Please help me with an essay.

    First Previous
  • angeltreats 3 Jul 2007 13:36:54 2,601 posts
    Seen 7 months ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    I wasn't too sure which category to put this in as there isn't an education one.

    I have to write a short essay, 200-250 words, on one of the following. It's to get me into university so has to be pretty good.

    1. Is it necessary to forgive and forget in order to successfully overthrow* a dictator, or does a worthy democracy have to be fair and punish the guilty?

    *is that the right word? Depose maybe? Get rid of??

    2. What right does the government have to impose restrictions on the freedom of citizens as to where and when they can smoke?

    3. Do you think they should have to legalize the consumption of soft drugs?

    I can think of lots of arguments for and against a smoking ban, it's the government's right to impose restrictions that I am struggling with. The first one I just have no idea what I could write. And the third one, I don't think "legalize cannibis FFS" would go down very well.

    Does anyone have any thoughts as to which of the above would be best, and does anyone have any points I could include in an essay?

    I would be extremely grateful for any ideas!
  • smoothpete 3 Jul 2007 13:41:38 36,799 posts
    Seen 6 hours ago
    Registered 16 years ago
    I'd do the second one. It's all about positive and negative rights which a quick google should help with. Essentially the goverment has the right to say where people can and can't smoke, but not because of the smokers' rights, because of the non-smokers rights. The right of the non-smoker to not be harmed is stronger than the smoker's right to smoke freely
  • Deleted user 3 July 2007 13:41:52
    2. Harm theory from John Steward Mill (from 'On Liberty'). The government can intervene because smoking causes harm to others.



    Edited by disussedgenius at 13:42:37 03-07-2007
  • pjmaybe 3 Jul 2007 13:44:04 70,666 posts
    Seen 11 years ago
    Registered 18 years ago
    (oh well here goes)

    What they're looking for here is your ability to make a reasoned argument for any of these points.

    Best way to approach this is to use the good old study diamond - the word count is harsh but never mind, you can get round that

    1) Effects - what effects do each of the situations have on A) you and B) the greater populace

    2) Techniques - what techniques would you use to structure an argument to put your point across? Would you use statistical analysis of available data? Conduct your own survey? Use anecdotal evidence to fight your corner?

    3) Context - Again all important, what is going on in the world that has a direct bearing right now on all of those points and how would you use contextual information to again put your point across

    4) Meaning - the root of each argument, which I guess boils down to you making a summary that is a final underlining of your argument and why you personally chose to take that stance.

    As I said, harsh word count but that's my two penneth for what it's worth (probably bugger all but at least I replied!)

    Peej
  • Clive_Dunn 3 Jul 2007 13:46:09 4,862 posts
    Seen 11 months ago
    Registered 17 years ago
    disussedgenius wrote:
    2. Harm theory from John Steward Mill (from 'On Liberty'). The government can intervene because smoking causes harm to others.



    Edited by disussedgenius at 13:42:37 03-07-2007

    Yep, I'd do that one as well. Hobbes is also good, read Leviathan.
  • smoothpete 3 Jul 2007 13:46:34 36,799 posts
    Seen 6 hours ago
    Registered 16 years ago
    disussedgenius wrote:
    2. Harm theory from John Steward Mill (from 'On Liberty'). The government can intervene because smoking causes harm to others.
    Mill! That's the fella. I've forgotten nearly everything I learned in philosophy of law

    Thing is A_T, you've only got 250 words max, so trying to pack a decent argument into that is going to be seriously challenging. Ideally you would put Mill's theory forward in the smoking context, then the larger context of society and find some criticisms with it, then conclude it doesn't always work but definitely works for smoking. Summat like that. If you can do that in 250 words you're a better man than I :)
  • Youthist 3 Jul 2007 13:47:06 14,210 posts
    Seen 4 hours ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    What happened to the days of turn up, do an exam, the result of which determined whether you get into university? And note, I mean University here, not a polyt-that-is-pretending-to-be-a-university.

    Now its all course work and "help me with an essay" on forums.

    Sheesh. Get into an exam room and deal with pressure! Thats what I say.
  • angeltreats 3 Jul 2007 13:48:32 2,601 posts
    Seen 7 months ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    This is great guys, thanks. The word count is harsh. I had to do another one which was a police report following an accident and it was meant to be 100ish words - in order to get in all the information they asked for, I was literally unable to get it under 160 words. But they did say approx 100 words for that one.

    I think I will do the second one. I am just so shit at this sort of thing. If I get in to the course I want, I'm going to have to actually have opinions and stuff :(

    @ Youthist - thanks for being constructive...

    BTW it's a Spanish & Portuguese degree course I'm trying to get onto. The purpose of this essay (one of several on a test I've got to return with my application) is apparently to determine my level of Spanish. I don't know if they'll place more importance on the quality of language used etc or the quality of the writing and arguments.

    Edited by angeltreats at 13:51:58 03-07-2007
  • presbyterrorion 3 Jul 2007 13:49:25 89 posts
    Seen 13 years ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    Youthist wrote:
    What happened to the days of turn up, do an exam, the result of which determined whether you get into university? And note, I mean University here, not a polyt-that-is-pretending-to-be-a-university.

    Now its all course work and "help me with an essay" on forums.

    Sheesh. Get into an exam room and deal with pressure! Thats what I say.
    Yep, it's all fluff and no substance these days.
  • Deleted user 3 July 2007 13:50:34
    What's the course? You'll probably do better if you can use and argue with other people's opinions (nice big bibliographies ftw!) because generally, no one cares what you think*.

    * in a nice, cold, academic way. :)

    Edit: Ah, that may not apply as much to a foreign language subject actually!

    Edited by disussedgenius at 13:52:58 03-07-2007
  • smoothpete 3 Jul 2007 13:50:36 36,799 posts
    Seen 6 hours ago
    Registered 16 years ago
    What's the course? Spanish?
  • gang_of_bitches 3 Jul 2007 13:51:19 5,707 posts
    Seen 9 months ago
    Registered 15 years ago
    Hi AT, first off, good luck, I'm sure you'll cruise it.

    I'd be tempted to do number one. For a start its happened on numerous occaisions so there's no need to speculate on what may or may not happen.

    Iraq is of course the example of how not to do it. While its not exactly a perfect country now and wasn't exactly a dictatorship (except insomuch as most of the population were disenfranchised) I think you could site some interesting things from the changeover of power in South Africa with the Truth and Reconcilliation commission etc.

    250 words sounds like not nearly enough to cover any of those subjects tbh, rather you than me.

    good luck.
  • bloke 3 Jul 2007 13:51:22 1,490 posts
    Seen 9 months ago
    Registered 16 years ago
    What PJ said - it's the quality (and potentially originality) of the arguement which counts here. So do Google all you like, but bear in mind that an unusual but well argued case will make you stand out more than a MOR same 'ol same old.

    (See History Boys for more detail :-) )

    Only problem will be keeping to the word count - is it really only 250 words? :-(

    Good luck - sure you'll do great........

    BTW as a matter of interest, what's the course it's part of the entrance for?
  • pjmaybe 3 Jul 2007 13:51:54 70,666 posts
    Seen 11 years ago
    Registered 18 years ago
    angeltreats wrote:
    This is great guys, thanks. The word count is harsh. I had to do another one which was a police report following an accident and it was meant to be 100ish words - in order to get in all the information they asked for, I was literally unable to get it under 160 words. But they did say approx 100 words for that one.

    I think I will do the second one. I am just so shit at this sort of thing. If I get in to the course I want, I'm going to have to actually have opinions and stuff :(

    You'll do fine.

    With word counts, always ALWAYS try to get used to nailing 'em dead on, or getting in under the count. Depending on the course, you can end up losing 10% for every ten words over the count (as I found out to my cost with one of my essays, arrghhh!)

    It's tough - I guess they do it so that you can succinctly prove that you can nail a subject dead on using language as sparsely as is needed to put your point across - still a fiddle though (worse for me at the mo with the creative writing stuff - 1500 word short stories sound a lot but hell they're so not!)

    Good luck with it, you'll do just fine though I reckon.

    Peej
  • angeltreats 3 Jul 2007 13:53:51 2,601 posts
    Seen 7 months ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    As edited in my other post above - it's Spanish & Portuguese. Or possibly Spanish & Latin American Studies if I don't get into my first choice university.
  • bloke 3 Jul 2007 13:56:32 1,490 posts
    Seen 9 months ago
    Registered 16 years ago
    angeltreats wrote:
    As edited in my other post above - it's Spanish & Portuguese. Or possibly Spanish & Latin American Studies if I don't get into my first choice university.

    Cool degree - you get to go to Latin America lots (friend of mine just finished one).

    So - the 250 words are - what - in Spanish?

    Dos Cerveca por favor!
  • Youthist 3 Jul 2007 13:56:45 14,210 posts
    Seen 4 hours ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    angeltreats wrote:
    As edited in my other post above - it's Spanish & Portuguese. Or possibly Spanish & Latin American Studies if I don't get into my first choice university.

    "Thames Valley University".
    aaarrrrggghhh
  • angeltreats 3 Jul 2007 13:58:57 2,601 posts
    Seen 7 months ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    Youthist wrote:
    angeltreats wrote:
    As edited in my other post above - it's Spanish & Portuguese. Or possibly Spanish & Latin American Studies if I don't get into my first choice university.

    "Thames Valley University".
    aaarrrrggghhh

    What's your problem?

    Bloke - yep it's got to be in Spanish. The Portuguese would be ab initio
  • The_Aardvark 3 Jul 2007 13:58:58 3,063 posts
    Seen 8 years ago
    Registered 15 years ago
    For essays two and three it may also be worth looking at the source of government's rights to impinge on individual liberty - why is it legitimate.

    I'd steer clear of Q1 if I were you - it's a bit more of an academic grey area.

    Q2, is, as Pete says, a clear question of positive and negative liberty. The classic liberal view would be that government has a right to intervene only when individuals are causing harm to others - they should be free to cause harm to themselves. Therefore smoking in pubs, for example, causes harm to the staff who work there.

    What's the course? Political philosophy?

    EDIT - Oh, I see. Good luck with your application!

    Edited by The_Aardvark at 14:00:34 03-07-2007
  • brokenkey 3 Jul 2007 14:00:02 10,475 posts
    Seen 5 hours ago
    Registered 18 years ago
    angeltreats wrote:
    This is great guys, thanks. The word count is harsh. I had to do another one which was a police report following an accident and it was meant to be 100ish words - in order to get in all the information they asked for, I was literally unable to get it under 160 words. But they did say approx 100 words for that one.
    >

    First job interview I had after graduation set me a task to write about something in 125 words. After two abortive attempts to write in good old fashioned essay style, I dumped it and started writing bullet points.

    Got the job, over 12,000 other people :)

    If you do the smoking, point out that they government leaves themselves open to critisim that whilst they have acted to protect adults who have a freedom of choice about where they go, work etc, they have done nothing to protect children from smoke where they live.
  • Youthist 3 Jul 2007 14:00:43 14,210 posts
    Seen 4 hours ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    angeltreats wrote:
    Youthist wrote:
    angeltreats wrote:
    As edited in my other post above - it's Spanish & Portuguese. Or possibly Spanish & Latin American Studies if I don't get into my first choice university.

    "Thames Valley University".
    aaarrrrggghhh

    What's your problem?

    Bloke - yep it's got to be in Spanish. The Portuguese would be ab initio

    Ignore me - seriously :-)
  • angeltreats 3 Jul 2007 14:01:02 2,601 posts
    Seen 7 months ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    Youthist wrote:
    angeltreats wrote:
    Youthist wrote:
    angeltreats wrote:
    As edited in my other post above - it's Spanish & Portuguese. Or possibly Spanish & Latin American Studies if I don't get into my first choice university.

    "Thames Valley University".
    aaarrrrggghhh

    What's your problem?

    Bloke - yep it's got to be in Spanish. The Portuguese would be ab initio

    Ignore me - seriously :-)

    Yeah, I think I will.

    /click
  • bloke 3 Jul 2007 14:01:18 1,490 posts
    Seen 9 months ago
    Registered 16 years ago
    angeltreats wrote:
    Youthist wrote:
    angeltreats wrote:
    As edited in my other post above - it's Spanish & Portuguese. Or possibly Spanish & Latin American Studies if I don't get into my first choice university.

    "Thames Valley University".
    aaarrrrggghhh

    What's your problem?

    Bloke - yep it's got to be in Spanish. The Portuguese would be ab initio

    Well - I've written the last 4 words of it for you ;-)
  • Bill_Gates_Bitch 3 Jul 2007 14:05:23 87 posts
    Seen 13 years ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    tu es loco hombre
  • MetalDog 3 Jul 2007 14:06:24 24,076 posts
    Seen 1 year ago
    Registered 18 years ago
    Education does not equal intelligence. Youthist is clearly trying to demonstrate that practically so that those with no further education opportunities don't feel too bad about it.

    @Angel - like Peej, I'd recommend staying at or under the word count wherever possible. Given that they want to assess your language skills, you could probably make a cliche argument and they wouldn't care. Sounds like the complexity of the sentence structures are more important.

    Edited by MetalDog at 14:10:00 03-07-2007
  • Deleted user 3 July 2007 14:07:36
    Aaaargh, this has brought all my college / uni horrors back to me.

    I had an extremely pedantic lecturer, who insisted that a thesis be, I forget now, but lets say it was 400 words. He made it completely clear that it had to be that amount, or slightly above. I decided to question this, and ask Mr Stitler (name changed to protect the guilty) a hypothetical:

    /puts hand up
    Me: "What if I write a fabulous, succinct and praise-worthy piece that comes in at 398 words?"
    Stitler: "Then you'll fail the semester"
    Me: "Uh? How do you mark these then, how do you know if we made 400?"
    Stitler: "I have a word count on my PC, I check them first, if it doesn't make at least 400, I don't grade it"
    "..."
    Stitler "This is an example of a real-world requirement"
    Me: "Really? I haven't once been asked to provide feedback on a patient that was at least a certain length, are you sure about that?"
    Stitler: "If you fail to do 400, you fail the semester"

    I wasn't being a cunt; I had a full-time job to do (which had been my foot in the door, I was learning on the job, at this point in my career anyway) along with other commitments.

    I contemplated opening Word up, putting in "Screw Flanders" and then copy and pasting 200 times before submitting it, but in the end I just didn't submit anything, failed his class but still graduated.

    Err, back on topic - do number 2, it's the only subject I can see there that you can properly tackle with such a short amount of words.
  • Youthist 3 Jul 2007 14:08:45 14,210 posts
    Seen 4 hours ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    MetalDog wrote:
    Education does not equal intelligence. Youthist is clearly trying to demonstrate that practically so that those with no further education opportunities don't feel too bad about it.

    I don't get it.
  • pjmaybe 3 Jul 2007 14:20:35 70,666 posts
    Seen 11 years ago
    Registered 18 years ago
    Youthist wrote:
    MetalDog wrote:
    Education does not equal intelligence. Youthist is clearly trying to demonstrate that practically so that those with no further education opportunities don't feel too bad about it.

    I don't get it.

    I think she's calling you a dick, dude.

    With the word count, once you get into your stride, it's actually a lot of fun (fun? Is that the right word?) to see if you can nail 'em dead on.

    I did that with all of this term's essays and I think it was the first time my tutor had seen anyone do that.

    It's not too tough when you're a few words either side of it, but 60 or more over, that's way too many to trim.

    Peej
  • Telepathic.Geometry 3 Jul 2007 14:21:10 12,422 posts
    Seen 2 years ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    Bill_Gates_Bitch wrote: tu es loco hombre
    Is this supposed to be Spanish? o_0
  • Youthist 3 Jul 2007 14:22:26 14,210 posts
    Seen 4 hours ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    Peej - I got it. I was being "clever".
    \does the sign of "things going above your head"

    Edited by Youthist at 14:23:12 03-07-2007
  • First Previous
Log in or register to reply

Sometimes posts may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.