GP Essay Question Choice

GP ESSAY - Question Choice (Review)

Based on the following Factors:

i) Understanding of Literal Meaning of Words / Phrases AND Metaphors in Essay Qn

Example 1: To what extent does the migration of people have a positive effect? (GCE A Levels, 2008)

Example 2: ‘The Golden Years’. Is this a true of reflection of life for the elderly in Singapore (NJC Common Test, 2008)

ii) Identification of the ‘Conflict’ in the essay question (in order to derive the 2 sides of the debate and achieve Balance)

iii) Identification of Reasonable, Relevant & ‘Real World’ Examples

*iv) Identification of the ‘Modality’ in the Question (will affect your Thesis Statement & Topic Sentences)

Example 1: NECESSITY – Developing countries are TOO dependent on developed countries for aid. Do you agree?

Example 2: PERMISSIBILITY – Developing countries SHOULD be ALLOWED to develop their economies at the expense of the environment. Do you agree?

Example 3: OBLIGATION – Developed countries have a DUTY to provide aid to developing countries. Do you agree?

v) Identification of the Concept – Issue Dichotomy

Example: Conformity is always desirable. Discuss.

Concept – Conformity

Issue – desirable

GP ESSAY - Plan (Review)

Qn: Does the world today have much to look forward to? (NYJC Mid-Year Exam, 2009)


1. Concept – Issue Differentiation

• Convert a ‘question’ to an assertion

- The world today has much to look forward to.

• Differentiate between ‘Concept’ & ‘Issue’

Concept – The world today

Issue – look forward to (underlying implication: promise of progress OR disaster?)

2. Define Concept

• Use Word / Phrase Association Technique (Define Scope / Characteristics / Roles / Types AND Avoid Synonyms!!)


- globalisation
- internet revolution
- medical breakthroughs

 With globalisation, advancements in information technology and medical breakthroughs, the world is becoming more closely integrated and sophisticated and this will determine if the world will continue to progress or slip into chaos.

3. Outline Various Arguments on Both sides of the Issue

• PRESM Method
• Level Analysis


The future of the world …

… is bright because … … is NOT bright because …

- There is no significant ideological divide in the world unlike in the past with the Cold War
- There is cooperation between many of the countries in the world today to battle terrorism

- Countries are becoming divided along ethnic and religious lines instead which runs even deeper
- Amount of effort put in by individual countries to combat terrorism within their own borders vary heavily, eg. in Syria, there are many sympathizers of the Al-Qaeda and govt effort relatively weak

- There is a greater volume of trade today between countries than at any other time in history and this has made more countries in the world richer
- Greater employment opportunities as more people are now able to move easily between countries and live in foreign lands

- Economic links mean that the collapse of one major trading country’s economy will easily cause recession in other parts of the world. Economic cycle becoming shorter and resulting problems getting deeper
- Distribution of wealth within society very uneven leading to social stratification and class conflict
Sci & Tech

- Heavy investment in and development of the life sciences industry mean that people are able to live longer as a result of new medical discoveries
- Rise of the Internet enhances people’s ability to communicate with one another and establish friendships
Sci & Tech

- Man’s involvement in and manipulation of Nature through GM Food and irresponsible agricultural methods cause rise of new viruses that mutate swiftly
- Problem of communications technology leading to social vices like pornography, emotional harassment.

4. Define Thesis Statement (Answer Qn pls!)

• Balanced View (‘Objective’, NOT emotional)
• Balanced Tone (‘Tentative’, then ‘Certain’)
GP ESSAY Draft (Review)


1. Introduction

The recent nuclear tests by North Korea and the terrorist bombings in Jakarta …

… suggest that / is an intimation of / insinuates that / hints at / implies that / the upshot of which / alludes to / is evidence of / is an indication of …

… all is not well with the world today. With globalisation, advancements in information technology and medical breakthroughs, the world is becoming more closely integrated and sophisticated and this will determine if the world will continue to progress or slip into disaster …

… The world today has made great strides today and the future SEEMS bright as a result, (tentative) but there are still too many significant political, economic and technological obstacles that hamper the world’s future progress (certain).

2. Opposing Viewpoint/s Paragraph

According to some political scientists, …

… the future of the world seems / appears / likely / potentially / may / could / possibly/ promises to be …

… bright because / given that / since it is based on / founded on / rests on / is rooted in / grounded on / supported by …

… the view / belief / argument / notion / conviction / principle of / impression / assurance / confidence / feeling / opinion that …

the world has never been more united than it has ever been than at any other time in human history …

… Unlike the Cold War era, there is no longer any ideological divide between major superpowers and even though Communism still reigns in countries like Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and China, Communism as a political ideology has been discredited. Moreover, there is cooperation between most countries in the world today in the fight against global threats like terrorism and this augurs well for the future …

… However, this assumption is wrong / inaccurate / flawed / a misjudgment / mistaken / erroneous / fallacious / unacceptable / misleading / unfair…

… because it overlooks / ignores / neglects / omits / disregards / excuses (inappropriately) / excludes / fails to note / misses the point / does not take into account/ overrates / overemphasizes / overestimates / makes too much of / blows out of proportion / inflates / overstates /exaggerates (over-generalisation)
trivializes / reduces to / diminishes / dilutes / cheapens / debases (over-simplification) …

… the fact that countries are instead being divided along ethnic and religious lines today and these fissures run even deeper because of their appeal to human emotion. Also, though inter-state cooperation may exist in the fight against terrorism, the degree of effort put in by individual countries varies heavily and these collectively hamper the battle against terrorism. In fact, in countries like Syria, many hardline conservative elements both within the government and outside it actually serve as a haven for jihadists who seek to destroy the United States and their allies.

… Clearly, the possibility that problems that plague inter-state relationships in the world today provides reason enough to believe that the world has little to look forward to in the future.

3. Supported Viewpoint/s Paragraph

• Topic Sentence, Evaluate & Offer Example/s to prove your Opinion.
• Begin Supported Viewpoint Paragraph with … ‘Instead / On the Contrary / On the other hand / In contrast …


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