Tuesday, May 10, 2016

YEAR END 2010 WRITING QUESTION 2



You are advised to spend about 50 minutes on this task.
In an arranged marriage, the choice of a husband or wife is made by parents or elders. What do you think of this practice in today’s society? Discuss. You should write at least 350 words.

Sample essay: Arranged marriage
         
          Arranged marriages have been in existence for centuries and are still widely practiced in many corners of the world. The reasons include economic, cultural and relationship and perhaps charitable too. Let me look at this issue from various aspects. What are the Pros and Cons of Arranged Marriages?

Many people choose who they want to marry based purely on love, but arranged marriages still take place in some cultures. Usually, the family has more input in the choice of husband or wife, which means that the individual has less choice in the partner they end up with. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as arranged marriages often last longer than marriages based on love, and they offer stability to any children that are conceived. There are also drawbacks associated with arranged marriages, which is why many individuals have difficulty imagining finding a partner this way.

In arranged marriages you cannot choose. Individuals obviously have very little opportunity to get to know their prospective spouse before they are thrown together and married in law. Thus, they could discover that they have nothing in common and that they actually do not like each other all that much. Once a couple is married, however, there will be social pressures to remain together, while legally they are bound together whether they like it or not. Sometimes, feelings of love can develop in an arranged marriage, but this is not always the case and, unfortunately, this can leave both individuals feeling miserable.

One advantage is it is easier to find a potential spouse. Arranged marriages make finding a potential spouse much easier. The responsibility to find the ‘right one’ falls on the shoulders of parents and other relatives, so that individuals can relax about settling down. Their relatives obviously have a pretty good idea of the person they are and so can pick out candidates they think will be suitable and who they approve of. Thus, there will not be as much room for arguments over the choice of a spouse, especially since those getting married still get the final say and can reject a partner they are not interested in.

Romantic love is heavily idealized as seen in films and stories and everyone likes the idea of ‘falling in love’ and settling down with the man or woman of their dreams, but the reality tends to be rather disappointing. At least people know what they’re getting with an arranged marriage; they know that it is going to take time to learn each other’s ways and that compromise will be necessary. When people get married for love, what happens when that love fades? Usually, the result is divorce, which is stressful for both parties and can also have a detrimental impact on children.

The next question is whether it is your choice or your parents’ choice. Arranged marriages are clearly not for everyone, but the practice continues in some societies and cultures where family is valued above everything else. At the end of the day, there is more to marriage than love, and arranged marriages force individuals to confront how much effort is actually required to make a marriage work. Love does not guarantee a happy and successful marriage; nor does having a marriage arranged, but there is certainly more pressure to make an arranged marriage work.
            In a nutshell, getting married is a personal matter to some; happiness and everlasting love may or may not be achieved. To others arranged marriages maybe the solution. Hence it all depends on the individual or maybe the couple.

MID YEAR 2010 WRITING QUESTION 2



You are advised to spend about 50 minutes on this task.
The world today is turning more to electronic communications such as the e-mail, Facebook and Short Message System (SMS). What is your opinion of this growing trend? Discuss. You should write at least 350 words.

SAMPLE 1

Generally, in answering academic essays, you need to really focus on a higher level of thinking which befits a Band 6, university style response. If you were to just answer that this electronic communication trend is good and that you can chat with your friends and keep in touch, then you really haven't explored the question in a mature and critical way.

How do you train your mind to be more critical and mature in approaching the question? Well, you need to focus not just on the effects of the concept to yourself and the people around you, but focus on how it will affect society not just in your country but globally.

Anyway, have a read of the sample answer below. Take note that I'm sticking to my writing template, but better students can use a more creative style to show their flair in writing effective compositions.

Everywhere we turn today, the world is crowded with people busy typing SMSes on their Nokias or iPhones or someone is staring unblinkingly at a Facebook or Yahoo page on the computer screen. Whether you like it or not, the age of Information Technology is upon us, and we can either learn new skills and adapt to this new technology, or be forever lost and stuck in the older generation. In my opinion, I am fully convinced that this growing trend is the way of the future, and it brings countless benefits to mankind. In this essay, I will discuss three positive effects of electronic communication, namely its efficiency, enhances communication and creates a borderless world community.

First and foremost, more and more people are relying on e-mail, Facebook, Short Message System (SMS) and other types of electronic communication tools because of its high efficiency. This is because in today's age of globalisation, we need information at the tip of our fingers. Moreover, with the use of these tools, we can increase the speed of getting the necessary and relevant information within seconds and this will increase our productivity. For example, gone are the days of using 'snail mail' or regular letters using stamps and envelopes and many more examples of 'old' technology because it is simply too slow and inefficient. Therefore, these e-communication tools increases the access to important information which is why the new generation is fully accepting this growing trend.

Secondly, this form of technology enhances communication among people today. This means that when we use SMS, e-mails and websites like Facebook, we are able to communicate clearly and directly to our target audience. Furthermore, people today find that the message is more important than the form it comes in as an e-mail in short but clear sentences is just as good or even better than a long and formal letter. For instance, an SMS can give clear instructions in just a few words and this communicates what needs to be done quickly and directly. Thus, when the intended message can be spread clearly using short and clear information like in SMSes and emails, communication can be enhanced and there will be less problems of miscommunication.

Last but not least, e-communication creates a borderless community in the world we live in today. This is due to the fact that the boundaries that separate each country becomes less relevant when information is transferred without limitations. In addition, the world would be a better place because there is a sense of 1-World commitment, respect and tolerance for the global community through efficient and clear e-communication. Take for example, we are able to connect with people on an international basis using Facebook, Friendster, Tagged, Hotmail, Yahoo and others. Hence, these tools will enhance global unity and create a more peaceful world.

In a nutshell, this growing trend has many positive effects not just to individuals but the global society in terms of efficiency, enhancing communicative skills and shaping a borderless community. In my opinion, I still firmly believe that this latest trend is the best way forward and if we do not catch up, we will be left behind by the tide of development. Our government can encourage the proper usage of electronic communications by increasing communication amenities and broadband accessibility especially in rural areas so that they can enjoy the same facilities as city-folks therefore balancing the development of our country towards achieving Vision 2020.

SAMPLE 2
The world today is turning more to electronic communications such as the e-mail, Facebook and Short Message System (SMS). What is your opinion of this growing trend? Discuss. You should write at least 350 words. [60 marks]

Everywhere we turn today, the world is crowded with people busy typing SMSes on their Nokias or iPhones or someone is staring unblinkingly at a Facebook or Yahoo page on the computer screen. Whether you like it or not, the age of Information Technology is upon us, and we can either learn new skills and adapt to this new technology, or be forever lost and stuck in the older generation. In my opinion, I am fully convinced that this growing trend is the way of the future, and it brings countless benefits to mankind. In this essay, I will discuss three positive effects of electronic communication, namely its efficiency, enhances communication and creates a borderless world community.

First and foremost, more and more people are relying on e-mail, Facebook, Short Message System (SMS) and other types of electronic communication tools because of its high efficiency. This is because in today's age of globalisation, we need information at the tip of our fingers. Moreover, with the use of these tools, we can increase the speed of getting the necessary and relevant information within seconds and this will increase our productivity. For example, gone are the days of using 'snail mail' or regular letters using stamps and envelopes and many more examples of 'old' technology because it is simply too slow and inefficient. Therefore, these e-communication tools increases the access to important information which is why the new generation is fully accepting this growing trend.

Secondly, this form of technology enhances communication among people today. This means that when we use SMS, e-mails and websites like Facebook, we are able to communicate clearly and directly to our target audience. Furthermore, people today find that the message is more important than the form it comes in as an e-mail in short but clear sentences is just as good or even better than a long and formal letter. For instance, an SMS can give clear instructions in just a few words and this communicates what needs to be done quickly and directly. Thus, when the intended message can be spread clearly using short and clear information like in SMSes and emails, communication can be enhanced and there will be less problems of miscommunication.

Last but not least, e-communication creates a borderless community in the world we live in today. This is due to the fact that the boundaries that separate each country becomes less relevant when information is transferred without limitations. In addition, the world would be a better place because there is a sense of 1-World commitment, respect and tolerance for the global community through efficient and clear e-communication. Take for example, we are able to connect with people on an international basis using Facebook, Friendster, Tagged, Hotmail, Yahoo and others. Hence, these tools will enhance global unity and create a more peaceful world.

In a nutshell, this growing trend has many positive effects not just to individuals but the global society in terms of efficiency, enhancing communicative skills and shaping a borderless community. In my opinion, I still firmly believe that this latest trend is the best way forward and if we do not catch up, we will be left behind by the tide of development. Our government can encourage the proper usage of electronic communications by increasing communication amenities and free broadband accessibility especially in rural areas so that they can enjoy the same facilities as city-folks therefore balancing the development of our country towards achieving Vision 2020.

YEAR END 2009 WRITING QUESTION 2



You are advised to spend about 50 minutes on this task.
People commit crime for selfish reasons. Discuss. You should write at least 350 words.

Today when we read or listen to news reports, we see crime stories splashed all over the media. Crime can be defined as an act or behaviour that is not tolerated by society, and as such is prohibited by the law. Crimes such as stealing, violence, shoplifting, vandalism and bribery are so prevalent in our society. Why do people commit crimes? Is it due to selfish reasons, where one is concerned only about one’s own benefits without regarding others? Or are there any other reasons?
One reason why people get involved in crimes is greed. When human nature is overcome by desire and need for self-gratification, the negative side of human beings will emerge. Humans are never satisfied with what they have and always want more. However, if they do not have the means, they might commit crimes like stealing, forgery and even embezzlement to satisfy their envy or greed.
One of the most vulnerable groups in society is teenagers. Teenagers are young and inexperienced, yet at the same time they are very intense and rebellious as they try to find their place in the world. A teen’s discretion is not as fully developed as that of an adult. A lot of times, being young and lacking experience can lead teenagers into dangerous and often criminal situations, such as joining gangs, taking or dealing drugs and drinking. Besides, a lot of teenagers live in situations where crimes and violence are run-of- the-mill situations. For instance, if a child grows up in a dangerous city where shootings and domestic crimes are a daily occurrence, that is going to seem natural to them, and it is not going to be surprising if they fall into that lifestyle.
Another problem affecting teenagers or young people is lack of parental guidance. Today, some parents work their fingers to the bone to put bread on the table. Therefore, they have neither time nor energy to care for their children. Due to their pursuit of material wealth, parents are often absent during their children’s formative years. Hence, children feel unloved, neglected and abandoned. So they may want to seek solace in their friends. Some of them even mix with juvenile delinquents and get themselves in trouble with the law.
After considering the reasons that lead to crimes, we should not assume that people commit crimes solely for selfish reasons. We should focus on the fact that there is a real threat to the safety of innocent people. It is about time the authorities seek an effective solution to end crime altogether.