Your point of view

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 February, 2005, 12:00am

There are many different types of writing. Some are highly specialised. If, for example, you produce a class or school newspaper, you may need to know about editorials.

Editorials get their name because they are usually written by the editor of a newspaper. The editor will write what is called an opinion piece - what the paper thinks about an event or issue currently in the news. The audience is always the readers of the newspaper. But the opinions may be directed at a government department or a particular group of people.

The editorial is designed to make people think about their own opinions and to bring out the facts about an issue or event. Read the editorial below and see which parts are facts and which parts are the editor's opinions.

Red Fire Ants

The discovery of red fire ants in Hong Kong recently was worrying. This is a situation we should all take seriously. The sting from these ants is at least uncomfortable and, in some cases, fatal. Also, they can damage crops and be a nuisance to people in urban as well as rural areas.

Nevertheless, nobody should panic. These ants have only been introduced to Hong Kong a few months ago and, if we all work together, we can limit the damage. First of all, the government needs to be more vigilant when it inspects flowers and other plants coming into Hong Kong. Most of these arrive from China and our inspectors need to work with their friends from across the border. This will help a lot. Teams also need to be sent to areas where the ants are found to try and eliminate them. Care needs to be taken to make sure local insects that are harmless are not killed at the same time.

Secondly, flower sellers should look carefully at all plants they receive and check them for signs of these little red insects.

If they find them, they should not sell the plants. They should tell the government immediately.

Finally, we all need to keep our eyes open. If anybody spots any of these ants, do not keep it a secret. Even if you are not sure, do not take

a chance. Report what you see as soon as

you can.

Hong Kong has faced similar dangers in the past. History teaches us that if we act together and help each other, this problem can be solved. The people of Hong Kong care about each other and the environment. We can all be proud of that.


fatal (adj) - causing death

urban (adj) - in the city

rural (adj) - in the countryside

to panic (v) - to fear; to dread

vigilant (adj) - careful; observant

to eliminate (v) - to get rid of; to remove


1. What situation does the writer say we should all take seriously?

2. Can the sting from the red fire ants kill?

3. Which place do most plants and flowers in Hong Kong come from?

4. Who needs to look carefully at all plants they receive?

5. What else do the people of Hong Kong care about as well as each other?

Writing style

Writers can reinforce opinions by using short sentences. This strengthens the point. Read the short sentences below that express an opinion and insert the correct word from the list.

List: needs, definitely, act, morally, urge

6. People ___________ should not panic.

7. We strongly _________ you to take action.

8. This situation is ______________ wrong.

9. The government must ______ now.

10. Care ________ to be taken.


Ants are small creatures found in urban areas as well as in the wild. Read the clues below and write the correct answers in the crossword.

mosquito, wasp, grasshopper, cockroach, bee, spider

1. A green insect that hops in the grass

2. A creature with eight legs that spins a web

3. It has black and white stripes and stings

4. This creature has long feelers and lives in dark places

5. The bite of this insect can spread malaria

6. This insect makes honey

Answers: 1. the discovery of red fire ants in Hong Kong; 2. in some cases, yes; 3. China; 4. flower sellers; 5. the environment; 6. definitely; 7. urge; 8. morally; 9. act; 10. needs.

Crossword: 1. grasshopper; 2. spider; 3. wasp; 4. cockroach; 5. mosquito; 6. bee