ACT Writing Essay Sample 1

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ACT Writing Essay Prompt

The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires all school libraries receiving certain federal funds to install and use blocking software to prevent students from viewing material considered “harmful to minors.” However, some studies conclude that blocking software in schools damages educational opportunities for students, both by blocking access to Web pages that are directly related to the state-mandated curriculums and by restricting broader inquiries of both students and teachers. In your view, should the schools block access to certain Internet websites?

In your essay, take a position on this question. You may write about either one of the two points of view given, or you may present a different point of view on this question. Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.

ACT Writing Essay Sample

The Internet has brought many changes to our world. Computers are used in businesses, homes, and, of course, schools. However, with increased use of computers comes increased dangers. A new law, the Children’s Internet Protection Act, requires schools to use blocking programs to restrict students’ Internet access. Although some parents, students, and teachers believe that this law is a bad one, the dangers from the Internet make it clear that schools should block student access to certain Internet sites.

Some people believe that it is wrong for schools to restrict access to certain Internet sites. These people think that restricting access is the same thing as censorship. However, this argument is incorrect. The school is not trying to control what students think or write. It is only trying to control what sort of things a student can or cannot do at a school computer. This is well within the rights of the school. After all, schools can impose dress codes and dictate what classes students can take. It doesn’t make sense to say that a school can determine what books a student reads or what clothes he or she wears, but cannot restrict access to certain Internet sites. Thus, this argument is not convincing.

One convincing reason that schools should block access to certain Internet sites is that the Internet contains many offensive or objectionable sites. For example, there are sites on the Internet that contain racist and sexist jokes and content. Other sites might display material that is inappropriate for children. Because there is no censorship, there is no telling what sites a student can visit. This sort of material has no place in a school. If students see violent or offensive sites, they might be influenced. They could insult or hurt other students. For this reason, it is a good idea for schools to block access to certain sites.

Another good reason to restrict student access to the Internet is the presence of dangerous computer viruses, spyware, and other harmful computer programs. These programs can infect a computer via the Internet and affect the hardware of the system and all the computers that are attached to it. A student who visits certain restricted sites puts the entire computer network at risk. One infected computer can wipe out or ruin all the other computers in the school. Thus, it would be a very wise move for schools to restrict access to certain dangerous Internet sites.

As this essay has shown, it is important and necessary for schools to block student access to certain Internet sites. Although some people think restricting sites is censorship, the Internet has many potential dangers for a student, from objectionable sites to harmful computer viruses and bugs. A school that doesn’t restrict access to the Internet puts itself at risk for far more serious issues.

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