Free sample essay on A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed. The influence of a friend is sometimes as strong as the influence of our parents and teachers.
Sometimes we move with our friends so intimately that the intimacy lasts for a long time. There are lifelong friends who have a bearing on our personalities, and two friends, who are thick as thieves, do ‘ influence each other, and the two grow together.
The relationship with a friend has not been properly realized by us. Some do not believe in nurturing friendship as they are by nature aloof and reserved. This nature is not desirable, for, it indicates the lack of sociability. Sometimes parents or teachers may not be able to enforce a point on their child and a friend may come in to help them. I can relate an incident in the life of my relative. In fact he was my cousin. His son was adamant that he would not join the engineering course, but his father insisted that he should join the course as he would have bright professional prospects. Any amount of persuasion by his father did not work. At last his son’s friend intervened and spoke to his friend of the importance of his father’s valuable advice.
His father was very happy that a known problem was solved satisfactorily. After the engineering course my cousin’s son is quite well off with a fat pay. His life changed as his friend took interest in him. There is a saying which tells about the importance of good friendship. It is this: ‘Tell me who is your friend and I shall tell you what kind of person you are.’ Yes, a friend has much to do with the shaping of our character as our parents and teachers. A student should be careful to choose his or her friends. If the friend with whom you are going to establish connection is of bad character slowly but surely you too are affected by him or her.
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You may have been a polite, soft-spoken student of gentle manners. Your friend may be dominant, may be rough, roguish and given to evil ways. Your friend will take advantage of your innocence, your softness and may trick you, lead you to a wrong path. He may be a drug addict, he may be a smoker, he may drink and observing him you may in the long run become an addict to drugs, you may smoke and drink. You may do all these things without the knowledge of your parents. On coming to know that you have bad habits your parents may feel shocked, your teachers may be displeased with you, your relatives will hate you.
A friend who has good habits, who is gentle and well- mannered is an inestimable friend. His good character improves you and in due course you will turn out to be well-mannered and gentle even if you had some bad qualities. A friend who helps you by giving you advice, by helping you to clear your doubts in your lessons, a friend who is intelligent and knowledgeable is indeed an inestimable friend. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
A poem says that if you have friendship with a person of bad character you become nameless and formless like the drop of water on a frying pan on the burning oven. The drop of water on a hot frying pan evaporates and disappears. So also a bad friend will spoil your image and you are no longer a good person. Just as good water stinks and becomes black and impure when it mixes with sewage so also a bad friend spoils you and you stink because of your bad qualities. Your fair name is spoilt by your association with a bad friend of the blackest vices.
A student should be careful, very, very careful when selecting friends. A good friend will make you shine.
When I was little, I used to have a book with a collection of Russian proverbs and sayings. I remember being absolutely fascinated by the depth of knowledge and wisdom that I discovered on the pages of that book. Those proverbs opened a door for me to a better understanding of the Russian culture as well as important norms, morals, and life values. Indeed, I can say they helped me become a more mature and intelligent human being.
Speaking about second language learners: Proverbs can—like in my own experience—help them learn a great deal about the target culture and the norms and values that people in that culture respect and treasure. A writing class is a great venue for incorporating proverbs into teaching. With the effective use of proverbs, a teacher can both help students develop their writing skills and deepen their cultural knowledge. In other words, the use of proverbs kills two birds with one stone!
I want to share some activities that teachers can do in the writing classroom. Hopefully, they can inspire you to further ideas.
Using Proverbs as In-Class Journal Prompts
When I was teaching a writing class in an intensive English program, part of my weekly routine was having students write, twice a week, a 10-minute in-class journal. The prompts for these activities were prepared in advance, and were created to help students develop their creativity and analytical thinking. Proverbs seem to make excellent prompts for in-class journals. I suggest, however, that you select the proverbs with transparent rather than metaphorical meanings. Before the actual writing activity, you can also briefly explain the meaning of the proverb to help students move their thoughts in the right direction.
Here are some proverbs that you can use as journal prompts:
- A friend in need is a friend indeed.
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
- Actions speak louder than words.
- A penny saved is a penny earned.
- Bad news travels fast.
- Better late than never.
- Better safe than sorry.
- Don’t judge a book by its cover.
- Honesty is the best policy.
- Never too old to learn.
- Practice makes perfect.
- Practice what you preach.
- Two heads are better than one.
- Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
- What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Writing a Story That Illustrates a Proverb
For this activity, you need to select several proverbs with metaphorical meanings. After you explain the meanings of those proverbs and briefly discuss them with the students, ask them to pick one proverb and write a short story or a passage that would illustrate the meaning of the proverb they picked. Then each student will read their story and the rest of the class will try to guess the proverb.
Here are some proverbs that you can use for this activity:
- A watched pot never boils.
- A penny saved is a penny earned.
- A stitch in time saves nine.
- Curiosity killed the cat.
- Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- Easy come, easy go.
- Every cloud has a silver lining.
- Give someone an inch, he/she will take a mile.
- Look before you leap.
- Still waters run deep.
- The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
- The early bird gets the worm.
- There are plenty of other fish in the sea.
- There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
- To kill two birds with one stone.
- Too many cooks spoil the broth.
- We will cross that bridge when we get to it.
- Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
- When it rains, it pours.
- You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
- You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Teaching About the Rhetorical Situation
The concept of rhetorical situation is not easy to grasp for second language learners. You can help students gain a better understanding of purpose, audience, and stance by implementing a simple writing activity with the use of proverbs. For this activity, you should choose one proverb and ask the students to write a story or a short passage illustrating the meaning of the proverb (just like in the activity described above). Then each student will read his or her piece and the rest of the class will analyze it in terms of its rhetorical situation. The following questions will help the students analyze the rhetorical situation:
- What is the writer’s purpose?
- What is the writer’s stance in this piece?
- Who is the audience?
- What is the basic impression that the author wants to convey?
- What do you think the writer wants the audience to do based on this passage?
To further help students with the concept of rhetorical situation, you can also discuss the differences between the students’ passages. The students will be able to see that although they all wrote about the same proverb, their passages/stories are quite different because of the differences in their rhetorical situations.
Practicing Argumentative Skills
Since many proverbs contain arguable points (e.g., Don’t judge a book by its cover; Honesty is the best policy; Better late than never), they can also be used to help students develop their argumentative skills. You can simply ask the students to express their agreement or disagreement with the meaning of the selected proverb and provide convincing pieces of evidence to defend their position.
There are certainly many other stimulating and interactive activities that writing teachers can do to help their students develop their writing skills and learninteresting and useful facts about the target culture. Please feel free to share your ideas with us!
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