GRE Writing Prompts- Analyze an Issue

To understand the most important characteristics of a society, one must study its major cities.
Pro:
-Expand the definition of ‘major city’ to ‘center of human activity’
-To understand humans, must observe all their interactions
-Cities capture the tone of the majority
-Cities are frequently the center of political and economic activity

Con:
-Not enough- may only reflect one side of society
-Examine its laws
-Traditions, beliefs, religion
-Age of globalization- major cities all resemble one another?

Educational institutions have a responsibility to dissuade students from pursuing fields of study in which they are unlikely to succeed.
Responsibility vs. logistical/legal issues
Responsibility to who? The students? Society?
Pros:
– Students unable to foresee – dissatisfied COS majors
– Able, have necessary experience
Cons:
– Measure of success?
Scandals are useful because they focus our attention on problems in ways that no speaker or reformer ever could.
Pros:
– Raise public awareness- perhaps not focus attention, but bring into the public eye, because they are more easily accessible and frequently accessed
– E.g. milk scandal – health
Cons:
– Form of entertainment
– Root issue is frequently lost behind sensationalization
– Political scandals- doctored, focus on negatives and putting down the other party (Obama vs. Romney)
– In the unlikely event that they focus attention on a problem, they usually offer little solution.
Claim: Governments must ensure that their major cities receive the financial support they need in order to thrive.

Reason: It is primarily in cities that a nation’s cultural traditions are preserved and generated.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.
A nation should require all of its students to study the same national curriculum until they enter college.
Pros:
– Increased fundamentals
– Easier logistics
– Ensure the same background upon entering college
Cons:
– There is no end to building ‘better fundamentals’
– Individuals must learn to specialize
– Companies are not looking for jack-of-all-trades
– Not everyone enters college- should learn specialization in high school
– Foster individual thinking while the brain is still developing

Conclusion: National curriculum is beneficial, but only up to a certain point. Current societal trends in duration of education suggest that this point is earlier than the time at which students enter college.

Some people believe that government funding of the arts is necessary to ensure that the arts can flourish and be available to all people. Others believe that government funding of the arts threatens the integrity of the arts.
Pro:
– Art needs money
– Consumer society is providing less and less of this required monetary support
– It is better to allow the arts to develop in an imbalanced manner than to suppress it entirely
– The presence of art inspires new art, e.g. Russian underground literary movements
Con:
– Due to scarcity of resources, government must be selective in its funding
– This leads to the promotion of certain types of art over others, thus threatening its integrity
– E.g. propaganda in Soviet Russia

Conclusion: Within modern society, government funding is necessary for the monetary survival of the arts. However, such action inevitably shapes the direction of popular art forms. Thus whilst funding is necessary, it can not always be viewed as purely beneficial.

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Claim: In any field—business, politics, education, government—those in power should step down after five years.

Reason: The surest path to success for any enterprise is revitalization through new leadership.

Pros:
– Sometimes is necessary to change leadership- when current leadership is stagnating or ineffectual
– Successful in current government
– Forced change often useful, as people have tendency to get stuck in a rut
Cons:
– Great successes by new leaders are often more strongly felt because they are more revolutionary
– Does not mean that there are no great successes by current leaders. Slow but steady progress
– Emphasis on immediately visible change
– Lack of experience, loss of previous experience
– Not a ‘sure’ path
– Extreme visionaries are few and far between
E.g. Steve Jobs
In any field of endeavor, it is impossible to make a significant contribution without first being strongly influenced by past achievements within that field.
Pros:
– Even the most radical breakthroughs in science result from questioning—and sometimes subverting—past achievements.
– Einstein had to understand Newtonian physics in order to describe why the theory broke down
Cons:
– Not ‘impossible’
– Copernicus- instead of being influenced by common belief, pursued new methodologies (scientific method)

Result: In many fields, so much it has already been done that, in order not to imitate the past, it is necessary to be cognizant of and thus influenced by the past. Even in the past, many of the most radical breakthroughs arose through investigating and subverting established theories and conventions. However, it is possible to make a significant contribution without being strongly guided by past achievements.

Nations should pass laws to preserve any remaining wilderness areas in their natural state, even if these areas could be developed for economic gain.
Pros:
– Nature is not a renewable resource
– Effects of deforestation are pervasive
Cons:
– Easier said than done, especially for developing nations
– Any nation, in order to support its economy, is obligated to utilize some portion of its natural resources. It would therefore not make sense to restrict underdeveloped economies to the insufficient resources current available to them by imposing conversationalist laws on all remaining wilderness areas.
People’s behavior is largely determined by forces not of their own making.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Governments should offer a free university education to any student who has been admitted to a university but who cannot afford the tuition.
Pros:
– Increasing education of the poor
– Equal opportunity
– Education is a right and benefits society as a whole
– Example of poor people who have been successful / great academics?
Cons:
– Better to address the root problem of poverty
– Eg. give free primary school education
– Too ideological- difficult to implement such legislation
– Insufficient funds
– Where to draw the line? Risk of people exploiting loophole to gain free education
– Wait until later
– Only further increasing gap between the wealthy and the poor, favoring the very people who appear to have abused their privileged positions.
Universities should require every student to take a variety of courses outside the student’s field of study.
Pros:
– Broaden horizons
– Many students choose a field of study without having experienced anything beyond the fundamentals in any other field
– Exposure to and experience of different modes of thinking and varying skill sets
– Interdisciplinary collaboration increasingly common
Cons:
– There are some who are truly brilliant in one field
– Payoff- lack of specialization
– May be extraneous in vocation-oriented courses such as nursing and accounting
A nation should require all of its students to study the same national curriculum until they enter college.
Pros:
– Cycle of support for institution and its students
Cons:
– Narrow outlook
– Prioritizes fiscal success over all others
– Role of educational institutions is not solely to prepare students for a career
– Hence do not have the right to prescribe such an outlook
Educational institutions should actively encourage their students to choose fields of study that will prepare them for lucrative careers.
Compromise:
– In democratic society, people expect political leaders to represent them
– Is not being a leader but a follower
– But if inconsistent- do not know who we are voting for
– Following public opinion does not always effect public good.
Principle:
Some people believe that in order to be effective, political leaders must yield to public opinion and abandon principle for the sake of compromise. Others believe that the most essential quality of an effective leader is the ability to remain consistently committed to particular principles and objectives.
Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.
Formal education tends to restrain our minds and spirits rather than set them free.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
The well-being of a society is enhanced when many of its people question authority.
– balance the two
Immediate problems:
– Natural disasters
– Unemployment, current welfare
Anticipated problems:
– Lack of natural resources

– Focusing solely on immediate problems may exacerbate future problems

Governments should focus on solving the immediate problems of today rather than on trying to solve the anticipated problems of the future.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
Some people believe that college students should consider only their own talents and interests when choosing a field of study. Others believe that college students should base their choice of a field of study on the availability of jobs in that field.
Marines urinating on dead body
Euthanasia
Flexible laws on murder (manslaughter, first/second degree)
Insanity

Pros:
– Punishment vs. crime prevention- showing societal sympathy is more likely to prevent recurring crime
Cons:
– loopholes
– cannot account for every exception

Laws should be flexible enough to take account of various circumstances, times, and places.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Claim: The best way to understand the character of a society is to examine the character of the men and women that the society chooses as its heroes or its role models.

Reason: Heroes and role models reveal a society’s highest ideals.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.
Governments should place few, if any, restrictions on scientific research and development.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
The best way to teach is to praise positive actions and ignore negative ones.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Governments should offer college and university education free of charge to all students.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
The luxuries and conveniences of contemporary life prevent people from developing into truly strong and independent individuals.
Pros:
– New point of view, untainted by previous modes and patterns of thought
– More likely to develop independent theory if not exposed to previous ones
Cons:
– Especially in the modern day, when many fields of inquiry are well-studied and exhausted, beginners run the risk of repeating past work
– Einstein had a solid understanding of Newtonian mechanics
– Nash had a solid mathematical background
– Most important mathematical proof of the 21st century was achieved by refining the ideas and techniques of a past expert
In any field of inquiry, the beginner is more likely than the expert to make important contributions.
Define greatness as influence and notability

Great nations of the past are remembered for their achievements

Pros:
– The achievement of an elite few cannot be representative of an entire nation
– Can only represent a nature by the sum of its parts
– An affluent minority is sufficient for great military, artistic or scientific achievements
Cons:
– General welfare is necessary for great achievements
– Small, insular countries are often more affluent, as there is a smaller populace to govern, yet such countries usually have little influence
– Countries with the best welfare, as measured by unemployment rates and overall quality of life, include Finland and Sweden, which hold little sway in the current political environment

The surest indicator of a great nation is represented not by the achievements of its rulers, artists, or scientists, but by the general welfare of its people.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
The best way to teach—whether as an educator, employer, or parent—is to praise positive actions and ignore negative ones.
Pros:
– Provide incentive for teachers to improve education of students
– Premise: Well-taught students will perform better academically

Cons:
– Academic ability is the result of a multitude of factors, not just quality of teaching. Such a policy would unfairly disadvantage teachers in societies where academic excellence is not a primary goal.
– Reward only measurable success
– Promote mark-based teaching, often designed to maximize grades given minimal understanding

Teachers’ salaries should be based on their students’ academic performance.
– Almost all extinction could be the result of human activity, there is no way of distinguishing
– All species should be assumed to be equally valuable to natural ecosystems
– Some endangered species may be of use to humans in the future, e.g. in the study of diseases
Society should make efforts to save endangered species only if the potential extinction of those species is the result of human activities.
Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position.
College students should base their choice of a field of study on the availability of jobs in that field.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.
As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more complex and mysterious.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
In any situation, progress requires discussion among people who have contrasting points of view.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Educational institutions should dissuade students from pursuing fields of study in which they are unlikely to succeed.
Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position.
Governments should not fund any scientific research whose consequences are unclear.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
Society should identify those children who have special talents and provide training for them at an early age to develop their talents.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
It is primarily through our identification with social groups that we define ourselves.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
College students should be encouraged to pursue subjects that interest them rather than the courses that seem most likely to lead to jobs.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
Claim: When planning courses, educators should take into account the interests and suggestions of their students.

Reason: Students are more motivated to learn when they are interested in what they are studying.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.
The greatness of individuals can be decided only by those who live after them, not by their contemporaries.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Students should always question what they are taught instead of accepting it passively.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
The increasingly rapid pace of life today causes more problems than it solves.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Claim: It is no longer possible for a society to regard any living man or woman as a hero.

Reason: The reputation of anyone who is subjected to media scrutiny will eventually be diminished.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.
Competition for high grades seriously limits the quality of learning at all levels of education.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Universities should require every student to take a variety of courses outside the student’s field of study.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
Educators should find out what students want included in the curriculum and then offer it to them.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
Educators should teach facts only after their students have studied the ideas, trends, and concepts that help explain those facts.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
Claim: We can usually learn much more from people whose views we share than from those whose views contradict our own.

Reason: Disagreement can cause stress and inhibit learning.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.
Government officials should rely on their own judgment rather than unquestioningly carry out the will of the people they serve.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
Young people should be encouraged to pursue long-term, realistic goals rather than seek immediate fame and recognition.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
The best way to teach is to praise positive actions and ignore negative ones.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
If a goal is worthy, then any means taken to attain it are justifiable.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
In order to become well-rounded individuals, all college students should be required to take courses in which they read poetry, novels, mythology, and other types of imaginative literature.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
In order for any work of art—for example, a film, a novel, a poem, or a song—to have merit, it must be understandable to most people.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Many important discoveries or creations are accidental: it is usually while seeking the answer to one question that we come across the answer to another.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
The main benefit of the study of history is to dispel the illusion that people living now are significantly different from people who lived in earlier times.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Learning is primarily a matter of personal discipline; students cannot be motivated by school or college alone.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Scientists and other researchers should focus their research on areas that are likely to benefit the greatest number of people.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
Politicians should pursue common ground and reasonable consensus rather than elusive ideals.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
People should undertake risky action only after they have carefully considered its consequences.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
Leaders are created by the demands that are placed on them.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
There is little justification for society to make extraordinary efforts—especially at a great cost in money and jobs—to save endangered animal or plant species.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
The human mind will always be superior to machines because machines are only tools of human minds.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Every individual in a society has a responsibility to obey just laws and to disobey and resist unjust laws.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.
People who are the most deeply committed to an idea or policy are also the most critical of it.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Some people believe that society should try to save every plant and animal species, despite the expense to humans in effort, time, and financial well-being. Others believe that society need not make extraordinary efforts, especially at a great cost in money and jobs, to save endangered species.
Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.
Some people believe that the purpose of education is to free the mind and the spirit. Others believe that formal education tends to restrain our minds and spirits rather than set them free.
Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.
Some people believe it is often necessary, even desirable, for political leaders to withhold information from the public. Others believe that the public has a right to be fully informed.
Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.
Claim: Universities should require every student to take a variety of courses outside the student’s major field of study.

Reason: Acquiring knowledge of various academic disciplines is the best way to become truly educated.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.
Young people should be encouraged to pursue long-term, realistic goals rather than seek immediate fame and recognition.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Governments should not fund any scientific research whose consequences are unclear.
Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position.
Colleges and universities should require all faculty to spend time working outside the academic world in professions relevant to the courses they teach.
Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position.
Knowing about the past cannot help people to make important decisions today.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
The most effective way to understand contemporary culture is to analyze the trends of its youth.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
People’s attitudes are determined more by their immediate situation or surroundings than by society as a whole.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Claim: The best test of an argument is its ability to convince someone with an opposing viewpoint.

Reason: Only by being forced to defend an idea against the doubts and contrasting views of others does one really discover the value of that idea.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.
Nations should suspend government funding for the arts when significant numbers of their citizens are hungry or unemployed.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
All parents should be required to volunteer time to their children’s schools.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
Colleges and universities should require their students to spend at least one semester studying in a foreign country.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
Teachers’ salaries should be based on the academic performance of their students.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
Some people believe that in order to thrive, a society must put its own overall success before the well-being of its individual citizens. Others believe that the well-being of a society can only be measured by the general welfare of all its people.
Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.
Claim: Any piece of information referred to as a fact should be mistrusted, since it may well be proven false in the future.

Reason: Much of the information that people assume is factual actually turns out to be inaccurate.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.
Claim: Nations should suspend government funding for the arts when significant numbers of their citizens are hungry or unemployed.

Reason: It is inappropriate—and, perhaps, even cruel—to use public resources to fund the arts when people’s basic needs are not being met.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.
Claim: Many problems of modern society cannot be solved by laws and the legal system.

Reason: Laws cannot change what is in people’s hearts or minds.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.
The primary goal of technological advancement should be to increase people’s efficiency so that they have more leisure time.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Educators should base their assessment of students’ learning not on students’ grasp of facts but on the ability to explain the ideas, trends, and concepts that those facts illustrate.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
Unfortunately, in contemporary society, creating an appealing image has become more important than the reality or truth behind that image.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Educational institutions should actively encourage their students to choose fields of study in which jobs are plentiful.
Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position.
People’s behavior is largely determined by forces not of their own making.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.
Although innovations such as video, computers, and the Internet seem to offer schools improved methods for instructing students, these technologies all too often distract from real learning.
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The best ideas arise from a passionate interest in commonplace things.
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To be an effective leader, a public official must maintain the highest ethical and moral standards.
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Claim: Imagination is a more valuable asset than experience.

Reason: People who lack experience are free to imagine what is possible without the constraints of established habits and attitudes.

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In most professions and academic fields, imagination is more important than knowledge.
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Critical judgment of work in any given field has little value unless it comes from someone who is an expert in that field.
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Some people believe that scientific discoveries have given us a much better understanding of the world around us. Others believe that science has revealed to us that the world is infinitely more complex than we ever realized.
Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.
In any profession—business, politics, education, government—those in power should step down after five years.
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Claim: The surest indicator of a great nation is not the achievements of its rulers, artists, or scientists.

Reason: The surest indicator of a great nation is actually the welfare of all its people.

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Any leader who is quickly and easily influenced by shifts in popular opinion will accomplish little.
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When old buildings stand on ground that modern planners feel could be better used for modern purposes, modern development should be given precedence over the preservation of historic buildings.
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Claim: The surest indicator of a great nation must be the achievements of its rulers, artists, or scientists.

Reason: Great achievements by a nation’s rulers, artists, or scientists will ensure a good life for the majority of that nation’s people.

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The best way to understand the character of a society is to examine the character of the men and women that the society chooses as its heroes or its role models.
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The best way for a society to prepare its young people for leadership in government, industry, or other fields is by instilling in them a sense of cooperation, not competition.
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Some people claim that a nation’s government should preserve its wilderness areas in their natural state. Others argue that these areas should be developed for potential economic gain.
Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.
Some people argue that successful leaders in government, industry, or other fields must be highly competitive. Other people claim that in order to be successful, a leader must be willing and able to cooperate with others.
Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.
Some people believe that corporations have a responsibility to promote the well-being of the societies and environments in which they operate. Others believe that the only responsibility of corporations, provided they operate within the law, is to make as much money as possible.
Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.
Claim: Researchers should not limit their investigations to only those areas in which they expect to discover something that has an immediate, practical application.

Reason: It is impossible to predict the outcome of a line of research with any certainty.

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Some people believe that our ever-increasing use of technology significantly reduces our opportunities for human interaction. Other people believe that technology provides us with new and better ways to communicate and connect with one another.
Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.