In many countries, children are engaged in some kind of work. Some people regard this as completely wrong. Others consider it a valuable work experience, important for learning and taking responsibility. What’s your opinion on this?
In many developing countries, disabled people are not catered for adequately, for example, buildings are inappropriately designed and the governments rely too heavily on charities and voluntary organisations to provide funding and assistance. What measures do you think the governments should take? Discuss.
There are many kinds of music in the world today. Why do we need music? Is the traditional music of a country more important than the international music that is heard everywhere nowadays?
Should wealthy nations be required to share their wealth among poorer nations by providing such things as food and education? Or is it a responsibility of the governments of poorer nations to look after their citizens themselves?
Going overseas for university study is an exciting prospect for many people. But while it may offer some advantages, it is probably better to stay home because of the difficulties a student inevitably encounters living and studying in a different culture. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give reasons for your answer.
Some people are of the opinion that prisons are basically universities of crime, fostering the kind of behaviour they aim to eradicate, and are, therefore, not effective. Others feel that prison life is not hard enough. Discuss the arguments on both sides of the issue. What is your opinion on the matter?
Euthanasia, or mercy killing, has been in the news more and more recently. Many people are strongly against such a practice, but there is a growing demand to have it legalized. How far do you agree with euthanasia being made legal?
In recent years, life has become more stressful than it has ever been. As a consequence, more and more people are suffering from stress-related problems. What factors are contributing to this increase and what do you think can be done to overcome the current problems?
Trees are essential for the existence of the human race as they provide the oxygen that we need to survive. Yet, daily all around the globe large areas of woodland are being destroyed. Many people feel that they as individuals can do nothing and that only governments and large companies can halt the destruction. How far do you agree or disagree with this?
Creative artists should always be given the freedom to express their own ideas (in words, pictures, music or film) in whichever way they wish. There should be no government restrictions on what they do. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
In many countries, schools have severe problems with student behaviour. What do you think are the causes of this? What solutions can you suggest?
We are becoming increasingly dependent on computers. They are used in businesses, hospitals, crime detection and even to fly planes. What things will they be used for in future? Is this dependence on computers a good thing or should we be more suspicious of their benefits?
The rising levels of congestion and air pollution found in most of the world cities can be attributed directly to the rapidly increasing number of private cars in use. In order to reverse this decline in the quality of life in cities, attempts must be made to encourage people to use their cars less and public transport more. Discuss possible ways to encourage the use of public transport.
In some countries, the average worker is obliged to retire at the age of 50, while in others people can work until they are 65 or 70. Meanwhile, we see some politicians enjoying power well into their eighties. Clearly, there is little agreement on an appropriate retirement age. Until what age do you think people should be encouraged to remain in paid employment? Give reasons for your answer.
In what ways has information technology changed work and working practices in the past 10 years?
Many people believe that women make better parents than men and that this is why they have a greater role in raising children in most societies. Others claim that men are just as good as women at parenting. Write an essay expressing your point of view. Give reasons for your answer.
People who have original ideas are of much greater value to society than those who are simply able to copy the ideas of others well. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
The mass media, including TV, radio and newspapers, have great influence in shaping people's ideas. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give reasons for your answer.
'Telecommuting' refers to workers doing their jobs from home for part of each week and communicating with their office using computer technology. Telecommuting is growing in many countries and is expected to be common for most office workers in the coming decades. How do you think society will be affected by the growth of telecommuting?
Technology is making communication easier in today's world, but at the expense of personal contact as many people choose to work at home in front of a computer screen. What dangers are there for a society which depends on computer screens rather than face-to-face contact for its main means of communication?
In some countries, marriages are arranged by the parents but in other cases, people choose their own marriage partner. Discuss both systems.
According to those in the travel business, the nature of the average ‘holiday’ is changing. Rather than seeking a relaxing break in a far-away place, people now want excitement on their holidays and are keen to participate in unusual and challenging activities. Do you agree or disagree?
Some businesses now say that no one can smoke cigarettes in any of their offices. Some governments have banned smoking in all public places. Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons.
Should the same laws which prohibit the sale and consumption of heroin be applied to tobacco?
To what extent is the use of animals in scientific research acceptable?
Human beings do not need to eat meat in order to maintain good health because they can get all their food needs from meatless products and meatless substances. A vegetarian diet is as healthy as a diet containing meat. Argue for or against the opinion above.
Forests are the lungs of the earth. Destruction of the world's forests amounts to death of the world we currently know. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Are our zoos cruel to wild animals? Discuss.
Zoos are sometimes seen as necessary but not poor alternatives to a natural environment. Discuss some of the arguments for and/or against keeping animals in zoos.
To what extent should economic planning be influenced by the need of environmental conservation?
Damage of the environment is an inevitable consequence of worldwide improvements in the standard of living. Discuss.
Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country. Do you agree?
Do the benefits of study abroad justify the difficulties? What advice would you offer to a prospective student?
What kind of listening challenges do overseas students face in tertiary education? What recommendations would you offer?
Education is recognized as vital to the future of any society in today's world. Governments throughout the world should make education compulsory for all children between the ages of 5 and 15. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Children learn best by observing the behaviour of adults and copying it. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
To what extent should universities function as training grounds for employment?
To what extent should university courses be geared to the economic needs of society?
To what extent will migration from the developing world to the developed world become a social and political issue in the 21st century?
The dominance of black people in US sport is due to sociological rather than physiological factors. Discuss.
In Britain, when someone gets old, they often go to live in a home with other old people where there are nurses to look after them. Sometimes the government has to pay for this care. Who should be responsible for our old people? Give reasons.
In your opinion should the government intervene in the rights of the individual with regard to family planning?
To what extent has the traditional male role changed in the last 20 years?
The first car appeared on British roads in 1888. By the year 2000, there may be as many as 29 million vehicles on British roads. Alternative forms of transport should be encouraged and international laws introduced to control car ownership and use. What do you think?
The best way to reduce the number of traffic accidents is to make all young drivers complete a safe driving education course before being licensed to drive.
The rising levels of congestion and air pollution found in most of the world cities can be attributed directly to the rapidly increasing number of private cars in use. Discuss possible ways to encourage the use of public transport.
The threat of nuclear weapons maintains world peace. Nuclear power provides cheap and clean energy. The benefits of nuclear technology far overweigh the disadvantages. Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer.
News editors decide what to broadcast on TV and what to print in newspapers. What factors do you think influence their decisions? Do we become used to bad news? Would it be better if more good news was reported?
Tourism is becoming increasingly important as a source of revenue to many countries but its disadvantages should not be overlooked. What are some of the problems of tourism?
Should children be taught sex education in schools?
Should rich countries forgive all debts for poor countries?
Will the Internet bring people of the world closer together?
Is animal testing necessary?
Should rich countries pay more for environmental damage?
Most high level jobs are done by men. Should the government encourage a certain percentage of these jobs to be reserved for women?
Are famous people treated unfairly by the media? Should they be given more privacy, or is the price of their fame an invasion into their private lives?
Should developing countries concentrate on improving industrial skills or they should promote education first?
Safety standards are important when building people's homes. Who should be responsible for enforcing strict building codes - the government or the people who build the homes?
Does modern technology make life more convenient, or was life better when technology was simpler?
Does modern technology make life more convenient, or was life better when technology was simpler?
Does travel help to promote understanding and communication between countries?
If children behave badly, should their parents accept responsibility and also be punished?
Should sports classes be sacrificed in High School so students can concentrate on academic subjects?
Nowadays doctors can become very rich. Maybe they should not focus on profitable activities such as plastic surgery or looking after rich patients and concentrate more on patients health, no matter how rich they are?
Will modern technology, such as the internet ever replace the book or the written word as the main source of information?
Should criminals be punished with lengthy jail terms or re-educated and habituated, using community service programs for instance, before being reintroduced to society?
Computers can translate all kinds of languages well. Do our children need to learn more languages in the future?
In many countries where capital punishment has been abolished, there has been a corresponding rise in violent crime rates. For this reason, many governments are considering its re-introduction as a form of deterrent. Should capital punishment be re-introduced? Discuss.
Television is a very powerful medium of influence over large populations. There are many positive aspects of television. For example, it is an educational tool. However many people feel that it is doing irreparable harm. Present arguments to highlight your opinion on this matter.
Outdoor recreation such as mountain climbing, camping and hiking brings us closer to nature and are ideal activities to encourage family bonding. Discuss.
The younger generation is up-to-date with new techniques and advances in science. They are often better able to make important decisions than their parents are. Discuss.
Over the past twenty to thirty years there has been a noticeable trend away from many forms of disciplines within the family. A recent survey highlighted the fact that most people feel that parents are too permissive with their children. Discuss.
As a result of countries becoming more and more industrialised, pollution has become a serious problem. Discuss some ways that this problem may be addressed.
Overpopulation if unchecked will bring about the destruction of this planet. Discuss the ways of controlling this problem.
Many are of the opinion that the Internet is inundating our children with dangerous information. There is, however, no doubt that the Internet represents greater advances in communication and the dissemination of information. Discuss the pros and cons of the Internet.
Salaries paid to employees are an accurate reflection of their value to society. Discuss. In approaching this task, consider in particular salaries paid to nurses, sportspersons, movie stars, teachers and farmers.
Although there is no longer an immediate threat of nuclear war, peace seems as elusive as ever. In order to address this problem, the United Nations should be given a stronger role in global affairs in order to bring about world peace.
Good health is a basic human right; however in a growing number of countries today, access to health care depends on socio-economic status. This is discriminatory and should not the basis for access to good health care. Discuss.
Spending money on scientific research should only be approved when there are economic benefits resulting from the research. Discuss.
Women have been disadvantaged in the workplace for decades and they should now receive special assistance in the form of education and incentives, etc. Discuss.
Going on strike is commonly used as a catalyst to resolve industrial disputes. Many conservative governments are strongly opposed to this mechanism for bringing about a change. Discuss the pros and cons of this action in resolving disputes.
Since World War II, there has been an increase in co-operation between many Eastern and Western countries. This has led to a desire amongst students to undertake study in foreign countries. Write a brief account of the advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad.
Since reading is important for a good education, we should encourage our children to read extensively. However as there is an abundance of undesirable reading matter, there should be heavy censorship to restrict access to it. Discuss.
Since private enterprise benefits from a country’s resources (both natural and human), it should be made accountable for the maintenance of environmental and social infrastructures.
Pollution is a very serious problem today. What level of pollution should we tolerate? Discuss examples of the different types of pollution.
What are the effects of global warming? Suggest some recommendations to minimize these effects.
Smoking has long been known to cause health problems for smokers; however, the effect of passive smoking is becoming an important health issue. Discuss the dangers of smoking to smokers and non-smokers.
Passive smoking kills. The most vulnerable section of the population is both the unborn and the very young children as their lungs are still developing. For this reason, smoking in public places should be prohibited. Discuss.
The level of serious crime is escalating alarmingly. Give some suggestions to control this trend.
Most psychologists today believe that a strong sense of parental discipline is necessary to bring up socially well-adjusted and self-confident children. Discuss.
Although many benefits may result from space exploration, the costs involved are enormous. There is some debate as to whether this money could be more wisely spent to provide for the basic needs of mankind such as food, clean water, contraception etc. For this reason, space exploration should be restricted. Discuss.
How can we address the problem of increasing illiteracy trend in many highly developed countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom?
In countries like Japan, stress is becoming a major problem. Suggest some ways to this trend.
Rainforests are a valuable resource and as such we should phase out indiscriminate logging. Discuss.
What are the pros and cons of co-educational schooling? Discuss.
Compare the benefits of a vegetarian diet over a conventional Western diet.
Single-sex education is better than co-education schooling. Discuss.
Forests are the lungs of the earth. Their destruction will accelerate the extinction of animals and ultimately mankind. For this reason, logging in the world’s rainforests should be phased out over the next decade. Discuss.
Aquariums and wildlife sanctuaries are seen as sources of education and entertainment for families. They are also essential to conduct life-saving research. However, there is opposition to confining animals in this way. Discuss some of the arguments for and against the maintenance of zoos.
Although education in developing countries is not compulsory, an effort should be made to ensure that all children between the age of 5 and 15 years attend some form of schooling. Discuss.
Tourism is seen as a major industry in many countries. However, it tends to have a deleterious effect on the environment and should be strictly monitored. Discuss.
Tourism is becoming a good source of revenue to many countries. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of exploiting resources.
Technology is making it possible to stay at home and work. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages.
Learning would be improved through the extensive use of computers in the classroom. This would reduce the number of teachers required which would be an advantage. Discuss.
Society is experiencing an increase in many problems such as crime and drug abuse due to urbanization. Give some suggestions to control this trend.
Discuss the possible causes for the worldwide increase in crime and violence. What has been the effect of these adverse trends on society?