I am a 10th grader and need help getting started writing an essay on "Does my generation have a role in America's future?I am a 10th grader and need help getting started writing an essay on "Does...

I am a 10th grader and need help getting started writing an essay on "Does my generation have a role in America's future?

I am a 10th grader and need help getting started writing an essay on "Does my generation have a role in America's future?

Expert Answers
clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first step to writing this essay is to "pre-write" or brainstorm.  The prompt is a yes or no question.  Before you do anything, you need to decide whether you want to answer "yes" or "no."  I will advise you not to try to do both.  By focusing on one, you will maintain a clear purpose to your essay.

I'm guessing you are going to argue for the "yes" side.  Re-write the question as a statement: "(Yes,) My generation has a role in America's future."  Now, you have two-three potential questions to answer.  Either, "What is your generation's role in America's future?" or "Why/how does your generation have a role in America's future?"  Step two is to make a list of all the possible answers to whichever of those questions seems easiest.

Step 3: Once you've brainstormed as many answers as possible, try to provide as many specific examples as you can for your ideas (personal examples are okay).

Step 4: Categorize your ideas into three logical groups.  This will provide the three big sections of your essay.

Step 5: outline your paper.

Once you've made it this far, you will be pretty set to go.  Also, if you get stuck in any step, you can ask for more specific help from your teacher or peers, based on understanding this process a little better.  Good luck.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The two posts above are correct.  First, think about what the question means to you.  As a tenth grader, you're probably overwhelmed by the openness of the question and how large the question is...so, do you think your generation has a role?  The obvious answer is "yes" since you are all members of this society, but the bigger question is "what" is the role and "how" will you fulfill it.  Think about changes in the future.  Listen to the campaign speeches of the candidates.  Obviously, the USA can not continue spending as it has in the past.  Cutting spending and budgeting money more wisely is paramount to future success.  How will your generation help in that?  Recycling, technology, the Green Movement are all big right now...how will your generation help fulfill these movements?  What other movements do you foresee?  What is important to YOU?  In your brainstorming session, think about all of these questions and then narrow it down to your thesis or main idea.  You should always have at least three reasons to support your thesis, and then some specific statistics, stories, quotes, survey results, etc. to use as supporting details for each of those three reasons.

Good Luck!

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Of course your generation will play a role in the future--in both positiveand negative ways.  You have a lot of good information and advice here, and I don't have much to add.  It does seem to me that the tendency would be to list all the potential for good which your generation will undoubtedly offer society.  While I would not want you to concentrate on it, there is also more potential to do harm, as each generation gets more inventive at circumventing whatever systems they're faced with (which is why computer hackers are nearly all young people).  You may or may not want to incorporate this element into your essay, but it is something more to think about.   What a fun opportunity!

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You have some terrific suggestions to get you started. Another angle on getting going with your essay is to think of past situations where young people have played a role in shaping America's future.

Thinking of examples from the past is an effective strategy to help you in the brainstorming/prewriting stage that clairewait describes in post #2. As you think of examples, jot them down on clean paper. You might circle each example and draw "branches" or "spokes" coming out of each circle, adding a detail to each branch as you think of it.

Before you know it, you'll have a page full of ideas to organize and help you start writing your rough draft. Good luck on your essay!

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

#2 gives a number of great ideas to get you started. For me, the brainstorming is what is most important to think about the various topics you would like to talk about. Clearly though, analysing the question first should take precedence. What is great about this kind of question is that it is so open that it gives you free reign to talk about anything you want to that is relevant to the title, so I would encourage you to go wild! One way to make your essay stand out is to think of topics that others will not have thought of... so dig deep and good luck!

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Another way to approach this topic is to think about how society, our government, moral decisions, and other aspects of life are currently being played out. Is it possible you would like for your generation to have a different role than the one society seems to be driving your generation towards. For example, maybe you think your generation should be leading the nation in the discovery of new technologies, but perhaps you feel as if our society is forcing you into rescuing us from fiscal irresponsibility.

missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It would be difficult to write about America without citing the past. While you have many great ideas already posted that I agree with, I would add that you should think about the attributes of America you have come to value. Think of where we have needs. Think of the skills you and your generation have that we might have never had in the past. Using information and technology to solve national problems is a likely route for you.


lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Everyone above has given great advice and ideas about getting started. I would only add to make sure that you are basing your thesis on your own thoughts and ideas. This will make it much easier to support your thoughts.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Younger the generation, greater its role in future of any country. The very old will not be around for very long to make any difference. So there is no point asking if your generation - which is the younger generation -  has a role in America's future. The right question is what can your generation do now to shoulder its future responsibilities toward its country.

To write about this more meaningfully and more convincingly, you can think in terms of the challenges that the country will be facing in future. The challenges you choose to address could relate to issues like environment, globalization, growing competition from developing and developed countries, terrorism. You could also concentrate on more positive aspects like need for America to play a more positive role in promoting world peace and prosperity.