I need help getting started on an essay about responsibilities making teenagers feel like they have lost youth; it's stated below.Have the responsibilities of school, home, and work caused many...

I need help getting started on an essay about responsibilities making teenagers feel like they have lost youth; it's stated below.

Have the responsibilities of school, home, and work caused many teenagers to feel as if they've lost their youth?

I need to write a paper on this and I need help getting started. Can someone help me?

Expert Answers
missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You sound like you are looking for two things here: 1) intro ideas, and 2) overall ideas for your paper.

1. Think about the voice of this piece as you begin. Is it to be a personal narrative? If so, open with a word picture of a teen's life, or even a teen's room that reflects all these stresses. Is it to be an expository academic essay? Find some statistics that demonstrates teens growing up so fast... teens working today compared to 20 years ago, teens caring for adults in the home as compared to 20 years ago.

2. Honestly, your life today in terms of responsibilty is much easier than those of generations before you as pointed out above. So, let's look at some of those things that have robbed you of youth. School responsibilities today that are more demanding include your extra-curricular activities. Today, students in sports must remain in that sport year-round to be competitive in it. Academics are competitive in highly populated parent college educated areas, but not so much in rural America or inner-city America. Home responsibilities today may include caring for siblings, an ill-parent, or being the missing parent in single-parent homes. This is different because we do not equip you to have these skills as parents or teachers. In other generations that preceded you, parents and children worked together to learn care-taking skills. Work rarely comes into play for teens today because of the economy, they are fighting out-of-work adults for employment. Teens who do have jobs and who juggle that with everything else (school, helping at home, and extra-curricular activities) are certainly feeling the loss of youth.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To me, this is a little bit hard to defend as a statement because I think that teens these days (and even in my day) have it easier than teens in times past.  These days, teens have more freedom and money than they used to.

If you think about it, teens used to be considered adults.  This was good in a way, but it also meant that most teens were expected to be working pretty much full time.  Teens often did not get the chance to go to school.

When I compare my teen years (the '80s) to those of my grandparents, there's no question we had it easier.  Sure, we had to worry about getting into a good college and we had to make money, but my grandparents really had to work.  Their income was vital to their families.

Teens in the old days really were treated as adults and so they really had their youth taken away.

Just thought of an example from longer ago -- ever read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books?  She was 15 and teaching school.  Then she got married when she was 18.  Not much youth for her...

ajmchugh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In terms of your paper's structure, the first thing you need to do is take a position.  (In this case, decide what your stance on the issue is.)  Whatever you decide will turn into your thesis statement.  For instance, you might say something like "The overwhelming responsibilities in school, at home, and at work have caused many teenagers to feel as if they've lost their youth." If you're struggling with thesis placement, a safe bet would be to make your thesis the last sentence of your introduction.  While this certainly isn't the only way to structure an essay, it's generally an effective one.  I usually tell my students to start their introductions with a general statement about the subject, then address the prompt in the middle of the introduction, and end with the thesis statement.

Once you've finished your introduction, decide on a few reasons that support your thesis.  Then, develop each of these ideas in its own body paragraph. 

Hope this helps!