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The graph below gives information about U.S. government spending on research between 1980 and 2008

Write at least 150 words.


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task

Write about the following topic:


Some people think that governments should ban dangerous sports, while others think people should have freedom to do any sports or activity. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.


The line graph provides information about the U.S government’s expenditure on research in five fields (Health, Space, Energy, General Science and Other) over the period from 1980 to 2008.

It can be clearly seen that the US government spent the largest amount of money on research into Health while the least amount of money was spent on researching General Science.

Starting at $10 billion in 1980, the government expenditure on research into Health slightly dropped over the next four years before continually rising again to a peak of nearly $25 billion in 2004. Despite declining back down to approximately $18 billion in 2008, expenditure on Health research was by far the highest. The amount of money spent on researching General Science however was the lowest of all research categories, beginning at $2.5 billion in 1980 and rising to just over $5 billion by 2008.

Meanwhile, there was also an increase in the money that was spent on research into Energy and Space, from approximately $5 billion and $6 billion in 1980 to around $7.5 billion and $9 billion in 2008, respectively. In contrast, the only field that experienced an overall decrease in expenditure was that of research into other areas, which fell from approximately $7.5 billion in 1980 to about $5 billion by 2008.

(214 words)


Opinions diverge widely on whether dangerous sports should be prohibited due to the potential hazards to participants. While I understand this argument, my view is that people should have the right to participate in any sport they choose.

The principal reason in favour of a ban on extreme sports is that such activities are usually accompanied by a high chance of serious injury or death. A mountain climber, for example, is always in danger of a fatal fall even with the protection of climbing equipment. Furthermore, some of these sports not only render the players injured, but also the cheering spectators. Take car racing for example. In Japan in 2004, a Formula 1 race car crashed and debris from the crash flew into the crowd and caused serious injuries to both the racer and spectators.

However, I believe that people should be free to take part in any sport that they choose, and it would be wrong to stop climbing enthusiasts from challenging themselves and enjoying the invigorating experience of standing on top of a mountain peak. If these sports were previously banned, the world would not have witnessed the amazing feat of the first official ascent of Mount Everest in 1953. In addition, those who participate in these activities have to undertake rigorous training and experience for long periods of time to ensure they are in peak physical and mental condition in order to take up these hazardous sports. Therefore, the concern of the risk element becomes somewhat reduced.

In conclusion, it would be wrong to ban extreme sports, and I think that people should have the right to take part in any sport they want for the aforementioned arguments.

(281 words)

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