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18.Paper qualifications have little value in today’s world.” Do you agree?19.“Schools teach too much that is unnecessary and too little of what is interesting.”Discuss.
Enabling the individual to cope with failure should be the main aim of education.’ Doyou agree?21.“The most important challenge facing education is to develop a love for learning andquestioning.” Do you agree?22.How far would an education system that is flexible and varied contribute to aneducation worth having?23.To what extent is the education system in your country churning our efficient butmindless clones?24.‘Only the educated are free.’ Discuss.
Environment and Geography
1.Is man fighting a losing battle against environmental degradation?2.Capitalism and conservation do not mix. Do you agree?3.It is meaningless to talk about saving the environment when millions of people arestarving to death. How far do you agree?4.Soon we shall have no air to breathe, no water to drink and no food to eat. Howseriously should we heed this warning?5.Nuclear energy is a mixed blessing. Comment.6.What can be done to achieve a balance between tourism and protection of theenvironment?7.Are wild animals necessary?8.On what grounds could the killing of animals be justified?9.Why should we be concerned about marine life?10.Is the world drowning in its own garbage?
The most challenging crisis of the 21
century is the shortage and contamination of water. Discuss.
The loss of biodiversity is the worst disaster facing the planet. Do you agree?13.How can we balance the demand for food and conservation of the environment?14.We need to encourage not curb population growth. Do you agree?15.Do you think environmental conservation should be made mandatory?16.A Street is more important than a Meadow. Discuss.17.Is it ever possible to meet the demands of the consumer class without incurring greatenvironmental costs?18.‘Man does not sufficiently appreciate the gifts of nature.’ Discuss with reference toour use of natural resources.19.‘Modern technology owes ecology an apology.’ How far do you agree?20.How far do you agree that despite Man’s attempt to control Nature, Nature hasinstead been more successful in controlling Man?
By their nature, these topics are likely to be quite abstract and demanding, but they can produce very effective responses when
effectively illustrated by means of pertinent examples.
1.Consider the importance of beauty.2.Consider the importance of image.3.Winning is not the most important thing in life – it is everything. Do you agree?4.Can discipline be taught to an individual?
Dealing with absolute terms
It is usually easier to argue against (disagree with) terms like “always”, “never” and “nothing”. Conversely, it is usually easier to argue for (agree with) terms like “ever”. In other words, you should always disagree with the absolute stand. This is because the abovementioned approach merely requires you to identify one instance which proves the point. With this in mind, how then do we incorporate good balance in absolute-term essays? After all, a good counter-argument would require us to prove “always” or “never”, or to disprove “ever”!
While there are several ways of incorporating effective counter-arguments into absolute-term essays, perhaps the easiest and most straight-forward one would be to use big, generally true arguments that people commonly put forth in an attempt to argue “always” or “never”.
There is nothing optimistic about the future of the environment. Do you agree?
Some people argue that there is nothing optimistic about the future of the environment because globalization has opened up markets and has resulted in an unprecedented increases in the demand for goods. In addition, advances in technology which give rise to more efficient manufacturing processes, coupled with access to cheaper labour in developing countries means that we can now produce goods more cheaply. With further advances, costs of production will only go down. Cheaper prices, in turn, will result in goods being demanded in greater quantities. To meet this demand, we extract more raw materials, fell more trees, burn fossil fuels, fill landfills to capacity – all of which damage our environment. There is no reason for optimism because this process shows no sign of stopping – consumerism continues to rise, and with it, the production of more goods and services that will continue to damage our environment.
This counter-argument works because it does make sense – consumerism had been increasing, globalization continues, we do not expect a drop in demand for goods. However, does it prove that there is nothing optimistic? No, because exceptions exist. And that’s the function of your rebuttal:
However, where we have consumerism, we also have groups of people that raise awareness above the problems of consumerism – an example is the popular “The story of” videos, which began with “The story of stuff”, and went on to produce “The story of plastic bottles” and other related videos. The fact that people are more aware of the problem and of possible solutions – thanks to the very same force of globalization – is a reason for optimism.
The CA-R Structure [Recommended]
The structure illustrated above (a counter-argument, followed by a rebuttal to show where the exceptions lie) may be repeated for a further two arguments, giving six paragraphs in your main body. Within these six paragraphs, you should have covered a minimum of three aspects or levels, and provided a range of examples for each.
The CA-R1-R2 Structure [Recommended]
Here, the structure follows the one illustrated above, but adds on another level of rebuttals:
However, where we have consumerism, we also have groups of people that raise awareness above the problems of consumerism – an example is the popular “The story of” videos, which began with “The story of stuff”, and went on to produce “The story of plastic bottles” and other related videos. The fact that people are more aware of the problem and of possible solutions – thanks to the very same force of globalization – is a reason for optimism. [Rebuttal 1]In addition, consumers are beginning to request greener products, and even though consumerism persists, at the very least, we are making an attempt to consume greener products, as seen by the trend of companies producing and advertising greener products to cater to the more environmentally conscious consumer. Again, this is reason for optimism. [Rebuttal 2]
The CA-A Structure [possible, but not preferred]
Although the above two structures are recommended, there is another possible method. If you struggle with finding an appropriate rebuttal that deals with the particular counter argument you’ve chosen, you would still meet requirements if you gave an unrelated argument (rather than a rebuttal) after the counter argument.
Admittedly, our consumerist culture may make us pessimistic. However, there still exist reasons for optimism because advances in technology have been helping us reduce the damage done to the environment. Such examples include the use of catalytic converters in cars and nuclear technology.
1) Use big, generally true arguments (that are commonly used to support the absolute) as your counter-arguments
2) Rebut these by showing where the exceptions to these general rules lie.
3) Conclude by saying that because there are, in fact exceptions to common arguments put forth by opponents, it is not true that there’s nothing optimistic (or whatever the absolute stand is) . There are, in fact, glimmers of home when it comes to the environment.
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Tags: Absolute terms, Counter arguments, Essay skills, Rebuttals, Structuring an essay
Categories : Environment, Essay, Essay structure, Globalisation, Key term: Absolute