MUET Writing 800/4 Question 2 sample answers for 350 word academic essay
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SAMPLE 1) YEAR END 2008: MUET WRITING 800/4 QUESTION 2
“People are becoming more materialistic. They are concerned with making more money and what money can buy.” What is your opinion on being materialistic? You should write at least 350 words. [60 marks]
They say that money makes the world go round. And indeed it does as without money, life would be very difficult as in today’s society, nothing is free. The side effect however is that people are becoming more materialistic; more concerned with making money and what money can buy. But how much money is enough? Is it ever enough? To some, it will never be enough. In my opinion, I truly believe that this statement is true and that people are becoming more materialistic in nature. In this essay, I will discuss how materialism has affected modern society’s way of life on an individual level, the country’s economy as well as our spiritual and moral beliefs.
First and foremost, each individual is affected by materialism to some extent in this day and age because hedonism is becoming an uprising trend. This is because today's generation are geared towards making more and more money so that they can enjoy the carefree lifestyle that is so popular these days. Moreover, people now are striving to earn more income in order to afford things that are more expensive and branded. For example, people spend their hard earned money on material objects like genuine LV and Coach handbags, expensive gadgets like Iphones and Tablet pcs and so on which in my opinion is a waste of money when regular goods may prove to be good enough. Therefore, while individuals become more focussed on their pursuit of material wealth and improving their standard of living, they may forget that what matters most in life is quality time spent with family and friends and not the quantity of their material goods.
Secondly, when society starts spending in a materialistic manner it will surely have a domino effect on the country’s economy. This means that the spending power of society will help boost the economy and create more business opportunities for the booming trade. However, when a society overspends, using plastic money or credit cards, or when they take loans they cannot afford to repay, then the country’s debt margin will be higher. For instance, USA today is facing an economic crisis because banks have approved home loans to people who aspire to own bigger houses than they can actually afford and this is causing the collapse of the country’s economy there. Thus, while a society’s spending habits helps our economy to grow, overspending due to materialism will have an adverse effect to the country’s financial stability.
Last but not least, materialism affects our spiritual and moral beliefs. This is due to the fact people who are materialistic may become ‘amoral’ whereby they disregard their spiritual and moral upbringing and instead turn to crime to satisfy their materialistic needs. In fact, the crime rate is increasing because criminals these days have developed many ways to gain more money from society. Take for example, there are more reports of snatch thefts, burglaries, kidnapping for ransom, credit card fraud, internet banking hacking and others that are driven by materialistic criminals. Hence, when people lose sight of their spiritual and moral beliefs and believe instead in the greed of materialism, therefore the crime rate is bound to increase.
In a nutshell, materialism is a common agenda in the 21st century as more people are working hard to afford things beyond their reach. While this may spur individuals to work harder to improve their standard of living, overspending due to materialism may cause the downfall of a country’s economy and their morality. In my opinion, I still firmly believe that materialism has a strong hold on today’s society; both positive and negative effects. Our government can encourage society to be less frivolous and wasteful in spending by running campaigns such as ‘Consumer Awareness’ and ‘Buy Malaysian Made Products’ in order to educate our younger generation for the prosperity of our nation.
SAMPLE 2) MID YEAR 2010: MUET WRITING 800/4 QUESTION 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.
SAMPLE 3) MID YEAR 2011: MUET WRITING 800/4 QUESTION 2
The most valuable thing in life is friendship. Do you agree? Discuss. You should write at least 350 words.
It is true that no ‘man is an island’ meaning that no one in this world can live alone without friendship. That person would be very socially challenged as he or she would miss the camaraderie and life experiences that come with friendship. However, I completely disagree with the statement that the most valuable thing in life is friendship as there are certainly more important and priceless things in life besides this. In this essay, I will outline how life itself is more valuable than friendship, and elaborate on why family and the individual’s principles in life are ranked higher.
First and foremost, before one can enjoy the beauty of friendship, one must surely value life itself or in other words, we should value our health. This is because, the quality of our life is the single most important criteria in life if we are to live a meaningful and wholesome life. Moreover, without good health, we will be hard pressed to do even the simplest of tasks like feed ourselves or relieve ourselves without the help of doctors, nurses and caregivers. For example, if we are paralysed, lost our sight, hearing or ability to speak or even a simple case of a fever or allergic reactions, then the quality of our life is greatly reduced and no amount of friendship can make us healthy again. Therefore, while friends can stand by us in our time of need, pristine health is still the most valuable asset in our lives.
Secondly, we are no one without our family as indeed blood is thicker than water. This means that however you analyse it, friendships will almost always play second fiddle because family always comes first. Furthermore, if we do not value our family above others, then there must be a problem among the family members that has caused their relationship to be strained. For instance, people tend to turn away from family if the family member(s) themselves are the ones to cause them to react negatively such as divorced parents, abusive parents or siblings and so on. Thus, when people consider friendship to be the most valuable thing in life, more often than not they may come from a troubled household.
Last but not least, a person’s principles in life is by far more valuable than friendship alone. This is due to the fact that each person needs to have a code of ethics, quite often prescribed by their individual religions. In addition, this code will guide each person to live their lives according to the good and right principles. Take for example, if an individual has set his principles to do good, then no amount of friendship especially negative influence from friends, can shake his hold on his principles and cause him to commit undesirable deeds like smoking, stealing, raping, murdering and others. Hence, if a person values friendship so much to the point where he is willing to break his principles, then he has done a serious misdeed against himself and will most likely regret his actions later in life.
In short, friendship is the rainbow of life as it colours our horizons with invaluable experiences but without good health, a supportive family and strong principles, life becomes empty and meaningless. In my opinion, it is beyond a shadow of a doubt that I still firmly believe that friendship is not the most valuable thing in life. Our government can encourage people to prioritise health, family and principles in life by organising awareness campaigns especially in primary schools where the younger generation should learn about priorities in life because they are the leaders of tomorrow.
SAMPLE 4) MUET WRITING 800/4 QUESTION 2
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.
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 increasing vice 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 vice 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 the product. Moreover, in the newspapers today, reports of smuggling of these items prove that this vice activity is on the rise. For example, the recent sugar price hike caused a furor 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 had 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 less 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.
SAMPLE OF ESSAY FROM ONLINE STUDENT JEFF (TQ FOR ALLOWING ME TO BLOG THIS) ON WHAT NOT TO WRITE IN YOUR ESSAYS.
On 9 November 2011 00:53, jeff lai wrote:
A university education is better than a college educaton.Give your opinion.
After the SPM examination,many students have to decide their future on which education to pursue.Some of my friends chose to enrol in college.I decided to study in matriculation college as a Pre-U qualification to enter university.My reason is university education is better than college education.
This is because university has a better education system,more dedicated lecturers and better facilities.
First,university education provides a better education system than college does.A SPM certificate is enough for you to enrol in a college but to enter a university you need a Pre-U qualification such as STPM or A-level.This simply shows that it is harder to study in university as you need some qualifications in which the college does not demand.Besides,the grading system in university is stricter than that of college.So,students have to work harder to get a good result.On the other hand,most college change their grading system,according to the overall result of their students.Moreover,the the syllabus in university is well designed.Besides giving knowledge,it helps to develop the social skills of students.For example,Students have to do survey on public about topics related to their study.This ensures that the graduates can have critical thinking skill and communication skill.
Universities usually hire more experienced lecturers with better knowledge.According to a research, these lectures possess a Master or PhD degree and some even graduated overseas.Thus,they have higher level of of knowledge which benefits the students.Besides,Most of them have years of teaching experience and so they know how to guide their students,developing their skills and exploring their potential.For instance,a Physics lecturer does not only talk on theories.Instead,he teaches the students to analyse a problem logically.They are also more caring and responsible to their students.These qualities are hard to seen in college lecturers,who are mostly bachelor degree holder and work just for money. (very serious generalisation here!)
Last but not least,university usually has better facilities,for example,the state-of-art computers.Unlike those college such as Inti College which are run by private companies,university has a better management.Thus every single thing in the university,including the infrastructure is planned and developed well.This is beneficial to students.For instance,university with advanced laboratories is beneficial to students as they can learn science better by being explored to the real situation while conducting experiments.Besides,university with better sports facilities can help the students to relax their mind.In other words,better facilities means a more conducive environment for university students.
In a nutshell,university education is better than college education for its better education system,lecturers and facilities.Despite the growing number of college in our country,I advice fellow friends to choose university education so that when you graduate,you are competitive enough to survive in this ever developing world.
Language wise you would score a high band 4... however your content is not very mature and there is lack of critical thinking skills so you might get only low band 3. Add the two together you may get a low or mid band 4.
Good try but i can assure u that this question will never come out in the exam as the scope is too small. if you compare spm with uni, then it would be a more viable question. comparing uni n college requires in-depth knowledge abt the two so majlis peperiksaan malaysia would never use this question as it would be too biased for some parties (urban) while the rural ones will not be able to answer it well at all.
Also, you mentioned too many assumptions and sweeping statements in your essay. I have highlighted the generalisations in GREEN ABOVE where you have stated what you consider to be a fact but is actually just your opinion. Please avoid such statements.
I do like how you've followed an academic style format.. and that you've given concrete examples. Good try.
Anyway... thanks for trying. :P
MORAL OF THE STORY: AVOID SWEEPING STATEMENTS AND GENERALISATIONS THAT YOU HAVE NO PROOF ABOUT. STAY AWAY FROM WORDS LIKE:
ALL, NEVER, ALWAYS, EVERY, EVERYONE, EVERYTHING ETC.
Below is a model answer essay that scored an impressive Band 5. We’ll give feedback on each paragraph. Let’s get started!
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.
As time goes by, the world is changing rapidly; so are its people and the technology itself. Technology brings about a lot of amendments in people’s life. It is getting more advanced from day to day especially when it comes to Information Technology or in this case; electronic communications. Back then, mailing was seemingly to be one of the most vital ways of communication especially for the world communication. In contrast, nowadays people are more prone to communicate the easier ways; by staring on their electronic accounts on their computers or through their iPods and sending short messages from their iPhones or Blackberries. Why is it so? In my slight opinion, this growing trend gives a lot of dominances in today’s life, which are helping people to save their time and money, create borderless communication and make it easy for people to gain prominent information.
The student introduces technology as a whole, looking at its history, from how it has grown from a simple form of communication through letters to today’s extensive choice of communication through electronic gadgets. This is a great way to start your introduction. Based on the question, explain what the issue is and give a brief background of its past and present. State your opinion as to why such situation arises.
First and foremost, the world today is turning more to electronic communications like e-mail, Facebook and Short Message System (SMS) and other electronic communications is because they will prevent people from wasting their time and money. How do these work? As we all know, sending a letter to someone will take a lot of processes and will eventually take a long time and waste a lot of money. On the contrary, electronic communications entail only the tip of our fingers so as an electronic device to work with. Then, what is left for us to do is just, typing! Has that not taken a much lesser time and money? For instance, an e-mail only requires us to turn on our laptops, open our accounts on the website and then, you can start write your letter and send them through e-mails. In short, with the very unstable economy nowadays, having these kinds of communications will ease everyone’s burden especially on their daily expenses and also their valuable time will not be wasted.
State, Explain and then Illustrate. Remember SEI. First, state the topic that’s been mentioned. In this case, it’s the rise of electronic communications. Then explain. Explain what electronic communications entail. Next, illustrate. This means give examples based on your explanation. The student illustrates by giving a scenario of the use of emails.
Secondly, the growing trend of electronic communications is making it possible for a borderless communication which is vital these days. Why is it vital? A lot of things require borderless communication; in education field, businesses and even daily activities, especially when foreigners involved. For example, when trading with foreigners, in order to communicate with each other, they need Skype or Yahoo Messenger as mediums to interact and be able to do the trade at a faster rate as compared to by using ‘snail mails’ or regular letters. Skype is the perfect example of an electronic communication which will cut the boundary that has separated each country and make communication between two different countries from around the world possible. In conclusion, it is crucial to have these electronic communications in today’s age of globalization as they make it easier for people around the world to connect with each other.
Structure your subsequent paragraphs like the first one. Add a new point in the second paragraph and repeat the SEI format. It’s important to have a mind map of your points before you start writing.
Last but not least, the dominance of these electronic communications is people could gain prominent information more efficiently than before. As there are lesser borders between countries, the efficiency of getting much more relevant and prominent information is higher. People will have the ability to provide and gain information effectively through Facebook or Twitter accounts. For example, international artists who have planned to do a world concert can inform their fans about it through their Facebook account. Likewise, the fans also can ask just about anything to their favourite artists regarding the concert. Hence, this explains why people make these electronic communications as a huge trend these days and in order to keep the trend ongoing, each person has the responsibility to adapt with the technology itself.
In a nutshell, the growing trend of using electronic communications is inevitably vital in people’s lives as it gives out a lot of benefits as stated in above paragraphs. So, to avoid ourselves from not getting the chance of keeping up with the changing trends, we have to try our best to adapt ourselves with the rapid changes. I believe that the electronic communication trend is a trend which is very important to be followed as the world is getting more advanced day to day.
To indicate that your essay is coming to an end, use words like ‘in conclusion, in a nutshell, in short or to wrap up. Summarise your opinion based on all your previous paragraphs and emphasise your point through words like ‘I believe’.