1.   Some people think that human needs for farmland, housing, and industry are more important than saving land for endangered animals. Do you agree or disagree with this point of view? Why or why not?
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Sample Answer

As human population is significantly rising every year, people’s requirements are increasing too. We need more food, more machines, more place to live. As a result of this people need more land to satisfy their requirements. We cultivate and irrigate more and more land to plant vegetables, build new buildings, airports, roads, etc. I think sometimes we forget that we are not alone on this planet. I have to disagree with those people who think that human needs are more important than saving land for endangered animals. I base my opinion on the following points.

First of all, as I already mentioned, we are not alone on this planet. A few centuries ago we were the part of wild nature. I think we need to remember this fact and respect all creatures around us.

Second of all, I believe that we all need to think of the problem of overpopulation. The human population is dramatically increasing and we have to do something about it. From my opinion, every family should have no more than two children. It will help to stop the growth of population, decrease human needs for farmland, housing and industry.

In conclusion, I think it is a very topical question nowadays. My point is that all people
should answer this question and find the solution.

 (218 words)

2.   Trade and travel would be a lot easier with a single, global currency that we all use.
Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Would a single currency cause any problems?

Sample Answer

It is clear to me that the idea of a single global currency is an excellent ideal to work towards. There can be no doubt that trade and travel would be vastly easier. On the other hand I believe that it would cause problems today.

The benefits of a single currency can be seen with the use in Europe of the Euro. Whenever you are travelling between countries using the Euro, the problems of currency changing and exchange rates are history. Similarly business between countries using the Euros is so much easier; no more worrying about exchange rate risk and pricing. Everyone‛s money is the same. The same thing is true with the US dollar. Most countries do not use the US dollar but it is accepted in many places. There are many countries that you can travel to and just take US dollars to use.

At present though a global currency would be impossible. Firstly most countries would not accept the idea. Secondly all countries are in different economic states. Some are economically very strong and some are in a state of collapse with inflation ruining the economy. Such countries could not be brought into a world currency as it would cause massive financial instability worldwide. So it is clear that a global currency would indeed cause some serious problems.

So, in conclusion I see a global currency as a future ideal but it will not happen in my lifetime. It would make trade and travel much easier but the problems it would cause nowadays would be insurmountable.

 (259 words)

3.  All education, primary, secondary and further education, should be free to all people and paid for by the government.
Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Sample Answer

Different countries have different education systems. I don‛t know all the education systems in the world but all the ones I do know about have free school education at primary and secondary level. I certainly agree with the statement that this should be the case. I believe university education is different.

No matter what standard of income someone has or what society someone comes from, everyone should have the opportunity to have a good standard of education. This is not always what happens but it is what should happen. Private schools can be available for those who want and can afford it but the free schools should always be there. This is certainly one of the best attributes of western democracy and all countries it seems strive to attain situation although some have problems due to the economic and political situations in their countries. Governments should make sure that all their citizens have access to a good standard of free education at primary and secondary level.

Further education is different. In an ideal world this should be free but governments have a lot of demands on their money. I think that students should have to pay, maybe not all, but at least a contribution towards their tuition fees. They will be able to earn it back once they have graduated. The UK has this system whereas in the US students have to pay all their high tuition fees which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars over a full course. I am not sure if I agree with this but it certainly would make sure that students make the best of efforts to pass or all their money would be wasted.

Therefore I conclude that primary and secondary education should be freely available for all if possible but that further education should not necessarily be wholly free.

 (309 words)

4.  “Although abuse of the system are inevitable, social welfare payments are essential to protect the rights citizens have to a guaranteed minimum income in a
democratic society”

Sample Answer

Social welfare is an essential element of an advanced society. Good systems are always abused, but that does not mean they are faulty. In my opinion, the two main reasons why welfare payments are necessary are as follows:

First of all, critics forget that there are many forms of welfare besides payments to the unemployed. Their negative opinions harm those who are not capable of earning a wage, such as single-parent mothers, the disabled, and the sick. Moreover, the unemployed have the right to an income, too. They are not always at fault for not having a job, and in most cases the tax they have paid in the past entitles them to assistance.

The second reason is that crime increases when people have no means of support. The desperately poor inevitably turn to crime, which is not only dangerous but costly. Policing the streets is more expensive than providing welfare. A policeman’s wage is four or five times higher than a “dole” payment.

Certain members of society believe that people should look after themselves. They point out that welfare increases dependency on others and destroys dignity. This may be true, but in the case of the unemployed, the relief payments are usually temporary. It is surely the fault of the government if there are long-term unemployed. Welfare critics also believe that it is the responsibility of a victim’s family to provide financial assistance. However, it is too expensive to provide complete help for a severely disabled person.

To conclude, it is vital to understand the need for welfare in a modern democratic society. Without welfare payments the poor are destined to become poorer. The first duty of a government is to provide a financial safety net for all disadvantaged persons, and that includes those without work.

 (297 words)

5.  The world is experiencing a dramatic increase in population, This is causing problems not only for poor, undeveloped countries, but also for industrialised and developing nations.
Describe some of the problems that overpopulation causes, and suggest at least one possible solution.

Sample Answer

In most countries of the world the population is increasing alarmingly. This is especially true in poor, undeveloped countries. Overpopulation causes a considerable number of problems.

In poor countries it is difficult to provide enough food to feed even the present number of people. In addition, education to limit the number of children per family is not always successful. Poorer countries usually have a lot of unemployment too, and an increase in population simply makes the situation worse. The environment also suffers when there are too many people living on the land.

In rich, industrialised and developing countries it is very difficult for governments to provide effective public services in overcrowded cities. Moreover, there is usually a great deal more crime, which is often due to high rates of unemployment. Further large increases in population only cause more overcrowding, unemployment and crime.

There are two main solutions to the overpopulation problem. Firstly, every woman who is pregnant, but who does not want to give birth, should be allowed by law to have an abortion. Secondly, governments must educate people to limit the size of the family. In China, couples are penalised financially if they have more than one child. This may seem cruel, but the “one-child policy” is beginning to have an effect in the world’s most populous nation. Eventually, similar policies might also be necessary in other crowded nations such as India, for example.

To sum up, if the population explosion continues, many more people will die of starvation in poor countries, and life in the cities, even in affluent nations, will become increasingly difficult.

 (266 words)

6.  The position of women in society has changed markedly in the last twenty years. Many of the problems young people now experience, such as juvenile delinquency, arise from the fact that many married women now work and are not at home to care for their children.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Sample Answer

It is certainly true that the position of women in society has undergone a dramatic change in the past twenty years but I do not feel that this is a direct cause of the indisputable increase in juvenile-related problems during this period.

It is now accepted that young women should find work on leaving school; indeed to rely totally on their parents’ financial support is no longer an option in many families. Likewise, once they get married, the majority of women continue working since the financial pressures of setting up a house and establishing a reasonable standard of living often require two incomes.

Twenty years ago it was common for women to give up work once they had children and devote their time to caring for their children. This is no longer the general rule and the provision of professionally-run child care facilities and day nurseries have removed much of the responsibility for child rearing that used to fall to mothers. However, these facilities come at a cost and often require two salaries coming into a family to be afforded.

I do not believe that the increase in the number of working mothers has resulted in children being brought up less well than previously. Indeed it could be argued that by giving mothers the opportunity to work and earn extra money children can be better provided for than previously. There is more money for luxuries and holidays and a more secure family life is possible. Of course there are limits as to the amount of time that ideally should be spent away from home and the ideal scenario would be for one of the parents (often the wife) to have a part-time job and thus be available for their children before and after school. It is important to establish the correct balance between family life and working life.

 (308 words)

7.  Without capital punishment (the death penalty) our lives are less secure and crimes of violence increase. Capital punishment in essential to control violence in society.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Sample Answer

Before talking about the essential role of death penalty, you have to think about the meaning, and the purpose, of any kind of punishment. If you consider that the purpose is to prevent the guilty from being nasty again, you can be seduced by an argumentation in favour of the suppression of capital punishment. But you have to think about another aspect of the problem: a punishment is also useful to impress people, to make them fear the law. In fact, let’s take the example of a young misfit, which has grown in a violent atmosphere, influenced by older delinquents, etc … He lives in the streets, he’s got no aim but to survive. This is the kind of person who could possibly kill someone for money, or even for fun … Why would he fear prison? Life would be easier for him there. In addition, in many cases, when you behave normally, you can benefit from penalty reductions. This young misfit needs to be impressed, he needs to know that the law is a frontier. When you cross it, you can lose your life. That is why capital punishment helps keeping a distance between robbery and murder. If you abolish it, you suppress the difference between these two types of crime, which are completely different.

But there is also a limit to define: even if death penalty is unavoidable, it would be a crime to apply it to inadequate cases. If there is no premeditation or past facts which can justify such a punishment, it is far too strict to apply death penalty. That is why the lawmakers have to establish precisely the context in which capital punishment car be pronounced. That is the price to pay to limit violence without using excessive violence.

Capital punishment is always associated with ignorance and intolerance. In fact, we must acknowledge that some people disagree with this kind of penalty but others are totally in favour. Portugal was the first European country to end this kind of penalty. Since the 19th century, tolerance and respect for life are important values. Moreover, we can affirm that all the Europe remains under the same codes. Maybe because of a religious view point, life respect is a typical value in the Old Catholic world.

Those who are in favour of capital punishment are particularly in radical countries. It is not surprising to watch some barbarian behaviours in Islamic countries like public stoning to death. The population is invited to participate on the trial and in the final sentence – death- itself. However, this is not just an image of third world countries. Actually, USA is where this kind of punishment has its higher rates. The state of Texas, in particular, is at the top, supporting this measure against crime, especially those related with serial killers and those involving children. In a society dominated by fear and government control, it is foreseen that this penalty will continue into a future next.

Maybe this is not a clear question. As we can see there are several values here and of course cultural behaviours. The roots of the question are religious, cultural, ethical and even geographical. The world is divided and the law systems show those divisions. The solutions, however can lead us to other questions concerning revenge and justice. It will be better to kill a person because of his crimes? Can we admit that life sentence could be a much better sentence? In fact, rehabilitation is the right way especially with an accurate psychological evaluation first. Some people are lost forever, and in my opinion some murderers and other perverted people will suffer more in jail. In this sense, capital punishment is a soft release.

 (619 words)

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