The Question

Friends have more impact on the academic performance of students than their teachers do. Do you agree or disagree?  Use details and examples to support your opinion.

The Sample Essay

       Nowadays, most people recognize the value of getting a good education.  Moreover, we often think about all of the outside factors that influence students.  Personally, I feel that friends have a greater impact on young students than their teachers.  There are two reasons why I feel this way, which I will explore in the following essay.

       First, students spend more time with their friends than they do with their teachers.  While they first get to know their friends at school, they also spend time with them in the evening and on the weekend. Inevitably, they start to resemble their friends and share their academic values and priorities. For instance, if we become close to someone who is very studious we might start to prioritize things like getting our homework done on time and achieving high scores on tests.  A skilled teacher can tell us that we ought to achieve academic success, but it is hard for them to influence our core values because we only spend a few hours with them each week. That simply isn’t enough time for them to change our core values. A young person who is surrounded by friends with great academic gifts might live a prosperous life, even if his teachers are lazy or untalented.

       Secondly, students love to compete with their friends, and this can change the entire course of their academic lives. When we see that our friends are admired for their high test scores, we often decide that we also want to get high scores.  Indeed, we may even desire to surpass their results so that people will praise us even more. Teachers serve as academic advisors and sources of information, but they usually don’t encourage competitiveness amongst their students. People who grow up with a competitive spirit often achieve great success in their careers, which means that friends can have a major impact on children. In my experience, students who are home-schooled sometimes lack this competitive spirit because they are not influenced by classmates.

       To sum it up, I feel that students are influenced by their classmates and friends much more than their teachers.  This is because they spend time with their peers outside of class, and they often compete with them.




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