Houghton Mifflin English

Persuasive Essay

Textbooks on Disk

By Beth W.

“Okay, class is over. You can leave now,” says the teacher. It's the end of the school day, and my mind is jumbled with many thoughts. What's the homework? What books and materials will I need to do the assignments? How much do I have to carry home with me? At my locker I pick up pencils, notebooks, and three heavy, thick textbooks. My arms ache as I walk down the hallway. This problem could be solved by making all take-home textbooks available on CD-ROM.

First, textbooks on disk would make parents and school committees happy because they would help keep costs down. CD-ROMs are inexpensive compared to traditional textbooks, which can run as high as fifty dollars a copy. Lost or damaged CD-ROMs are cheaper to replace than those clunky books. Also, when the text needs to be updated, changes could be downloaded from the Internet, which is less expensive than buying hundreds of new books.

In addition, textbooks on CD-ROM could make studying easier. For example, have you ever wanted to highlight parts of a textbook but knew you'd get in trouble if you did? With a CD-ROM, you could print out selected text and highlight it in any way you wanted. No book would be ruined. You could also scribble notes on the printed pages. Also, if you've ever tried to nag your parents into driving you to the copy shop to make photocopies of textbook pages, you'll see right away how much easier your life would be with CD-ROM textbooks.

Perhaps most important, this change would improve the health of students. Studies have shown that back pain and scoliosis (curvature of the spine) are closely related to the weight and pressure caused by overloaded backpacks. This serious problem could be avoided by replacing textbooks with CD-ROMs. You could even downsize your backpack, since disks are so small and light.

Of course, some might ask about availability of computers. What if a student does not have the equipment needed at home? Well, computer literacy is extremely important in our day and age. Everyone needs a home computer, whether a small laptop or a larger setup. Kids should be able to borrow a laptop from the school or community. If there is no such program in place, that too is needed.

In summary, putting textbooks on CD-ROMs is a good idea for many reasons. CD-ROMs would save money, improve study, and prevent health problems. All over the United States, people are using technology to solve problems. Schools should follow this example by making CD-ROMs available to students.

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