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  • 1. Advertising
    2. Animal Rights: testing on animals, vegetarianism, zoos
    3. Cities: urbanisation, problems of city life
    4. Crime: police, punishments/prisons, rehabilitation, capital punishment
    5. Education: studying abroad, technology in education, education in developing countries, higher
    education, home-schooling, bad behaviour, corporal punishment, single sex education, streaming
    (grouping children according to ability)
    6. Environment: global warming, impact of humans on the environment, solutions to environment
    problems, waste/rubbish, litter, recycling, nuclear power
    7. Family: family size, working parents, negative effects on children, divorce, care for old people
    8. Gender: gender and education, gender and work, women’s and men’s role in the family
    9. Genetic Engineering: positives, negatives, genetically modified foods
    10. Global Issues: problems in developing countries, how to help developing countries, immigration, multicultural
    societies, globalisation
    11. Government and Society: what governments can do, public services, censorship, video cameras in public
    places
    12. Guns and Weapons: gun ownership and possession, police and guns, nuclear weapons, armed forces
    13. Health: diet, exercise, state health systems, private healthcare, alternative medicine, stress
    14. Housing and Architecture: state housing, old buildings, modern/green buildings
    15. International Language: English as an international language
    16. Money: money and society, consumerism
    17. Personal Development: happiness, success, nature or nurture
    18. Sport and Leisure: professional/competitive sport, sport salaries, sport and politics
    19. Tourism: positives, negative effects on environment, future of tourism
    20. Traditions and Modern Life: losing traditional skills, traditional customs
    21. Transport: traffic problems and solutions, public transport, road safety
    22. Television, Internet and Mobile Phones: positives and negatives, Internet compared to newspapers and
    books
    23. Water: importance of clean water, water supply, water should be free, bottled water
    24. Work: same job for life, self-employment, unemployment, work/life balance, technology and work, child
    labour

Source: http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2011/02/ielts-advice-you-need-ideas-and-opinions.html
Master IELTS

 

  • 1. Advertising
  • Positives of Advertising
    Advertising is a key part of modern business
    Companies need to tell customers about their products
    Advertisements inform us about the choices we have
    Advertising is a creative industry that employs many people
    Without advertising we would have less choice
    Without advertising there would be higher unemployment
    Advertising is a form of modern art
    People enjoy adverts
  • Negatives of Advertising
  • Advertising manipulates people
    It aims to persuade people that buying a product will make them happier
    Advertisers focus on selling a brand image
    They use glamorous, successful people
    We now live in a consumer culture
    We are persuaded to follow the latest trend
    We are encouraged to associate certain brands with a higher status
    Advertisers often aim their marketing at children
    Children can easily be influenced by advertisements.
    Children put pressure on parents to buy them things
    Opinions about Advertising
    Advertising should be regulated
    Advertising aimed at children should be controlled or even banned
    Unhealthy foods should not be marketed in a way that attracts children
    Products that can be risk to healthy should display warnings
    In some countries it is illegal to advertise cigarettes on television
    Warnings must be displayed on cigarette packets
    However, advertising is necessary in free market economies
    It creates demand for products
    Governments should only censor false information or products that are harmful


  • 2. Animal rights
    Arguments for Animal Testing
    Animals are used in important scientific research
    It is necessary to do medical tests on new drugs
    Animal testing helps to advance medical and scientific knowledge
    Many important medical discoveries involved experimentation on animals
    Researchers aim to minimize the suffering that animals experience
    Testing for the cosmetics industry is now banned in many countries
    Master IELTS Essays IELTS Academic & General Training Writing Task Two
  • Arguments against Animal Testing
    The benefits of research using animals do not justify the suffering caused
    There are alternative methods of research
    The lives of animals should be respected
    Humans have no moral right to do experiments on animals
    Arguments for Vegetarianism
    Vegetarians do not eat foods that are produced by killing animals
    Many people choose a vegetarian diet for moral or health reasons
    A healthy diet is possible without eating meat
    It is unnecessary to kill animal for food
    A vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of disease like cancer
    Many people question the treatment of animals in factory farms
    Arguments against Vegetarianism
    Vegetarians do not eat a balanced diet
    In many cultures, meat is the main ingredient in traditional meals
    Meat-eaters argue that animals are below humans in the food chain
    It is completely natural for us to kill them for food
    Our aim should be improve farming methods
    Farms should produce organic food
    Positives of Zoos
    Zoos paly an important role in wildlife conservation
    They can help to protect endangered species
    Zoos allow scientists to study animals and their behavior
    Zoos are educational, interesting and fun
    Children, in particular, enjoy learning about animals
    Zoos provide job opportunities.
    Negatives of Zoos
    Zoo animals are kept in artificial environments
    They are kept in cages or have limited space
    Zoo animals rely on humans
    They lose the freedom to hunt for food
    They best way to save endangered species is by protecting natural habitats.
    Some people believe that zoos are unethical
    Zoos exhibits animals with the aim of making money
    We have no right to use animals for entertainment and profit.
    3. Cities
    Reasons for Urbanization
    People move to cities in search of job opportunities
    Cities offer greater employment possibilities and a higher standard of living
    People migrate to cities from the countryside
    Traditional activities like farming need fewer workers nowadays
    Master IELTS Essays IELTS Academic & General Training Writing Task Two
  • Negatives of City Life
    Life in cities has its drawbacks
    The cost of living is higher than in rural areas
    Some people d not manage to find work
    Housing is usually much more expensive
    Homelessness and poverty are common on cities
    There is a gap between rich and poor
    Life in cities can be extremely stressful
    There are problems like traffic congestion and crime
    Cities lack a sense of community
    People do not even know their neighbor
    Cities are sometimes described as “concrete jungles”.
    Pedestrian Areas
    Pedestrian zones in city centre can improve the local environment
    Banning cars encourages people to walk or cycle
    Many European cities have built bicycle lanes
    Dependence on cars is linked to health problems like obesity
    People who walk or cycle regularly are generally healthier
    Pedestrian areas are safer and more attractive for both residents and tourists
    4. Crime
    Police and Crime Prevention
    The job of the polices is to catch criminals
    They must also prevent crime and make communities safer
    There should be an increase in the number of police officers on the streets
    Police officers should be seen as part of the community
    They should be involved with education and prevention
    The police should be in close contact with schools
    They should focus on young people who have dropped out of school.
    These teenagers may become involved with gangs
    Punishments/Prisons
    Fines are used as punishment for minor crimes
    If the crime is more serious, prison is the most common punishment
    Some criminals pose a threat to society
    They are put in prison to ensure the safety of other citizens
    Negatives of Prisons
    Criminals are put together
    They make friends with other offenders
    Many prisoners re-offend when they are released
    A criminal record makes finding a job more difficult
  • Rehabilitation
    Another aim of prisons is rehabilitation
    Prisoners receive education of vocational training
    Prisoners should learn personal skills and specific job skills
    Punishment could make prisoners’ behavior worse
    Rehabilitation aims to make them better citizens
    Rehabilitated prisoners are less likely to re-offend
    Capital punishment
    Supporters say that capital punishment deters crime
    Fear of the death penalty stops people from committing offences
    The death penalty shows that crime is not tolerated
    It is a form of revenge
    The cost of imprisonment is avoided
    The offender cannot pose a threat to others
    Against Capital Punishment
    Innocent people could be wrongly convicted and executed
    Crime rates are not necessarily reduced
    Many criminals do not think they will be caught
    Capital punishment is not a good deterrent
    Executing prisoners creates a violent culture and encourages revenge
    We have no right to take another human life
    Community service
    Community service is a way to reform offenders
    It could be a solution to prison overcrowding
    It avoids the cost of imprisonment
    It makes offenders useful in their local communities
    They are required to clean streets or talk to school groups
    Offenders repay their community
    They avoid the negative influence that prison can have
    Against community service
    Community service is not a sufficient punishment
    Criminals should be locked up, away from their victims
    Crime in the Media
    Crime is one of the main subjects of most news programs.
    The mass media focus on violent and sensational crimes
    This lead to fear of crime among the public
    Sensational stories attract more viewers or readers
    The media report crime stories in order to increase their audience
    5. Education
    Benefits of education
    Education gives people knowledge and skills
    People with qualification are more likely to find work
    They can earn a higher salary
    They can contribute positively to society
    Schools aim to teach young people moral values such as tolerance and sharing
    Schools prepare children to be members of a society
    Benefits of Studying Abroad
    Foreign institutions may offer better courses
    Many students want to attend a prestigious university
    The best universities employ teachers who are experts in their fields
    Qualifications gained abroad can open the door to better job opportunities
    Living abroad can broaden students’ horizons
    Overseas students are exposed to different cultures and customs.
    They become more independent
    They are responsible for cooking, cleaning and paying bills
    They will learn a foreign language
    Drawback of studying abroad
    Living and studying abroad can be difficult
    Students have problems with paperwork such as visa applications
    The language barrier can be a problem
    Students have to find accommodation and pay bills
    Studying in a foreign language is challenging
    Living alone in an unfamiliar culture can cause homesickness
    Technology in Education: Advantages
    Technology is a powerful tool to engage students
    Technology can make lessons much more interesting
    Students can do research using online resources
    Students can study at their own place
    Adults can take distance learning courses
    Students can study whenever and wherever they want
    Students also learn skills which are useful for their future jobs
    For example, they learn to write reports using a word processor
    Technology in Education: Disadvantages
    People rely too much on computers
    Young learners do not become proficient in some basic skills
    They use word processors and spelling may suffer
    People should be able to write a letter by hand
    Technology is no substitute for a real teacher
    Learners need a structured course
    An experienced teacher knows what materials to choose
    Computers are expensive to maintain and can be unreliable
  • Technology in Education: Opinion
    Institutions should supplement traditional teaching with the use of technology
    Technology is part of everyday life
    It can enhance a teacher’s lessons
    Students can use online resources to help with homework
    Students must still learn to write by hand
    They should still use traditional sources of information such as books
    Education in Developing countries: Problems
    Children often have to work from an early age
    There are no schools in many areas
    Families do not have access to books or computers
    Literacy rates are often low
    People in developing countries need knowledge and skills
    Education is the key to improving the economy of these countries
    Education in developing countries: solutions
    Developed countries could help developing nations by providing money
    They could invest in schools and technology
    They could supply the funds to build schools and pay for teachers
    Children need to have access to free schooling
    Computer equipment could be donated
    The Internet can expose students to a world of knowledge and information
    Governments should make education compulsory for all children
    They should encourage parents to send their children to school
    Governments of developed and developing countries must work together
    Higher education: Advantages (also see “benefits of education”)
    There are many benefits to going to university
    A degree can open the door to better employment prospects
    Economies are becoming increasingly knowledge-based
    Most jobs require specific knowledge and skills
    Skilled workers are needed for sectors such as information technology and engineering
    Repetitive manual jobs are now done by machine
    Many factories have moved to developing countries
    Higher education: Disadvantages
    A healthy economy needs a wide range of workers
    Some manual workers will always be needed
    A university degree is not necessary for many service professions
    Practical training is more important in some industries
    In the UK, for example, there is currently a shortage of plumbers
    Their services are therefore becoming more and more expensive
  • Advantage of Home-schooling
    Some parents decide to educate their children at home
    Some families live in isolated areas with poor transport
    Other parents are not satisfied with local schools
    Parents can respond to what their children need and how they learn best
    One-to-one lessons allow much faster progress
    The child can work at his or her own pace
    Discipline problems are avoided by home-schooling
    Disadvantages of home-schooling
    Most parents do not have the time to educate their children at home
    One parent would need to give up work
    School subjects are normally taught by up to ten different teachers
    Most parents do not have the necessary knowledge or resources
    Private tutors are expensive
    Children will miss out on the social experience that school offers
    At school, children learn how to get on with each other
    Home-schooled children may lack social skills
    Schools offer a better overall educational experience
    Bad behavior in schools: causes
    Bad behavior is due to a lack of structure and discipline
    There are too many children in some classes
    Large classes are difficult to manage
    May disruptive students come from an unstable family background
    Other parents are too lenient and spoil their children
    Some children are used to getting whatever they want
    Schools can do very little if they are not supported by parents
    Bad behavior in schools: solutions
    Schools need a clear code of conduct
    Schools need a clear set of rules about behavior
    They need to create a positive working atmosphere
    Teachers must have the power to punish disruptive students
    Schools should remove difficult children from lessons
    Schools need to work closely with parents
    Discipline could be lacking at home
    Parents must support the school rules
    They should take responsibility for their children’s behavior
    Corporal Punishment: Opinion
    Corporal Punishment is not a good idea
    Physical punishment is a way of controlling children using fear
    This does not promote trust between adults and children
    Children who are punished physically may become shy or resentful
    Corporal punishment creates an atmosphere of fear and anger
  • Single Sex Education: Advantages
    Some people believe that male and female students should go to separate schools
    This is often for religious or cultural reasons
    Discipline problems might be avoided by separating boys and girls
    Boys and girls may learn in different ways and have different needs
    Student at single-sex schools often get better exam grades.
    Single-sex Education: Disadvantages
    Separating boys and girls is unnecessary
    It is unhealthy in terms of children’s social development
    Many coeducational schools are extremely successful
    A mixed-sex environment is more representative of real life
    Coeducational schools provide children with better social skills for adult life
    Advantages of Streaming (grouping children according to ability)
    Some schools separate students according to their academic ability
    Teachers can work at the right speed for their students
    Teachers can plan more suitable lessons
    High-level groups may progress faster
    Lower level groups can benefits from a slower pace
    Some teachers and parents support streaming for these reasons
    Disadvantages of Streaming
    Grouping by ability may have a negative impact on students
    Children do not want to be seen as less intelligent than others
    Streaming could damage students’ self esteem
    They may lose motivation
    Students from wealthier families tend to be better prepared
    Children from poorer families may receive less support from parents
    Mixed ability classes encourage everyone to achieve their potential.
    6. Environment
    Global warming
    Gases such as carbon dioxide trap heat from the sun
    This causes global temperatures to rise
    This process is known as the greenhouse effect
    Human activity is a major factor in the rise of the greenhouse gases
    Factories and vehicles produce emissions and exhaust fumes
    Many developing countries are becoming industrialized
    The number of cars on our streets is growing
    Cheap air travel is allowing more people to fly
    Effects of Global Warming
    Global warming will have a significant impact on our planet
    Rising temperature will cause melting of the polar ice caps
    Sea levels will rise
    We can expect more extreme weather conditions
    Flooding and droughts may become more common
    Impacts of humans on the environment
    The increasing world population is putting pressure on natural resources
    Fossil fuels like oil and gas are running out
    We are destroying wildlife habitats
    We have cut down enormous areas of rainforest
    This has led to the extinction of many species of animals and plants
    Solutions to environment problems
    Governments could introduce laws to limit emissions from factories
    They should invest in renewable energy from solar, wind or water power
    They could impose “green taxes” on drivers and airlines companies
    Government campaigns should promote recycling
    Natural areas and wild animals should be protected
    Individuals should also try to be greener
    We should take fewer flights abroad for holidays
    We should take public transport rather than driving
    We should choose products with less packaging
    We should recycle as much as possible
    Waste/rubbish
    The amount of waster we produce has increased
    This problem is a result of our consumer culture
    Products are not made to last
    If something breaks, we throw it way and buy a new one
    Advertisers encourage is to buy the newest fashions
    Packaging is an important part of selling
    Most foods are sold in non-biodegradable plastics packaging
    The amount of household waste is growing
    This waste ends up in landfill sites
    Litter
    People do not think about the consequences of dropping rubbish
    They assume that somebody is pad to clean the streest
    Plastic packaging does not break down easily
    Most of the litter seen on streets is fast food packaging
    Recycling and other solutions
    Companies should make goods that last longer
    They should not use so much packaging
    Governments should be stricter, about waster produced by companies
    They should put legal limits on packaging
    Consumers should avoid buying over-packaged products
    We should recycle and reuse useful materials.
    There are collection banks for glass, paper and plastic bottles
    Households can use several rubbish bins to separate waste
    Recycling saves energy and raw materials.
    Nuclear Power: Positives
    There are several benefits to build more nuclear power stations
    Fossil fuel like oil and gas are running out
    Nuclear power is a sustainable energy source
    It can be used to produce electricity without wasting natural resources
    It could be replace the use of natural resources like coal, oil or gas
    Nuclear power stations are cleaner than fossil fuel power stations
    They could help to reduce carbon emissions that cause global warming
    The risks of accidents are being reduced
    Nuclear Power: negatives
    Opponents of nuclear power worry about the safety of power stations
    The building of new nuclear power stations is unpopular
    Nobody wants to live near one
    Nuclear waste disposal is a significant problem
    There is currently no way to decontaminate radioactive material
    People worry that terrorists could steal radioactive materials
    It is safer to produce energy from solar, wind or water power.
    7. Family
    Family size
    Families in many countries are not as large as they used to be
    We tend to live in small nuclear families rather than large extended families
    Parents tend to have fewer children
    Young children are no longer expected to work
    Nowadays both parents often work
    It costs so much to bring children up
    It is more difficult to raise a large family
    Working parents (also see “gender” topic)
    Children and their parents seem to be less close nowadays
    Parents spend less time with their children
    Women traditionally stayed at home to cook, clean and look after children
    Nowadays both parents often work full time
    Children may be left alone, or with nannies or babysitters
    Busy parents have less contact with their children
    Many families no longer eat meals together
    Children spend more time with friends or surfing the Internet
    Negative effects on Children
    The lack of closeness in families can have a negative effect on children
    Many parents have no idea how their children spend their time
    Friends, television and the Internet become the main influence on children’s behavior
    Teenagers are influenced by peer pressure
    Some of them join gangs
    Juvenile delinquency is on the increase
    Parents should be more involved with their children’s upbringing
    Young people need positive role models
    Divorce
    In the past, divorce was unacceptable
    It was considered to be embarrassing for a family
    People stayed together for religious or family reasons
    Divorce is more socially acceptable nowadays
    It has become much more common
    Divorce can be extremely stressful
    Lone parents may face financial difficulties
    Many single parents have to rely on benefits paid by the state
    Divorce can have a negative effect on children
    Children from single-parent families are more likely to get lower grades or drop out of school.
    The rise in divorce rates may be connected to some social problems
    Care for Old people
    Caring for elderly people was traditionally the responsibility of families
    Adults had to look after their elderly parents
    A woman’s job was to stay at home taking care of her family
    Nowadays, fewer elderly people are looked after by their relatives
    Residential homes provide care for large number of elderly people
    Some families are unable to look after elderly relatives
    Families tend to be smaller these days, and women often have full-time jobs
    Cares homes provide a professional service for senior citizens
    Nurses are better trained than family members
    Care for Old people: Opinion
    The best form of care for the elderly depends on the family situation
    It depends on whether family members have the time resources
    We all have a responsibility towards the older people in our society
    Governments should invest money in facilities and training for care workers.
    8. Gender
    Gender and education
    Men and women should have access to the same educational opportunities
    Males and females should be accepted onto courses according to their abilities
    It is wrong to discriminate against students because of their gender
    Gender should be irrelevant in education
    Student’s achievements should depend on hard work and individual merit
    In the UK, there are similar numbers of male and female students in higher education
    Gender and work
    Men and women should have access to the same professional opportunities
    Both man and women should be able to pursue a career
    They should earn equal salaries
    They should be employed according to their abilities, qualifications and experience
    Traditionally women have been restricted to certain roles
    They were often employed as secretaries or receptionists
    Nowadays, a range of occupations is available to both sexes
    Career success depends on individual merit
    Women’s and Men’s roles in the Family
    Some people argue that a mother should not work
    She should stay at home and bring up her children
    The father should be the breadwinner of the family
    Others believe that both parents should share these responsibilities
    Working women can take maternity leave during and after pregnancy
    Many mothers continue to work after this period
    Many fathers and mothers share their parenting and domestic responsibilities
    They contribute equally to childcare, cooking and cleaning
    Some women many have better career prospects than their husbands.
    Paternity leave and “househusbands” are becoming more common
    Traditional gender roles and gradually changing
    Families can divide roles and responsibilities in the most convenient way.
    9. Genetic Engineering
    Positives of genetic engineering
    Genetic engineering is the practice of manipulating the genes of an organism
    It is used to produce crops that are more resistant to insects and diseases
    Some genetically modified crops grow more quickly
    Some drugs and vaccines are produced by genetic engineering
    It may become possible to change human’s genetic characteristics.
    Scientists may use genetic engineering to cure diseases.
    Inherited illnesses would no longer exist
    Genes could be changed before a baby is born
    It could also be possible to clone human organs
    We could all have replacement body part
    Humans could live longer, healthier lives
    Negatives of genetic engineering
    There are ethical concerns about human genetic engineering
    Parents might want to choose their children’s characteristics
    This would be unnatural
    It would be unacceptable in most religions
    Soldiers could be cloned from the genes of the strongest people
    Clones might be used like robots to do certain jobs
    Clones might even be developed just for organ replacements
    Society and human evolution would change completely
    Currently, human genetic engineering is prohibited
    Genetically-Modified (GM) foods: Advantages
    Farmers can produce crops that grow bigger and faster
    Some GM crops are more resistant to disease or insects
    This could be important for food production in developing countries
    Faster growing cereals, fruit and vegetables will mean more profit
    GM foods can be modified to look perfect
    They may be more attractive to customers
    Genetically-Modified (GM) Foods: Disadvantages
    There may be risks involved in the genetic engineering of foods.
    GM crops might change whole ecosystems
    Food chains could be broken if crops are resistant to predators
    Organic foods are produced without chemicals or genetic modification
    Organic farming may be slower and more expensive
    However, the environment is not damaged by fertilizers or pesticides.
    10. Global issues
    Problems in developing countries
    Developing countries face a range if problems
    Standards of healthcare and education are low
    Life expectancy is usually lower than in developed countries
    There is a lack of infrastructure, employment and good quality housing
    Many people are forced to live in poverty
    Food, drinking water and basic medicines are in short supply
    How to help developing countries
    The best form of help for developing countries is development aid
    Richer nations can help by investing in long-term projects
    Governments and charities can help by building new houses and schools
    Globalization may also help developing countries
    Multi-national companies can creating jobs in developing countries
    On the other hand, many people emigrate to find work in richer countries
    They often sand money back home to their families
    This money helps to improve the standard of living in developing countries
    Immigration
    Some people move to another countries in search of a better life
    Many immigrants come from less developed countries
    Richer, industrialized countries may offer opportunities for employment
    Free healthcare and schooling are available in some developed countries
    Other people migrate to a foreign country to improve their academic qualifications
    Positives of immigration and Multi-cultural societies
    From an economic perspective, immigration can be extremely positive
    Many immigrants have skills that are needed in the country they move to
    Immigrants who find work contribute to the economy of their new country
    Many immigrants send money home to help family members
    Immigration also creates cultural diversity
    People of many different nationalities learn to live together
    This can help people to become more open-minded and tolerant
  • Negatives of Immigration
    Some people believe that immigrants take jobs that should go to local people
    Some immigrant workers work longer hours for less money
    Companies might pay lower salaries to immigrant workers
    Unemployment rates could rise if there are too many immigrants
    Opinions about Immigration
    Immigration can help the economy of a country
    It can create multi-cultural societies
    However, immigration needs to be controlled
    In many countries, immigrants need visas or work permit
    Governments should stop companies from exploiting immigrant workers
    Foreign and local workers should have the right to equal pay and conditions
    Positives of Globalization
    Business of becoming increasingly international
    Multi-national companies do business across the world
    Companies like MacDonald’s can be seen on high streets in most cities
    Goods are produced in one country and sold in many others
    A global economy means free trade between countries
    This can strengthen political relationships
    Globalization can also create opportunities for employment
    It encourages investment in less developed countries
    It could reduce poverty in the developing world
    Negatives of Globalization
    Globalization is not always beneficial to everyone
    Companies can move to countries where labour is cheap
    This creates redundancies, or job losses
    Employees cannot be confident that they have stable jobs
    Companies sometimes exploit their employees in developing countries
    Global trade creates more waste and pollution
    The future of Globalization
    There should be global regulations for salaries and working conditions
    Governments should impose laws to protect the environment
    11. Government and Society
    What governments can do
    Governments provide public services like healthcare and education
    They support people who are living in poverty or unable to work
    Governments raise money by taxing working people
    They can spend money on resources and campaigns
    They can introduce new laws
    They can impose taxes
    They can raise people’s awareness of issues (e.g climate change/healthy eating)
    They can influence people’s habits and opinions
    They can create jobs
    They can regulate the activities of companies such as banks
    They can provide resources for schools
    They are also responsible for the security and well-being of their citizens
    They control armed forces and police forces
    Public services
    Governments pay the salaries of public sector workers like police officers and teachers
    The necessary money is raised by taxing people’s income
    Free education and healthcare may be provided by the state
    Some governments control public transport systems and even TV channels
    In other countries, these services are provided by private companies
    Some people believe that competition between private companies is good
    It helps to improve quality while bringing prices down
    Other people think that essential services should be free
    Governments should pay for them
    Censorship: Opinion
    Governments can censor what public sees or reads in the media
    To a certain extent censorship is necessary
    We should use censorship to protect children from violent images
    Some computer games involve killing people or committing crimes
    The Internet also needs to be controlled
    Many websites show pornography and violence
    There should be age limits for websites and computers games
    Parents need to take responsibility for checking what their children watch
    It is impossible for governments to control everything we see
    Video cameras in public places
    The use of CCTV is becoming widespread
    Video cameras have been installed in many public places
    They are supposed to protect us and deter criminals
    Many people think that this surveillance violates our privacy
    The authorities could build databases with our pictures and identities
    We should not be treated like criminals
    Smart cards: Positives
    Governments will probably introduce a digital identification card system
    Smart cards will have benefits and drawbacks
    They could help to reduce crime
    They could hold personal information, such as DNA
    Digital bank cards could contain fingerprint information
    It would be very difficult for criminals to use a stolen card
    It would be easier for police to identify people and catch criminals
    Smart cards: Negatives
    Many people are worried about losing their privacy
    Governments could store all our personal and medical information
    This information could be used by insurance companies
    Employers could check our health records
    People with Disabilities
    People with disabilities should be treated the same as everybody else
    They should have the same rights as other people
    They should have access to the same jobs as other citizens
    Discriminations against disabled people is illegal in many countries
    Ramps and lifts for wheelchairs should be installed in public buildings
    Support teacher can be employed to help children with learning difficulties
    12. Guns and Weapons
    Why guns should be legal:
    In some countries, people are allowed to own firearms
    Individuals have the right to protect themselves
    People can use guns in self defence
    This deters criminals
    Why gun ownership should be illegal:
    There is a risk of accidents with guns
    The number of violent crimes increases when guns are available
    Criminals may be armed
    The police then need to use guns
    Suicide rates have been shown to rise when guns are available
    Guns create violent societies with high murder rates
    Why polices should use guns
    Many criminals use weapons
    The threat of a gun can deter criminals
    Police officers can forces a criminal to surrender
    It is easier to arrest someone and avoid physical violence
    The police may shoot violent criminals in self defence
    They can protect the public
    They can shoot an escaping criminal who poses a serious danger to the public
    Why police should not carry guns
    There is a risk of accidents and mistakes
    The police might shoot an unarmed criminal or an innocent person
    Accidents can happen in public places
    There are several alternatives to guns (e.g tear gas, sprays and electric shock weapons)
    Only special police units should use guns
    Arm Trade: Positives
    The export of arms, or weapons, is an extremely controversial issue
    Governments of rich, industrialized countries sell arms to each other
    This industry creates jobs and wealth
    The trade of weapons may improve relationships between governments
  • Arms Trade: Negatives
    Weapons may be used in conflicts and wars
    The supply of arms could be responsible for deaths
    Governments are promoting war in order to make a profit
    Rich countries can influence the politics of other nations
    Nuclear weapons
    Nuclear weapons are capable of destroying whole cities
    A nuclear war between two countries would destroy both countries
    Nuclear weapons are used as a deterrent
    They prevent wars from starting
    Nuclear weapons: Opinion
    Nuclear weapons should be prohibited
    Governments should limit the production of nuclear weapons
    There is a danger of nuclear weapons being obtained by terrorists
    Nuclear weapons cannot be used against terrorist organizations
    Armed Forces: Positives
    Armed forces provide security and protection
    They deter military attack by another country
    They can also be sued to maintain peace within countries
    They can be sued to give the police extra support
    Soldiers are also used to help in emergency situations, such as after a natural disaster
    Armed forces: negatives
    Armies require a lot of funding from governments
    Too much money is spent on weapons and military technology
    This money could be spent on schools, hospitals and other public services
    13. Health
    Diet
    The human body requires a balanced diet
    An unhealthy diet can cause various health problems
    Obesity, diabetes and heart disease are on the increase
    Many people nowadays rely on fast food or pre-prepared meals
    These foods often contain too much fat, salt and sugar
    They are cheap to buy and very easy to prepare
    Many young people have grown up on a diet of convenience foods
    Populations in developed countries are increasingly overweight
    Exercise
    Regular exercise is essential in maintaining a healthy body
    Exercise burns calories and helps to build healthy bones and muscles
    Doctors advise exercising at least three times a week for 20 minutes
    Most people nowadays lead a sedentary lifestyle
    We tend to walk less and do desk jobs
    Most adults relax by watching television
    Children play video games rather than doing outdoor sports
    In the past, people were more active in their jobs and at home
  • Government’s Role
    Governments have a significant role to play in reducing obesity
    More and more people, including young children are seriously overweight
    They are at risk of heart disease and diabetes
    This situation will increase the burden on hospitals and taxpayers
    Hospitals rely on the government for money and resources
    Governments should promote a healthy diet and regular exercise
    There should be more time for sports on school timetables
    Unhealthy junk food should be banned from school menus
    People need information about what foods contain
    Food packaging must show the food’s nutritional content
    The British Government recommends eating five portions of fruit and vegetables per day
    State Health system: advantages
    Good healthcare should be available to everyone for free
    State healthcare is paid by the government using money from taxes
    Everyone has access to the same quality of care and treatment
    Private healthcare is unfair because only wealthy people can afford it
    The National Health Service in the UK provides free healthcare for every resident
    Private Healthcare: advantages
    State hospitals are often very large and difficult to run
    Private hospitals have shorter waiting lists for operations and appointments
    Patients can benefit from faster treatment
    Many people prefer to pay for more a personal service
    Patients have their own room and more comfortable facilities
    Alternative medicine: Positives
    People are increasingly using alternative medicines to treat illnesses.
    For example, acupuncture can be used to treat backache
    Herbal medicines can be used to treat allergies or viruses
    Many patients report positive experiences with these treatments
    Some traditional cures have been used for hundreds of years
    Alternative medicine: Negatives
    Many alternative medicines have not been tested scientifically
    They may have no beneficial effect at all
    They may cause unknown side effects
    People should trust the opinions of qualified doctors
    An illness could get worse without treatment from a doctor
    Stress
    Modern lifestyles are increasingly stressful
    People work long hours with strict deadlines
    Our busy lifestyles mean we have less time to relax
    Unemployment is a major cause of stress
    Children may be affected by their parents’ relationship problems
    Tests and exams can also cause stress
  • How to reduce stress
    Stress can be reduced by taking regular exercise and eating a healthy diet
    It is also important to get sufficient sleep and make leisure time a priority
    People should work less overtime and take regular holidays
    Schools have started to employ psychologists
    They can offer emotional support to students
    They can help students to cope with exam stress
    14. Housing and Architecture
    State/council housing
    In some countries the government provides state or council housing
    This helps people who cannot afford to buy their own house
    It can be argued that state housing creates dependence on the government
    People should be rely on the government to look after them
    People have no incentive to earn money and buy their own home
    Council properties are often made with cheap, poor-quality materials.
    Old Buildings
    Historic buildings are part of a country’s heritage
    They should be protected
    Old buildings are often considered to be works or art
    They give character to cities and attract tourists
    They show us how people lived in the past
    We identify countries by architectural symbols like the pyramids in Egypt
    Governments should spend money on looking after historic buildings
    They need regular repairs and maintenance
    New buildings should be designed to complement them
    Modern/green buildings
    Modern buildings should be designed to be environmentally friendly
    They should use less energy and produce less waste
    Modern insulation can make houses more energy-efficient
    Solar and wind power can be used to generate electricity
    Rainwater and waste water can be recycled and used to flush toilets.
    Modern glass buildings take advantage if natural light
    15. Language
    English as an international language
    English is widely used around the world
    It is becoming a global second language
    It is the dominant language of technology, science and international business
    International business meetings are regularly held in English
    The most important textbooks and journals are published in English
    The ability to speak English is a necessary skill in the modern world
    Negative of English as an International Language
    If one language is dominant, other languages may disappear
    The dominant language brings its own culture
    American culture has become popular around the world
    Other cultures may be damaged
    As an alternative to English, a new global language could be invented
    It would have no nationality or culture attached to it
    This could help to promote international peace and understanding
    Esperanto is an example of a language that was invented with this aim
    16. Money
    Money and Society
    Society has become increasingly materialistic
    People aspire to earn more money
    They want a bigger house or a better car
    We connect wealth and material possessions with happiness and success
    Brands like “Armani” or ”Mercedes” are status symbols
    Advertising creates new desires and needs
    It persuades us to buy the latest styles
    Positives of Consumerism
    Consumerism creates employment
    It helps to reduce poverty
    It encourages innovation and creativity in business
    We live in a global economy
    We have a better quality of life
    Negatives of Consumerism
    Consumerist societies create more waste
    They use more natural resources
    They cause damage to the environment
    Consumerism creates a “throw-away” culture
    Advertisers tell us who we are and what we want
    Wealth does not lead to happiness
    Materialism causes greed and crime
    We should return to traditional values like sharing
    17. Personality
    Happiness
    Happiness means different things to different people
    It can be described as a feeling of pleasure or enjoyment
    People enjoy spending time with family and friends
    Hobbies, sports and games can be a source of fun and enjoyment
    Some people see money as a source of happiness
    Other people define happiness as something deeper
    In order to be truly happy it is necessary to live a good life
    We need to feel that we are doing something useful with our lives
    Some people get a sense of achievement from their work
    Others find happiness in bringing up their children
    Religion or a sense of purpose can also be a source of happiness
  • Success
    People define success in different ways
    Some people get a sense of achievement from raising a family
    For others, success is defined by wealth or status
    We often think of rich and famous people as being successful in life
    Millionaires like Bill Gates are considered to be successful
    They have risen to the top in their chosen professions
    For some, being successful means achieving personal or professional goals
    They see success as the result of hard work
    Success in any field requires long-term planning and effort
    Nature or Nurture
    Some people believe that our personalities are determined mainly by genetics
    We inherit our abilities and talents from our parents
    Others think that our education and upbringing are more important
    We develop according to the influences around us
    Our personalities and achievements depend more on nurture than nature
    Many people argue that we control our own destinies
    We can shape our own personalities
    By working hard we can achieve and goal that we put our minds to
    Many successful people are “self-made”
    We are not limited by our genetic characteristic or upbringing
    18. Sport and Leisure
    Arguments against Professional/competitive sport
    Sport has become a business
    Professional sport encourages people to compete for money
    Many sports stars are only concerned about money and fame
    Some athletes take drugs in order to win at any cost
    Competitors are often selfish and rude
    They are not good role models for children
    All sports should be amateur
    Sports should be leisure activities rather than jobs
    People should do sporting activities for enjoyment and health reasons
    Taking part is more important than winning
    Arguments for Professional sport
    Professional sports are the same as any other business
    Many people are employed in the sports industry
    People should be able to use their talents to earn a salary
    Sports stars entertain millions of people
    Money is necessary to improve facilities and train athletes
    The level of professional sport is much higher than that of amateur sport
    Arguments for Competitive sport
    Competition is a natural instinct in humans
    In daily life we compete to get jobs or the highest grades
    Sports are a safe form of competition
    Competition is healthy because it pushes us to give our best
    Competitors and fans can release energy and aggression
    Supporters of teams feel a sense of belonging to a community
    Opinion: professional sport salaries are too high
    Sports professionals earn too much money
    They do not provide a vital service
    Football players, for example, earn enormous salaries by simply kicking a ball
    We could all live happily without professional football
    Life would be difficult without doctors, engineers and other vital professionals.
    Society does not seem to value these professions as highly as professional sport
    Sports salaries should be compatible with the wages most people earn
    Opinion: professional sport salaries are fair
    It is fair that the best professional earn a lot of money
    Sport is a multi-million-pound industry
    There is a large audience of sports fans
    Sports on television attract many viewers
    Sports stars have dedicated hours of practice to developing their fitness and skills
    Only the most talented among them will reach the top
    A sports career many only last 10 years
    Sports fans are willing to pay to support their teams
    Sports and Politics
    Some people think that sport and politics should remain separate
    Governments are involved in the hosting of sporting events such as the Olympics.
    These events attract investment and create jobs.
    The Olympic Games are an advertisement for the host nation
    They attract huge numbers of visitors and sports fans
    Wealthy countries tend to hold these events
    Developing countries should be given the chance to become hosts
    19. Television, Internet, Phones
    Positives of television
    Watching television is a good way to relax
    It is many people’s favorite way to wind down after a hard day at work
    Television programs can be entertaining and enjoyable
    Viewers have access to a huge variety of entertainment channels
    Television brings the best comedians, musicians and actors into our homes
    Programmers can also be informative and educational
    News coverage makes the public aware of events around the world
    Documentaries can make learning more interesting
    Negatives of Television
    Television is having a negative impact on society
    Some people link violence on television with crime rates in the real world
    Children copy the behavior they see on the screen
    Children are less healthy because they spend less time palying
    Advertisers direct their marketing at children
    Most programs do not require much thought
    Watching TV is a waste of time
    Opinions about Television
    Television has many benefits
    However, it can be addictive
    Children should play outside rather than sit in front of a screen all day
    Behaviour shown on TV can influence people
    Parents should choose carefully what their children watch
    Children should not be exposed to violence, swearing or sexual images
    Advertising during children’s programs should be strictly controlled
    TV companies should make more positive, educational programs
    Positives of the Internet
    There are many advantages to using the Internet
    It gives us instant access to information on almost any subject
    Shops and other services are now available online
    People can buy goods and services from the comfort of their homes
    The Internet is starting to replace other forms of entertainment
    It has revolutionized communication
    We can keep in touch by email or instant messenger services
    Video messaging is becoming common for business meetings
    Negatives of the internet
    Many websites contain offensive content
    Some sites show violent or sexual images
    Parents find it difficult to control what their children see online
    They do not always know who their children are chatting to
    With so many websites it is difficult to search for good information
    Criminals increasingly use the Internet to steal people’s money
    Internet compared to newspaper and books
    Newspapers and books are now published online as well as in print
    We can read the news in any language from any country in the world
    It costs nothing to publish or access information on the Internet
    The Internet allows anybody to publish their own writing
    Newspaper articles and books are written by professionals
    Professionals produce better quality writing than amateur
    People still buy newspapers and books because they are portable
    People do not like reading from a screen
    Positives of Mobile Phones
    The mobile phone is the most popular gadget in today’s world
    Mobile phones have revolutionized the way we communicate
    We can stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues wherever we are
    Users can send text messages, surf the Internet, take photos and listen to music
    Mobiles have also become fashion accessorie
    Negatives of Mobile Phones
    Mobiles phones can be a problem in some public places
    Ringing phones cause disturbance in cinemas and school lessons
    Some people are not aware that others can hear their conversations
    Mobile phones may also interfere with electronic equipment
    Their waves could cause damage to our brains
    Mobile phones can also be a dangerous distraction
    Using a phone while driving reduces the driver’s concentration
    Mobile phones are a popular target for thieves
    Opinion about Mobile Phones
    The benefits of mobile phones outweigh the drawbacks
    We need to use these phones with care
    20. Tourism
    Positives of Tourism
    Tourism is a popular leisure activity
    People go on holiday to relax and have fun
    Tourists can experience different cultures
    They can sunbathe on beaches or go sight-seeing
    Travelling abroad opens our minds
    We can learn to speak other languages
    The tourist trade is vital for some economies
    It creates employment in services like accommodation, transport and entertainment
    Some areas rely on tourism for their income
    Tourists spend money
    Tourism attracts investment from multi-national companies
    It helps to improve the standard of living
    Low-cost airlines are making it cheaper to travel abroad
    Negative effects of tourism
    Tourism can have a negative effect on the natural environment
    The building of facilities and infrastructure can destroy the habitat of wild animals
    Beautiful beaches are spoilt by the building of hotels
    Tourism creates pollution and waste
    It puts pressure on local resources
    Local traditional and cultures may be endangered
    A rise in the cost of living affects local people
    The price of goods, services and housing may increase significantly
    The future of tourism
    Government should introduce laws to protect natural environments and local cultures
    Tourism should have a low impact on wildlife
    Renewable resources like solar or water power should be used
    Waste should be recycled
    Local businesses such as farms should be supported
  • 21. Traditional vs Modern
    Losing traditional skills
    Because of industrialization and global trade, many traditions have disappeared
    Global advertising encourages everyone to buy the same products
    Most products are now made in factories
    Machinery has replaced skilled human labour
    Factory work is boring and leaves people feeling unfulfilled
    Goods are produced very quickly and in large numbers
    Products are cheaper, which means that more people can buy them
    Examples
    Clothes are mass produced in standard sizes
    People wear similar clothes, rather than traditional costumes
    Jeans and T-shirt are now worn throughout the world
    Historic buildings took skilled craftsmen years to build
    Modern concrete, steel and glass buildings are built in only weeks or months
    There are fewer people who can create hand-made goods
    Traditional customs
    Traditional customs are still important during weddings and religious festivals
    People wear traditional costumers and eat special foods
    It is important to maintain our different cultural identities
    We should celebrate festivals, teach traditional skills and protect historic places
    22. Transport
    Traffic problems
    Traffic congestion is caused by commuters travelling to work
    Most people live in the suburbs outside city centre
    Commuters tend to travel at the same time of day
    They tend to travel alone
    Cars and road space are not used efficiently
    This causes traffic jams during the rush hour
    Traffic solutions
    In order to reduce traffic we should change our working habits
    The internet can now be used to connect people
    More people could work from home
    Meetings can be held as video conferences
    Workers could be given flexible timetables
    Another solution would be to tax drivers
    Workers should share their cars and travel together
    In London, for example, there is a congestion charge
    This helps to raise money for better public transport
    Public transport needs to be reliable and efficient
    Positives of Public transport
    We need to reduce our dependence on cars
    Parking a car can be extremely difficult in big cities
    Well-designed transport systems are comfortable and convenient
    Modern public transport can be fast and cheap
    Public transport can help to reduce pollution in cities
    Investment in buses and trains will ease traffic congestion
    Buses can be given special lands to avoid traffic
    Negatives of public transport
    Public transport if often slow and unreliable
    Metro systems and trains are often dirty and crowded
    People feel like “sardines in a can”
    Cars are much more comfortable
    Road safety
    Driving while tired or drunk is extremely dangerous
    Mobile phones can be a dangerous distraction for drivers
    They draw the driver’s attention away from the road
    The use of phones while driving has been banned in many countries
    Punishments are becoming stricter
    Television campaigns are used to remind people to drive safely
    Speed cameras have become more common
    Speed bumps are another form of traffic calming
    Many streets are designed with the aim of slowing traffic down
    23. Water
    Importance of clean water
    Water is as necessary natural resource
    Humans need access to clean, safe drinking water in order to live
    Poor water quality is a major cause of disease and death in some countries
    Water usually needs to be treated before we can drink it
    Developing countries often lack the means to treat and supply water to citizens
    Developed countries tend to have much better sanitation
    Citizens have access to clean tap water
    Drinking water is not contaminated by sewage or waste water
    The supply of clean water would improve public health in many developing countries
    Water supply
    Urban life would be impossible without water supply systems
    These systems are massive engineering projects
    Many professionals are involved in their planning, construction and maintenance
    The supply and distribution of water are major concerns
    Water is becoming scarce in some countries
    Areas that suffer droughts often need to import water
    As populations grow, there is more pressure on water supplies
    This could lead to a water crisis
    Water and politics
    The supply of water is also an important political issue
    Huge amount of water are needed for agriculture and industry
    The irrigation of crops accounts for a large proportions of water use
    A water crisis could lead to political conflicts or even wars
    Argument: water should be free
    Some people believe that water should be free for everyone
    Governments should supply water to all homes at no cost
    Private companies should not be allowed to profit from this natural resource
    Money from taxes can be used to pay for water supply systems
    Argument: water should not be free
    If water is free, people take it for granted
    They do not think about how much water they waste
    They leave taps running while washing or brushing their teeth
    If we have to pay for water, we will use it more responsibly
    Water supply systems are extremely expensive
    Investment is needed to maintain and improve them
    Private companies may provide a better service than governments
    If they provide an efficient service, they will make more money
    They will repair leaks to avoid losing money
    Bottled Water: Opinions
    Some people carry bottles of water wherever they go
    For example, they take bottles of water to work or to the gym
    They believe that bottled water is healthier than tap water
    They also argue that it tastes better
    However, other people believe that we should consume less bottled water
    Plastic water bottles add to litter and waste problems
    Companies should not be able to make a profit from water
    It is unethical to make money by selling packaged water
    There is no difference in quality between bottled and tap water
    24. Work
    The benefits of staying in the same job for life
    Employees have a stable career with one employer
    They have a good pension and health insurance
    Their salaries gradually increase
    They may be promoted within the organization
    They demonstrate loyalty
    Experienced staff can be trusted with more responsibility
    They become part of a team
    There is a clearly defined path for development
    The benefits of not staying in the same job
    People often change jobs in order to further their career
    Another company may offer a promotion or a higher salary
    People who change jobs can gain experience
    They can learn different skills
    Changing jobs is interesting and challenging
    People can retrain in a different occupation
    In a fast-changing world workers need to be flexible
    People need to develop a range of experience and skills
    Self-employment
    Nowadays, it is easy to set up a company
    The Internet provides a global marketplace
    Self-employment offers greater freedom than working for a company
    However, there are risks to starting a new business
    Self-employed people may face financial difficulties
    Many businesses fail to make a profit
    There is less stability in self-employment
    There are no benefits like pensions, sick pay and holiday pay
    Self-employment involved hard work, long hours and total responsibility
    Unemployment
    Unemployment is a big problem for individuals, communities and society
    Some people are unable to find a job
    They may not have the sufficient level of education or qualifications
    They may find themselves homeless
    Unemployment causes frustration and stress
    Jobless people may become involved in crime as a means to get money
    The unemployed need careers advice
    Governments need to provide vocational courses and retraining
    Unemployment benefits: positives
    Some governments pay unemployment benefits in order to help jobless people
    Unemployed people need financial support until they find a new job
    By claiming benefits they can continue to pay for their homes
    The benefits system helps to reduce poverty, homelessness and crime
    Unemployment benefits: negatives
    Some people claim benefits rather than working
    They become dependent on the government
    They are not motivated to find a job
    The benefits system is a burden on taxpayers
    All citizens should work to earn a living and support themselves
    Receiving benefits affects people’s self esteem
    Work/Life Balance
    It is important to achieve a balance between work time and leisure or family time
    Too much work can result in stress and poor health
    “workaholics” may neglect their families and friends
    People need to take regular holidays
    Companies should be expect employees to work overtime
    Nowadays, many people work part-time or have flexible working hours
    Technology allow people to work from home
    Many companies provide childcare facilities
    A good work/ life balance can raise job satisfaction
    Happy, healthy workers are more productive
    Technology and work
    Internet, fax and mobile phone technologies have revolutionized working life
    Workers can communicate via email, online networks and video conferencing
    Technology can connect workers in different countries
    It gives people more freedom
    It can also save time and money
    Some people believe that offices could disappear in the future
    Virtual online offices may replace them
    Child labour
    In some countries, children are exploited
    They do repetitive jobs for very low pay
    Children are often used in agriculture and factory work
    The employment of children is prohibited in other countries
    Many people think that children should be free to enjoy their childhood
    Governments should make education a priority
    They should build new schools
    They should supply the resources to educate children
    Children need to be given the knowledge and skills for adult life
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