, there might be households that do not have any electromagnetic waves for devices and economical margin. If they only have to study with tablets, they may not be able to study at home at any time. As stated by John B, Horrigan, “By comparison, only 8.4% of households with annual incomes over $50,000 lack a broadband internet connection at home. In other words, low-income homes with children are four times more likely to be without broadband than their middle or upper-income counterparts.” (2015, para6) In education, there shouldn’t be accurate differences in students’ family situations, especially when they are younger ages. Everyone should have equal opportunities to study the fundamentals. If there is economic disparity for each household, a school shouldn’t use materials that could accentuate the differences between students.


     By studying with physical books, students are able to study wherever and whenever they need, be concentrated on what they have to learn, and maintain their health care. Because education is mandatory for each one of them to solidify the foundation, they should be satisfied studying with materials in their learning. Studying with physical textbooks is able to fulfill the needs of students to study effectively and continually. There could be some flaws because nothing is perfect on this earth, however, technology cannot cover perfectly what physical textbooks do for students’ needs.


Exercise 1: Annotate an Essay

Scan the essay below and annotate it according to the following directions. 


1. Draw a star next to the hook.

2. Draw a box around the background information.

3. Underline the thesis. 

4. Circle the word or phrase that shows the thesis is an opinion.

Body Paragraphs

1. Underline the topic sentences that show the main idea or each section or paragraph.

2. Draw an arrow to show the words that show how the topic sentences support the thesis statement. Draw the arrow from the word(s) in the topic sentence to the word(s) in the thesis statement. 

3. Number the supporting detail ideas. (1, 2, 3...) How many supporting details did the author use to explain their main idea?

4. Circle the cohesive device words and phrases

5. Highlight all in-text citations. 

6. Draw an arrow from each in-text citation to their matching full citation on the reference page. 


1. Underline the restated thesis. 

2. Circle the key words that are kept from the thesis statement or that are replaced with synonyms. 

3. Box the background information, summary, or global extension. 

4. Draw a star next to the concluding sentence. 

5. Label the concluding sentence. What type is it?

Reference Page

1. Underline the name of the section "Reference". 

2. Circle the author's last name(s)

3. Draw a star by the year of publication. 

4. Draw a box around the title of the article, website, or book. 

5. Label the source. What type is it? Is it an article from a journal or newspaper, website, or other?

Exercise 2: Analyze an Essay

  1. Does the introduction provide the general information a reader needs in order to understand the topic?
  2. Does the introduction end with an effective thesis? Does it match the style of the essay?
  3. Do each of the body paragraphs begin with an effective topic sentence?
  4. Are the body paragraphs sequenced in a logical order?
  5. Look at each body paragraph. Do the supporting sentences support the topic sentence?
  6. Look at each body paragraph. Are the supporting sentences sequenced in a logical order?
  7. Look at each body paragraph. Is there enough development? Are there more details or examples that would help the reader?
  8. Look at each body paragraph. Does the concluding sentence close the paragraph logically?
  9. Does the conclusion paragraph start by restating the thesis?
  10. Does the conclusion paragraph have a suggestion, prediction, or opinion at the end?


Anderson, K. (Nov 3, 2010). Do Students Really Prefer Print Books to E-Books?. THE SCHOLARLY kitchen. para2 https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2010/11/03/students-prefer-print-books-to-e-books-not-because-of-the-medium/

Harvard Health Letter. (April, 2018). The surprising side effects from using technology. Harvard Health Publiching https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-surprising-side-effects-from-using-technology

Horrigan, J, B. (April 20, 2015). The numbers behind the broadband ‘homework gap’. Pew Research Center https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/20/the-numbers-behind-the-broadband-homework-gap/

Jesse, G. R. (2014). COLLEGE STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF E-TEXTBOOKS AND E-READERS: NEW WAYS TO LEARN?. Issues in Information Systems. Vol 15 http://iacis.org/iis/2014/44_iis_2014_235-247.pdf

McCoy, B, R. (2013). Digital Distractions in the Classroom: Student Classroom Use of Digital Devices for Non-Class Related Purposes. University of Nebraska Lincoln https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/journalismfacpub/71/

Millar, M & Schrier, T. (2015). Digital or Printed Textbooks: Which do Students Prefer and Why?. Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism. vol 15 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15313220.2015.1026474

Singer, L,M & Alexander, P, A. (2016). Reading Across Mediums: Effects of Reading Digital and Print Texts on Comprehension and Calibration. The Journal of Experimental Education. vol 85. Taylor & Francis Online https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0022073.2016.1143794?src=recsys

Written, B. (Jun 26, 2018). Technology’s Effect on Our Health: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. USF HEALTH https://health.usf.edu/is/blog/2018/06/26/Technologys-Effect-on-Our-Health-the-Good-the-Bad-and-the-Ugly

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