An Opinion Essay (LEVEL: B1 (Intermediate))

I. Read the essay title and the task.


“Genetic Engineering may lead to many unknown dangers.”


Write an opinion essay on Genetic Engineering in your notebook. Write between 120 and 180 words.


II. Match the parts of an opinion essay (1-4) with the information (a-d) that you will write in it.


1. Introduction     A     

Say what supporters of Genetic Engineering believe.



Reasons for


   B   Give a very short summary of the arguments for and against and give your opinion and the reasons for it.

Reasons against


   C   Explain what Genetic Engineering is and explain that there are different opinions about it.



   D   Say what opponents of Genetic Engineering believe.



III. Write notes for four paragraphs:



Introduction :



Reasons for :



Reasons against : 



Conclusion :



IV. Match the expressions (A-K) with the meanings (1-11)


A.  Pros and cons 1. One side of the argument is…
B.  On the one hand, … 2. The opposite point of view is…
C.  Supporters 3. In conclusion…
D.  Benefits 4. In addition…
E.  As well as that, … 5. They say that…
F.  On the other hand, … 6. People who are against something…
G.  Opponents 7. People who are for something…
H.  Drawbacks 8. The advantages and disadvantages…
I.  According to them 9. The disadvantages…
J.  To sum up 10. The advantages…
K.  Impact 11. The influence of something…


V. Read the essay and check your guesses from Exercise III.


Genetic Engineering (GE) is when scientists change the genes of a plant or animal. In the 1990s, the first companies produced genetically modified (GM) crops and gene therapy has been used in medicine. However, there is still debate about the pros and cons of genetic engineering.


On the one hand, the supporters of GE claim that it increases food production because GM plants are more resistant, so it can make food cheaper, more nutritious and tastier. Other benefits include making farm animals more productive and saving endangered species. As well as that, GE has medical uses such as curing diseases, developing plants for drugs and producing transplant organs from animals.


On the other hand, the opponents of GE point out its drawbacks. According to them, GM plants breed with other plants and affect the environment and “Frankenstein food” can have bad effects on human health, such as increasing allergies. They also say that the GM crops are bad for farmers in poorer countries because the seeds are so expensive. Other critics are against gene therapy in medicine for religious reasons.


To sum up, genetic engineering has great potential. However, in my opinion, we should be careful with GM crops because of their possible impact on the environment and on people’s health.


VI. Write an opinion essay.

“Science has created more problems than it has solved”.

a) In groups, brainstorm ideas for and against;

b) Write notes for four paragraphs;

c) Use your notes to write an essay. Use expressions from this lesson;

d) Check your essay for mistakes;





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