How do you write conditional sentences, specifically about both supporting and opposing the concept of homework?

Expert Answers
liesljohnson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Conditional sentences are about conditions. That is, they say that one thing (the result) will happen if a second thing (the condition) happens.

"If I sleep through my alarm clock, I'll be late to school." That's a conditional sentence. It has a condition ("If I sleep through my alarm clock") as well as a result ("I'll be late to school"). Be sure to use a comma after the condition, before the result: "If (condition), result." 

You can flip around the condition and the result, if you prefer: "I'll be late to school if I sleep through my alarm clock." In this case, you don't use a comma between the result and the condition.

Now let's think about how to write sentences like this about your topic: whether we should be for or against the practice of assigning homework to students.

Think about what you might say about homework as you use these sentence patterns:

1. "If _____, _____."

2. "_____ if _____."

Whenever you're considering whether to support or oppose an idea, think of how supporting the idea could lead to good results and bad results; then think of how opposing the idea could lead to its own set of good results and bad results.

So, ask yourself these 4 questions:

1. What would a good result be if we do have homework?

Examples: "If students practice what they've learned in school, they'll become more skilled and competent." "Students will gain confidence in problem-solving skills if they practice by themselves what they've learned."

2. What would a bad result be if we do have homework?

Examples: "If teachers assign homework regularly, they will quickly become overwhelmed with grading piles and piles of assignments." "Students will miss out on recreational and social activities if they are stuck in their rooms all afternoon doing homework."

3. What would a good result be if we don't have homework?

Examples: "If our weekends are free from homework, we can develop our talents for non-academic skills like baking and archery." "We can spend more time with our friends and develop better social skills if we aren't worried about completing daily homework assignments after school."

4. What would a bad result be if we don't have homework?

Examples: "If students are never held responsible for work outside the classroom, they won't develop a work ethic or a sense of independence." "Students will forget everything they learned in school if they don't practice it on their own outside the classroom."