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Is freedom of speech necessary in a free society?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. In the last decade, there has been considerable debate over the role of free speech in a free society. Some object to absolute freedom of speech. Others advocate free speech, arguing that the freedom of speech is the single most important political right of citizens in a civilized society. Whilst I believe that there are strong arguments on both sides, I would suggest that freedom of speech should be protected in all but extreme circumstances. The freedom of speech is important at all levels in a society. Yet it is most important for government. A government which does not know what the people feel and think is in a dangerous position. This is how the communist regimes of Eastern Europe were toppled in the 1980s. The same is happening again in other regions of the world today. The governments that muzzle free speech run a risk of pushing their people to behave destructively or to rebel. Furthermore, without free speech no political action is possible and no resistance to injustice and oppression is possible. Without free speech elections would have no meaning at all. Policies of contestants become known to the public and become responsive to public opinion only by virtue of free speech. Between elections the freely expressed opinions of citizens help restrain oppressive rule. Without this freedom it is futile to expect political freedom or consequently economic freedom. In conclusion, I believe that the importance of free speech as a basic and valuable characteristic of a free society cannot be underestimated. It may be challenging for society to allow differences of opinion out into the open; however, the consequences of restricting free speech are likely to be more damaging in the longer term. (285 words)

Many students decide to further their study abroad what are the benefits and drawbacks of studying abroad. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Nowadays, along the rapid development of economy, some students think that study abroad brings many benefits, while others are of the opinion that they should finish university education in their motherland. It is quite natural that people from different backgrounds may have divergent attitudes towards it. Students, who advocate that study abroad has a lot of disadvantage, have their sound reasons. First of all, living far away from home, students will suffer from loneliness and homesickness. Overseas students often fell disoriented and depressed for lack of adequate knowledge and understanding of the local customs and lifestyle. Secondly, many students do not want to return to their country after graduation because most of them want to seek a more comfortable life and brighter future overseas. This may result in a serious brain-drain and our country will inevitably incur a huge loss of talents. To this issue, some other students hold a different attitude, arguing that students should go abroad to study. To begin with, it can broaden the students horizons. For instance, they get a chance to experience a totally different culture. The knowledge of social customs acquired in the other countries helps them to become more open-minded. Next, there are academic advantages. Students can lean advanced science and technology. They received a different education. The book resources are more up-to-date. The professors are aware of all the latest development in their fields. Therefore, the

standard of teaching is much higher. Moreover, when they finish their study abroad, they will have more choices for their future career. All the above merits contribute to their self-betterment and selfrealization. It is quite understandable that people from different backgrounds put different interpretations on the same issue. For my part, I stand on the latter opinion that while overseas study has its drawbacks, the advantages are more obvious. It can broaden ones vision. Students have easy access to the first -rate facilities and the latest development in science and technology. In addition, when they finish their study, they have more job opportunities. Therefore, as long as it is financially feasible, an overseas education may do a person better than harm. (354 words)

Beside a lot of advantages, some people believe that the Internet creates many problems. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
In the current society, it is universally believed that the internet has been gaining its popularity at an amazing rate. Some people assert that the internet bring us a lot of benefits while many others argue that its drawbacks should not be ignored. It is quite understandable that people from different backgrounds put different interpretations on the same issue. Those who favor that the internet has many advantages give their reasons as follows. In the first place, it is obvious that the internet brings us great convenience and efficiency. For example, we can send Emails to our friends in other countries in a few minutes while sending a traditional letter takes us at least a week and costs much. In the second place, it is a well-known fact that we can make friends with people from all parts of world. Apparently, It overcomes the geographical barriers and makes the world smaller. Furthermore, it is true that the internet accelerates the flow of information and spreads education to all corners of the globe. In other words, we can have easy and quick access to the latest information worldwide. On the other hand, some other people hold a different attitude, argue that the internet has many weaknesses. For one thing, it seems that it can easily lead to psychological problems. For instance, an internet-addicted person tends to be isolated, self-centered and unsociable. For another, it is obvious that there is a sharp rise in the number of cyber crimes. More and more financial crimes such as money laundering are committed via the internet. In addition, it also has negative impacts on young people because there are a lot of obscene and violent contents on line. There is probably a little bit of truth in both arguments. For my part, I completely agree with the latter view that the internet has more disadvantages than advantages. It gives rise to peoples mental problem. It results in various computer crimes. It is harmful to the growth of the youth. Therefore, something should be done as soon as possible to protect people from negative effects of the internet. (352 words)

As mass communication and transport continue to grow, societies are becoming more and more alike leading to a phenomenon known as globalization. Some people fear that globalization will inevitably lead to the total loss of cultural identity. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Globalisation has become integrated through the global network of trade, transportation, communication and immigration. It is feared by many to eventually bring an end to cultural identity.

However, I am convinced that not only will globalization help retain and improve local cultures, but it also will strengthen cultural bonds between distant communities. First of all, people can realise how they are different from others in distant lands, which may lead to their interest in learning about other cultures. This means every culture will have to preserve and present its unique features such as local cuisine or craftsmanship in order to maintain foreign interest in itself and have something to offer in competition with other communities. As a result, a sense of cultural identity can be reinforced even rekindled and restored where it has already been lost. Secondly, cultures in different parts of the world familiarise themselves with the ceremonies, food and clothes of other people, it is highly likely that they will begin to improve on their own, thus developing more efficient ways of life while retaining their original characteristics. Finally, although some people might think that the aforementioned trade of cultural features can doom the unique identity of a culture, they need to consider that this will not necessarily result in local people abolishing their culture and fully embracing another. Instead, the communication and exchange involved in globalisation can improve understanding and tolerance in the international community, which certainly can help with the conservation of older cultures and their sense of identity. In conclusion, I think if the positive aspects of globalisation are considered and stressed, it is not likely to pose any threats to the cultural identity of local communities and will instead contribute to it in a variety of ways. (293 words)

Problems with environmental pollution have become so serious that many countries are trying to solve these problems. Suggest possible solutions and give your own opinion. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Environmental pollution has become a serious problem all over the world. However, we do not usually try to improve our environment. We always use chemical detergents and fertilizer. Also forests have been fatally damaged by deforestation. Some researchers say that if we do not stop devastating the environment, the Earth will be catastrophic 100 years later. To prevent this drastic situation, this essay will suggest what we should do and how the government should solve the problems. We should use eco-friendly products such as natural detergents or manure rather than using chemical products. Using chemical products has caused fatal water pollution. Water is essential for our everyday life. Therefore, people in the world should have the responsibility to maintain clean water. We should use environmentally friendly products rather than chemical ones. It will help improve our environment. To reduce air pollution we should use public transportation rather than using our own vehicle. For instance, public transportation can save our money and energy. Moreover, it helps reduce the amount of exhaust fumes in the air. In addition to that, it may be able to relieve traffic jams. If more people use public transportation, it means diminishing the number of cars on the road. Thus, it will reduce the

risk of car accidents as well. Then, finally, we should plant many trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide produced by human activities and make fresh air. The government must make more investments to improve our environment such as building more purifier factories and developing alternative energy resources. Fossil fuels lead to air pollution. Thus, the government should develop more sustainable energy resources and lower the rate of public transportation charges so that more people can use buses and trains. In conclusion, improving the environment requires a great deal of efforts. We need to concern about these environmental problems and make considerable efforts to prevent any pollution on the planet. The government should develop alternative energy or new sustainable energy and encourage people to use public transportation more often. The harder we try, the healthier our planet will be. (344 words)

Travelling in group with a tour guide is the best way to travel. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give reason for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Nowadays, people have their own preferences about how to travel. Some people prefer to travel alone others prefer to travel in groups with tour guide. I agree that it is the greatest way to travel as a group with a tour guide for several reasons. First, a tour guide will let people know about the places they will visit and show the best places. Tour guides are specially trained about the local history and significance of all the places at the region. Most of the time, people travelling alone do not know the places to visit and so waste a lot of time trying to find something valuable to see. In addition, tour guides know things about a certain place that are not generally mentioned in books or brochures. Thus, guided tours are the best way in terms of sightseeing in a short time. Second, travelling in a group can ensure safety. Many parts of the world are quite dangerous to travel alone. There are often people with evil intention waiting to do harm to tourists. For example, when one of my friends once backpacked across Europe by herself, she got in trouble because a homeless person took her passport and wallet. She had to call the embassy and dealt with the situation. In the end she was not able to finish her trip, which could have been a once in a lifetime opportunity for her to spend such quality time with herself. When travelling with tour guides, they can protect their group members from this kind of dangerous situation. In conclusion, although some people might agree that travelling as a group with a tour guide is not the best idea, I strongly agree with the idea that travelling in the group with the guide is the best decision in terms of great information and safety. (306 words)

Some people argue that it is more important to have an enjoyable job than to earn a lot of money. Others disagree and think that a good salary leads to a better life. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Everybody knows that you need money to survive, but it is often said that money does not bring happiness. Although the ideal situation may be to have an enjoyable job that also provides a good salary, this is not always possible. It is important to remember that some people might not have a choice of jobs because they did not have the chance of a good education or because they have a large family to support. Nevertheless, I would prefer to have a job that I can enjoy if I could. On the one hand, life is easier for those who have plenty of money as they can do what they want and do not have to think constantly about whether they can afford something or not. In addition, earning a good salary makes it easier to be healthier because you can eat good food and join a gym. On the other hand, some people spend large sums of money without thinking about it. However, they could manage with less money and have a better life by taking a job they enjoy or by working fewer hours. I have observed that in families who go on expensive holidays and always have a new car, it is often the father who works such long hours that his children rarely see him. In my opinion, this is not an attractive lifestyle and it would be better if he found a less well paid job that enabled him to spend him to spend more time at home. To sum up, I think it is more important to have a job you enjoy if you can afford it. In my view, most people need less money than they think because they waste a lot on buying things they do not need. (297 words)

Should parents be obliged to immunise their children against common childhood diseases? Or do individuals have the right to choose not to immunise their children? What is your view of this practice? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from own knowledge or experience.
Some people argue that the state does not have the right to make parents immunise their children. However, I feel the question is not whether they should immunise but whether, as members of society, they have the right not to. Preventative medicine has proved to be the most effective way of reducing the incidence of fatal childhood diseases. As a result of the widespread practice of immunising young children in our society, many lives have been saved and the diseases have been reduced to almost zero. In previous centuries children died from ordinary illnesses such as influenza and tuberculosis and because few people had immunity, the diseases spread easily. Diseases such as dysentery were the result of poor hygiene but these have long been eradicated since the arrival of good sanitation and clean water. Nobody would suggest that we should reverse this good practice now because dysentery has been wiped out

Serious diseases such as polio and smallpox have also been eradicated through national immunisation programmes. In consequence, children not immunised are far less at risk in this disease-free society than they would otherwise be. Parents choosing not to immunise are relying on the fact that the diseases have already been eradicated. If the number of parents choosing not to immunise increased, there would be a similar increase in the risk of the diseases returning. Immunisation is not an issue like seatbelts which affects only the individual. A decision not to immunise will have widespread repercussions for the whole of society and for this reason, I do not believe that individuals have the right to stand aside. In my opinion immunisation should be obligatory. (274 words)

As languages such as English, Spanish and Mandarin become more widely spoken, there is a fear that many minority languages may die out. Some countries have taken steps to protect minority languages. What is your view of this practice? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from own knowledge or experience.
As the world becomes more integrated, the need for common means of communication is becoming more pressing. Inevitably, speakers of minority languages have been under pressure to speak the languages of more dominant groups, both locally and globally. Some people argue that there is nothing that can or should be done to stop this process. I would suggest that the issue merits more careful consideration. It is true as the balance of power among group of people throughout history has shifted, languages have arisen, changed, and died out. Even once widely-spoken languages, such as Latin, have disappeared. To some extent, therefore, this process may be inevitable. However, there are examples of communities that have managed to preserve and even revive languages under threat. Irish and Scots Gaelic, for example, have been preserved by government policy on education and broadcast media. There are, indeed, several benefits to preserving minority languages. Retaining the language of a community often means that other forms of culture are maintained: songs, literature and local traditions. These all contribute to the richness and variety of human culture. Moreover, language helps communities to remain cohesive and to have a strong sense of identity. This can help people to be strong in adversity. Where this sense of identity and cohesion has been lost, for example among many indigenous communities in North America, problems can follow: low self-esteem, lack of confidence and loss of initiative. In short, it is possible and in many cases, desirable, to make the effort to preserve minority languages. This can have benefits both for the minority speech community and for society as a whole in terms of cultural richness. (274 words)

Many people say that the only way to guarantee a good job is to complete a course of university education. Others claim that it is better to start work after school and gain experience in the world of work. How far do you agree or disagree with the above views? Give reason for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
It is probably true to say that most people believe that a university degree is the only way to get a good job. I think this is true in certain areas, while in other areas, a degree is not as useful. To begin with, many people have ambitions to become a qualified professional, and there is no doubt that becoming a doctor o lawyer, for example, is only possible with a degree. Another advantage of graduating from university is that it gives you more choices when it comes to choosing a job. Most employers will be more impressed by a candidate who has a degree than they would be by one who only has high school qualification because it shows a certain level of intelligence and education, as well as the commitment and self-discipline that is needed in order to study a degree course for three or four years. On the other hand, there might be some benefit to starting your career early, especially if your chosen field is one which does not typically require a university education. This would apply to somebody who wants to be a car mechanic, or a fashion designer, for instance, who would not necessary gain anything from going to university. The hands-on experience you gain in your job while others are studying for a degree can give you a distinct advantage. I once read about a man who left school at sixteen and went on to become a wealthy and successful investment broker. He claimed that he had learned all he needed to know by working in his chosen field and he could not have done any better by getting a degree. So, to conclude, it is possible to get a good job without to university. Having said that, some professions, such as the law, require you to have a degree and as stated above a university degree could potentially open more doors when looking for a job. (324 words)

Recent figures show an increase in violent crime among youngsters under the age of 18. Some psychologists claim that the basic reason for this is that children these days are not getting the social and emotional learning they need from parents and teachers. To what extend do you agree or disagree with this option? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
It does seem to be true that parents find teachers have lost the authority they used to have, especially in the eyes of teenagers. They are no longer seen as models for behaviour: hard work, politeness and other positive qualities are seen as old fashioned. Many young people have no respect for these qualities or the people who represent them. In fact, I think when young people today are so rebellious that its possible that both parents and teachers are afraid to exercise their authority. However, I do not agree that this is the basic reason for the increase in teenage violence. While I believe it is true that a lack of social and emotional learning contributes to the problem. Other factors are surely involved: economic factors, for example. If a child comes from a poor family and

they live in low-quality housing in all undesirable area, this is sure to affect the child, however loving the parents are. There is also the question of who your friends are. I believe that when you are in your teens your friends have more influence on you than your parents or teachers. At that age, you want to be part of a group, or even a gang, and this might lead to breaking the law in a number of ways. In conclusion, while I agree that lack of social and emotional learning from parents and teachers is a factor in the growth of teenage violence, I do not believe that it is the only or main cause. (255 words)

Woman and men are commonly seen as having different strength and weaknesses. Is it right to exclude males or females from certain professions because of their gender? Give reason for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
There have always been differences in the types of work men and women have done. However, the trend in modern times has been for both men and women to have greater freedom of choice in terms of employment. Some people might say that there is no need to go further. However, in my view, wherever possible, gender equality should be encouraged. There may indeed be good arguments for allowing certain posts to remain predominantly male or female. Where all-male or all-female groups exist, there may be a need for related posts to be held by men and women respectively. Patients in all-female hospital wards, for example, would probably appreciate having female nurses to look after them. It could also be argued that certain jobs requiring a great deal of physical strength, coal mining or logging, for example, should continue to be done mainly by men. However, in the vast majority of situations, making occupations more open to both genders has distinct advantages. Men and women can bring slightly different perspectives and approaches to a job. Female police officers, for example, may have a greater understanding of domestic violence and a better range of strategies for dealing with this problem. Male primary school teachers probably have a better understanding of the needs of young boys and can serve as good role models for them. The changes that result from allowing men into female-dominated occupations and vice versa may be subtle, but they are far-reaching. However, to benefit the most from this development, it is important not to expect males and females to approach work in identical ways. (266 Words)

Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic. In todays competitive world, many families find it necessary for both parents go out to work. While some say the children in these families benefit from the additional income, others feel they lack support because of their parents absence. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion. Give reason for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
In the past, a typical family consisted of a father who went out to work and a mother who stayed at home and looked after the children. Nowadays, it is the norm for both parents to work. This situation can affect children both positively and negatively. Some people think that the children of working parents are in an advantages position were their parents are able to afford more luxuries such as new clothes, video games or mobile phones. Proponents of this view argue that children are able to enjoy and experience more from life due their parents extra wealth, for example, by going foreign holidays. On the other hand, however, there are those who claim that when both parents work, their children do not get enough support and attention; meaning that these children might not do as well at school because there is no one at home to provide support with such things as homework or exam revision. The absence of parents at home could make it easier for children to get involved in such things as drugs or underage drinking. When I was growing up, both my parents worked and I was always well provided for. On the other hand, I think that it would sometimes have been better if I could have seen more of my parents. In conclusion, I believe that we cannot change the fact that both parents have to work nowadays, It is not an ideal situation, but if parents make time for their children in the evenings and at the weekends, then the children will not suffer in any way. It must be stated that the extra income generated by both parents working, makes for a much higher standard of living which benefits the whole family. (292 words)

The birth rate in most developed countries is predicted to begin to fall over the next 50 years. By 2030 it is estimated that over one third of the population in most developed countries will be aged 65 and over: What effects will these predictions have on developed countries if they prove true? What can be done now to deal with this situation? Give reason for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Nowadays, most people worry about over-population and living crowded cities. However, it is predicted that we will have the opposite problem by the year 2030 when one third of the population will be aged 65 or over and birth rates are predicted to decline. What effect will this have on our society?

By 2030 the percentage of the population aged 65 or older will have risen significantly, to more than 30%. This means that fewer people will be working, and therefore fewer people will be paying income tax. In the future it may be necessary for governments to increase the official retirement age to 70 or even older. When todays 30-year-olds are in their sixties it is unlikely that they will enjoy the relaxed lifestyle that todays older generation can expect when they give up work. Government will therefore need to make sure that this older generation is healthy and fit enough to continue working. However I believe the biggest impact will be on the younger generation. In 2030 the younger generation will need to work much harder to support the large number of older people. If this trend continues then it is possible that our entire culture will change. For example, most marketing companies today try to target the younger generation with their products and advertisements. If the majority of the population is older than this will change and companies will begin to target the older generation instead. So, what can be done now to prevent these problems? Firstly, I believe that governments of developed countries should find ways to encourage people to have larger families and increase the birth rate. Secondly, I believe that they should encourage migration from developing countries so that the problems of Over-crowding can be solved. (292 words)

Children today play very violent games. This must be the reason for the increase in violence and crime in most major cities of the world. What are your opinions on this? Give reason for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Nowadays most children regularly play games on a computer or their television. These games have become more violent over the past few years. In fact, many parents worry about this and the effect these games are having on their children. Some are concerned that playing violent games might encourage them to do aggressive in real life. What we need to establish is whether or not this is actually true. First, it may help to look back at the games that children used to play many years ago before the invention of computers. In those days children would probably have played popular board games such as Monopoly or chess, or they may have played card games or some type of outdoor sport. These sports or games would probably only have encouraged children to become more competitive rather than violent. However, throughout history children have always played fighting games with toy or pretend weapons. Even now many parents will buy a toy gun or sword for their child. Why do we never read reports in the media about the impact plastic weapons could have on children? Perhaps this is because the link between play fighting and actual fighting is not very strong. In conclusion, the way children play games has changed with the Ames but the ideas behind those games have actually changed very little. Just as playing at soldiers did not increase violence in the past, I believe that playing computer games will not lead to al crease in violence in the future. I think that if we looked more closely at life in our major cities then we would find there are many other possible causes for the increase in crime and violence. (284 words)

Despite health warnings, a large number of people continue to smoke all over the world. Why should we be concerned about this? What solutions would you suggest? Give reason for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Smoking is an expensive habit which pollutes the environment and carries serious health risk, yet a third of the men in the world smoke. It is also a sad fact that one in five teenagers take up the habit when they are as young as 11. Of course, there is one interest group, the tobacco industry, which is more than happy with this situation, since its profits depend on our addiction to cigarettes. These statistics are particularly depressing because the link between smoking and cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses has been known for many years. We must also remember that apart from harming the individual, smoking represents a huge cost to society. The money we spend on treating smoking-related disease could be used for much better purposes, such as helping to feed the worlds poor or paying for medical research. So why, despite all the evidence, do people still smoke? The obvious answer is that cigarettes are highly addictive, so that it can be extremely difficult to give up. Another answer is the power of peer pressure, especially amongst young people. In my view, the most important thing is to discourage people from starting to smoke, and we could do this be increasing the tax on tobacco and banning cigarette advertising. I also feel that people who want to quit should be given as much advice and support as possible. In conclusion, I believe that we should do everything we can to reduce the number of smokers in society. However, it is not enough to provide information about health risks, we also need to use a variety of strategies to tackle the problem. (275 words)

Successful sports professionals can earn a great deal more money than people in other important professions. Some people think is fully justified while others think it is unfair.
Discus both these views and give your own opinion. Give reason for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. As a result of constant media attention, sports professionals in my country have become stars and celebrities, and those at the top are paid huge salaries. Just like movie stars, they live extravagant lifestyles with huge houses and cars. Many people find their rewards unfair, especially when comparing these super salaries with those of top surgeons or research scientists, or even leading politicians who have the responsibility of governing the country. However, sports salaries are not determined by considering the contribution to society a person makes, or the level of responsibility he or she holds. Instead, they reflect the public popularity of sport in general and level of public support that successful stars can generate. So the notion of fairness is not issue.

Those who feel that sports stars salaries are justified might argue that the number of professionals with real talent are very few, and the money is recognition of the skills and dedication a person need to be successful. Competition is constant and player is tested every time they perform in their relatively short career. The pressure from the media is intense and there is little privacy out of the spotlight. So all of these factors may justify the huge earnings. Personally, I think that the amount of money such sports stars make is more justified than the huge earnings of movie stars, but at the same time, it indicates that our society places more value on sport than more essential professions and achievements. (246 words)

Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic. Whoever controls the media also controls opinions and attitudes of the people and there is little can be done to rectify this. To what extend do you agree or disagree? You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.
In some countries the media is controlled exclusively by large companies; in other it is the government that has this control. Often, in war situation, one of the first casualties is the media, which is seized by one group or another. This gives some support to the idea that the media is a source of power and control. Whoever controls the media also has ultimate control over what is published or broadcasted and what is omitted. They can also add a certain prejudice or bias to their coverage of certain news stories depending on their own feelings about the matter. This is not a new problem, although the issue is perhaps more pressing now that the Internet and play-TV have enabled these messages to be disseminated even further. However, we should remember that readers have their own ideas and opinions. You can control what is printed but you cannot control the opinions of your readers. I think the only positive here is that, nowadays, people seem to be much more cynical about what they read in the press or hear on the television. In particular, when it comes to the tabloid press, people know that they have to take what they read with a grain of salt. In other words, they read knowing they may be being lied to. Perhaps it is even greater concern that we have become so accepting of this form of censorship. The only thing that can be done to alter this situation is for the government to regulate the industry so that there is no longer a monopoly on media ownership. This also means that they have to allow and support a totally free press, even if this means the government may be criticised or ridiculed within its pages. (295 words)