1 - QuestionIntermediate
The following essay introduction uses the thought provoking questioning method:
Even though globalization affects the world’s economies in a very positive way, its negative side should not be forgotten. Discuss.
What is globalization? Globalization is a commonly used term in the twentieth century. It simply means that the world has become integrated economically, socially, politically and culturally through the advances of technology, transportation and communication. It is undeniable that globalization has resulted in both positive and negative effects which must be addressed accordingly.
To begin with, globalization has contributed to the world’s economies in many beneficial ways. The advances in science and technology have allowed businesses to easily cross over territorial boundary lines. Consequently, companies tend to become more productive and competitive thereby raising the quality of goods, services and the world’s living standard.
Secondly, several companies from the more developed countries have already ventured to establish foreign operations or branches to take advantage of the low cost of labour in the poorer countries. This kind of business activity will provide more influx of cash or investment funds into the less developed countries.
However, one cannot deny the negative effects which are derived from globalization. One crucial social aspect is the risk and danger of epidemic diseases which can easily be spread as transportation becomes easier and faster in today’s advanced society. This is evidenced in the recent avian flu disease which has infected most Asian countries over a short period of time.
As large corporations invest or take over many offshore businesses, a modern form of colonization will also evolve which may pose certain power pressure on the local governments of the less developed countries. Unemployment rates in the more developed regions such as Europe may also escalate as corporations choose to outsource to the cheaper work force from Asian countries.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that globalization is inevitable and we must urge individuals, companies and governments to use a more balanced approach by taking the appropriate steps to deal with matters relating to the financial or economic gains verses the social, political or ecological concerns of the world.
2 - ExampleIntermediate
The following essay introduction uses an intriguing example method:
In some countries children have very strict rules of behaviour, in other countries they are allowed to do almost anything they like. To what extent should children have to follow rules?
In India for example, children are expected to be very submissive to their parents as well as other adults around them. This, however, is not the case with the Western countries of the world where children follow the motto ‘Thou shalt do what thou wilt’ as promoted by celebrities and rock stars. The extent to which children have to follow rules is in itself a very complex issue; since children across the world grow up in very different cultures. I believe that following strict rules has both advantages as well as serious drawbacks as discussed below.
Firstly, strict rules of behaviour create responsible and respectful children who in turn mature into respectful adults. This forms a stable society which is virtually free from negative trends such as prostitution and drug abuse. Secondly, if children do not follow strict rules of behaviour, they may get out of hand and become work-shy and indolent. This may then create a burden on the society since the government has to find ways to cater for these social ills.
However, forcing children to follow strict rules of behaviour doesn’t always yield positive results as discussed above, most of the time it backfires and works against society. For example, teenagers are more likely to do the opposite of what they’re told to do simply because they want to be independent. As we know, teenagers tend to be rebellious and may just turn into violent or abusive adults if they are not given strict rules. Children should also have rights to exercise their free will and develop their own pattern of behaviours. Imposing strict rules may simply destroy the individuality of children.
At the end of the day, it is clear that children should be guided by rules, but these rules should not be imposed on them because as human beings, they need to have room to develop their own traits of character and adopt a behavioural pattern of their own.
3 - QuoteIntermediate
The following essay introduction uses the “provocative quotation” method:
Currently there is a trend towards the use of alternative forms of medicine. However, at best these methods are ineffective, and at worst they may be dangerous.
To what extent do you agree with this statement? Give reasons for you answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.
As Hippocrates said that “let food be thy medicine and thy medicine thy food”, many people turn to alternative medicines to cure diseases especially those hard core diseases such as diabetes, cancer as well as AIDS. Alternative medicine is not new. It is accepted that it pre-dates conventional medicine and it is still used by many people all over the world. I am unconvinced that it is dangerous, and feel that both alternative and conventional medicine can be useful.
There are several reasons why the conventional medical community is often dismissive of alternatives. Firstly, there has been little scientific research into such medicine, so there is a scarcity of evidence to support the claims of their supporters. Furthermore, people often try such treatment because of recommendations from friends, and therefore come to the therapist with a very positive attitude, which may be part of the reason for the cure. Moreover, these therapies are usually only useful for long-term, chronic conditions. Acute medical problems, such as accidental injury, often require more conventional methods.
On the other hand, there remain strong arguments for the use of alternatives. Despite the lack of scientific proof, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that these therapies work. In addition, far from being dangerous, they often have few or no side effects, so the worst outcome would be no change. One of the strongest arguments for the effectiveness of alternative therapies in the West is that, whilst conventional medicine is available without charge, many people are prepared to pay considerable sums for alternatives. If they were totally unhelpful, it would be surprising if this continued.
I strongly believe that conventional medicine and alternative therapies can and should coexist. They have different strengths, and can both be used effectively to target particular medical problems. The best situation would be for alternative therapies to be used to support and complement conventional medicine.
4 - AnecdoteAdvanced
The following essay introduction uses the “vivid and perhaps unexpected anecdote" method:
The rising fuel price has pushed up the price of other consumer products. How will this affect the society? Give your opinion. You should write at least 350 words.
As I drove past a local fuel kiosk, I was intrigued by a signage which said, “Savings All the Way” as only a few hours ago; I read in my Facebook page that the fuel prices of RON95 will be increased from midnight a whopping 20 cents to RM1.90 per litre. Cars were making a beeline towards the fuel kiosks like ants were being attracted to sugar. The fact that these car owners could save a mere few Ringgits by pouring full tanks of fuel before the hike in prices clearly shows that the cost of living in today’s society is rather high. Interestingly, money is always an issue in today's era of materialism. Most people need it for basic survival while the lucky few indulge in luxuries without worrying about money. In my opinion, I strongly agree that the rising fuel price has pushed up the price of other consumer products and this will definitely affect the society. In this essay, I would like to touch on the effects this price increase has on society today, namely the increase in criminal activities, widening the gap between the rich and the poor and affecting the population trend in the long term.
First and foremost, society will immediately be affected by the rise in fuel prices because consumer products will be more costly and this leads to an increase of criminal activities. This is because basic necessities such as rice, flour, sugar and so on will be in great demand and some warehouses will store or hoard the items to further increase the price of these products. Moreover, in the newspapers today, reports of smuggling of these items prove that these criminal activities are on the rise. For example, the recent sugar price hike caused a furore among the Malaysian society as it costs more fuel to travel to and from the supermarket and when arriving, most places had run out of stock even though the government had allocated 2kg of sugar to one person. Therefore, the fuel price increase has definitely caused more hardships to society today.
Secondly, it is undeniable that the rise in fuel prices leads to the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor. This is due to the fact that people are greatly affected by the price of basic necessities such as food and fuel in particular. Furthermore, the rich people will still be able to afford such things but the poor will face greater challenges as the popular saying goes: "The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer." For instance, when money is used to purchase consumer products that are necessary for survival, then less money will be spent on health and dental check-up, educational purposes and others. Thus, it is clear that the fuel price hike will further stress on the differences between the rich and the poor which is such a tragedy.
Last but not least, in the long term the population trend or demographics of the society will be greatly affected. This means that new families will consciously decide not to have too many children in order to increase their quality of life. In addition, society is now more aware of birth control and family planning so this will greatly reduce the population as most families will have 1 to 5 children instead of more. Take for example; new families with fewer children will surely spend less on basic necessities like food, clothes, transport and many more. Hence, the demographics of the whole country will be affected and this in turn will reduce our workforce which will affect our country's productivity and prosperity.
In short, there are many short term to long term effects of a fuel price increase which includes more crimes like hoarding and smuggling will occur and this leads to the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor as well as a change in the society's demographics. I still strongly believe that the rising fuel price has pushed up the price of other consumer products and this will surely cause a negative impact to society. The government must find a way to stabilise the fuel price at a reasonable rate so that it does not affect the productivity of this country towards achieving the aspirations of the nation for Vision 2020.
5 - Puzzling ScenarioAdvanced
The following essay introduction uses the “puzzling scenario” method:
All people glorify and enthusiastically talk about human virtues and morality yet few people actually live up to them. What is your opinion? Do you agree or disagree?
Apropos to the above parable about conversation and following human virtues and ethics I would like to quote a proverb “Early to bed , early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” which people say but don’t follow. Do they really represent what we called human nature, undoubtedly they are.
The answer is disparaging, depreciating and moribund in true sense/pragmatic way. These garrulous, so called high profiled people, lack principles themselves. They can be considered as the quintessence of incorrigible liars .The examples of these people can be found everywhere, take for instance, our esteemed politicians , they know how to convince people at the time of voting, but after elections where are those promises, moralities and merits. Their talk is really egregious but do they really apply all to themselves. Another example can be had of those people, who talk about banning fashion shows as it is not up to intrinsic worth, but in reality they are the one who watch these with full spread, question arises where the morality is then, only in words?
Exceptions are always there, no qualms in it but exceptions are rare. Stats indicate the out of 100 people approximately 85 are not following what they are saying to others. So where is morality, only in lectures? This tradition simply indicates that we are camouflaging our weaknesses over our sins.
In a nutshell, we can say that if forgiveness is divine why people are giving capital punishment to others? People talk about human merits and principles but still they don’t practice what they preach, isn’t it disgusting. They live on the rules that, rules are for others not for themselves. In my opinion these people are a disgrace/stigma to society.
6 - FactualBasic
The following essay introduction uses the “factual” method:
Examinations are good. Do you agree? Justify your stand. Write in about 350 words.
Examinations are good and it is a must. Based on examination, students’ performance and academic achievements can be evaluated. They aim at testing the students’ grasp and understanding of the subjects taught to them. Apparently, examinations play an important role in one’s educational field. In fact, students only fear is towards the importance of the examinations.
No examination may lead students to nowhere. Students will no more be an orchard of knowledge. The ability to pass an examination is indeed a valuable quality. It shows that the student is able to express his thoughts and ideas in a manner others can understand. It also proves that the students have acquired a certain amount of knowledge in some branches of study.
Besides, the mind of a student, even if he is dull, receives good exercise when he prepares for an examination. It will also make the student not feel lazy as the mind can work actively. A student’s success in an examination therefore helps employers and others to assess his mental or general ability.
It may put one in doubt about the existence of educational institutions, especially colleges, and their level of efficiency if there are no examinations. Some may disappear. Others would remain but known only for fun or frolic. Non-academic activities would be more important than classes. The classes may run but the students may not pay as much attention. Even the strenuous one or two weeks of study leave before the examination will be left for relaxation.
Examinations pave the route to students to portray their excellence in studies. They are able to compete with each other in order to prove their mental capabilities. Students will be able to show their intelligence and power of reasoning especially if they are sitting for higher examinations and bring glory to their schools or colleges.
Without examinations, institutions of education will face difficulties in assessing their students’ achievements. This will also affect the employers when it comes to selection of candidates for careers as paper qualifications play a vital role in the career arena. Examinations enable students to qualify for scholarships apart from obtaining entry into highly accredited and highly ranked institutions of higher learning.
The merit of examinations consists of its objectives and the goal of evaluating the quantum of knowledge acquired by students and of grading them. As such, the world of academicians will be filled with poor souls without the mental ability to excel in every area. Thus, examinations are good and should be continued as a form of assessment at all levels of learning.
7 - FactualBasic
The following essay introduction uses the factual method:
Long school holidays are not necessary for schooling children. Do you agree? Write a composition of about 350 words.
In today’s fast moving world, the education institutes especially schools have come up with a notion that “the longer the schooling days, the better prepared will the students be for the future.” These days, schools authorities have dramatically cut the short school holidays to make ample space for the students to have their heads crammed with knowledge. Taking this matter into count, I strongly support the claim that school holidays are deserved by students.
It is undeniable that school is the place where students turn to in order to gain knowledge. This does not hold true any longer. Nowadays, there is an equal amount of private learning institutions such as tuition centres which conduct enrichment or remedial classes throughout the holidays without fail. Moreover, with the advent of the internet, online learning has taken on a totally new dimension. Google has become a verb and students tend to just Google up anything under the sun. So, it is no longer wrong in giving students a longer break.
Longer breaks give students extra time for themselves. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Hence, although schools do conduct extra-curricular activities, it is too short and may not suit the needs of the students in terms of holistic personal growth. The students may want to take part in other fun activities to be done themselves.
During longer school breaks, students can acquire other knowledge apart from that which is stipulated in the syllabus. They can perhaps enrol themselves in short courses. Although some rotten ones may take the opportunity to indulge in undesirable activities, they are only a few of them. This is a fact that cannot be denied. However, it is simply not fair to punish all the students by cutting down the holidays for their disciplinary problems.
If we observe closely, students and parents are spending less time together. Students are living life on the fast lane and can hardly find time to spend with parents due to school, tuition and other skill-lessons daily. The family bond is slowly but surely being severed. For family members to spend longer time together is only during school holidays when they can opt to go for family outings such as picnics, movies or even go overseas.
By giving a longer break to students, the education authority and school authority can have ample time to plan for more beneficial activities for the students. During the school holidays, teachers will have no commitments to conducting classes and thus, they can gather for more effective discussions and plan purposeful activities. As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This will definitely benefit the students once they come back from their break.
Wrapping up, school children should indeed have longer school holidays. They are young and they deserve extra time to rest their minds.