GCE A Level 2005 Essay Outlines




Q1. Is effective farming possible without science?

Assumptions:
• Science has aided/ contributed to successful yields in farming
• Science is available to all ( Developing vs. Developed ( range of countries)
• Farming has changed drastically in recent times (subsistence farming vs. industry tailored farming to meet the modern demands of population and choice) Awareness of organic farming (benefits and drawbacks)

Range of examples: development of seeds, fertilizer, alternative means of producing crops, http://www.foodincmovie.com

Evaluate the relationship between farming and science. – “possible”

Q2. ‘There is no such thing as luck. People determine their own lives.’ Do you agree?

Assumptions:
• People can decide what they want from life as role of luck(fortune/destiny/fate/magic etc) is negligible.

Role of Luck:
Unexpected and unexplained coincidences do exist but believing too much
What is problematic with luck?
-> fatalism (giving up control and responsibility)
 Too much belief and a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Dangerous to just leave things to random chance—ignorance is not bliss. People build their own futures. Human action and will can influence the outcomes in life. You create your own luck.


 Dependent on levels of development(superstition, culture(mythology etc) and gender

e.g. Game theory & gambling
Sports & equipment
Exams & results

Q3. To what extent should the State involve itself in the world of business?
Assumptions:
State intervention may not be/ may be advantageous/beneficial for business.
These two entities have competing aims and objectives and should be/should not be kept separate. Intervention should be kept to a minimum.

--Over bureaucracy kills the entrepreneur spirit vs. lax legalization results in irresponsible behaviour

Range of Examples: Health and Safety, employment protection, help for burgeoning industries, failures of command economies


Q4. Do the arts, such as music and literature, really play such a significant part in Singaporean society?

Assumptions:
Arts (music and literature) do not have great impact in Singapore
Singaporeans do not see value in pursuing the Arts

--Importance of the Arts in building national identity, sense of belonging (rootedness)
--Nurturing creativity (outlet)
--Economic imperative
--Building a Renaissance City (livable cosmopolitan city)

Explain why it should play a big(ger) role but is often sidetracked

Q5. ‘Medical Science has been so successful that people now expect too much of it.’ Discuss

Assumptions:
• Medical Science is seen as having made life better. (successful—what does successful mean?)
• Applications of medical science tagged with unrealistic aspirations/objectives/goals that it cannot deliver.

Explain how successes of medical science have led to impact on human behavior.
E.g.
Science as infallible (antidote to the problems faced by Man)  fail to take in to consideration…..
Science as perceived control over life/natural environment  tendency to be overly dependent

Q6. Hosting major sporting events creates more problems than benefits. Do you agree?

Assumptions:
There are disadvantages in hosting important sporting events. These disadvantages will outweigh the good it brings.

Advantages of hosting major events: tourism, prestige, stimulation of interest in sports in the hosting country, better infrastructure and facilities, attracting sponsorships and investment.

Problems: terrorism and security, cost, under-utilization of the facilities after event, temporary nature of the benefits.

Q7. Examine the claim that the world is too dependent on oil

-Examine the extent of the dependency ( ‘too’ suggests overly)
-Reasons as to why this is so…

Q8. ‘The tourist does not see the country that the inhabitants know’ How far is this true of Singapore?

Assumptions
Singapore has different facades that are viewed by different people.
What are the facades?
Is it good/beneficial to have these facades?
An element of contrast – usually what tourist see are pleasant and dandy but….
Social aspects etc

Q9. ‘Instead of speeding up the pace of life, we should be slowing it down’ What do you think?

Assumptions:
There are disadvantages to living a hectic/frentic lifestyle – higher stress levels, family pressures, broken relationships etc

We can slow down ( slowing down is a choice) – is it a choice? Are u sure we can afford to slow down? Hustle and bustle as a way of life? What about cultural contexts?

Q10. Consider the view that the study of Mathematics is intellectually satisfying, but of little practical use.

Assumptions:
Mathematics is mentally stimulating/ thought provoking/ reasoning but do not have use

Q11. ‘Too much attention is given to criminal; not enough to their victims.’ Is this true?

Assumptions:
Excessive concentration/ consideration is paid to offenders forgetting about victims

‘Too much attention’ – in terms of publicity, rehabilitation, support groups, compensation etc
Do victims want attention?

Q12. How far do magazines or television programmes aimed at young people in Singapore have a positive effect?

Assumptions: The impact of youth oriented media is questionable. / do not always have beneficial value

Examples of material : Teen, cleo, YM, Seventeen, Teen People, Teen Vogue, BH 90210, Gossip Girls, Melrose’s Place, The OC, Twilight, Final Destination,

What values do these programmes/mags expound?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3152608.stm
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/06/20/earlyshow/main4198453.shtml

Characteristics of youth – impressionable, eager to fit in, more affluent, growing up amidst poor role-modelling, more freedom, technologically savvy,

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