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  1. #1
    diegoami is offline Newbie
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    Post Help me correct a CPE practice essay

    Write an essay expressing your views on the points raised. Write your answer in 300-350 words in an appropriate style

    "tonight's programme is about money. In many parts of the world people have more money than they had thirty years ago. They may have more possessions but they are not always happier. The first guest believes that money can buy happiness, but in the studio audience we may have some people who believe that it is possible to be happy without much money"

    Essay

    Nobody can argue against the fact that living standards have increased a lot in the last 30 years. We are much better off than we used to be. We have access to mobile phones, internet, we eat better, we live longer, we drive better cars and so on. But we can never be sure whether we are actually happier than people who lived 30 years ago. Happyness isnít something you can measure after all. And in this essay I wonít be able to give a definite answer either.
    There are very few people who would argue that money is not important in our society. Money is important for housing, food, health, leisure and so on. Lack of money is most likely to make you unhappy. But the number of people who live in poverty decreased dramatically and so has the number of people who canít help being unhappy.
    But there are many other reasons why you could be unhappy. You may be disabled, you may have lost a loved one. There are problems which cannot be solved just throwing money at them.
    Of course, these are extreme situations. For most of us, money is just a tool that in the right hands can help us make our life better. A very nice proverb says : A fool and his money are soon parted.
    I agree with that, and believe that money is not going to make a fool happy.
    Money and consumer goods are just tools, after all. Today we have much more tools than our fathers used to have. But we may be not as good at using them, in my opinion because we are a little spoilt and didnít have to go through the same hardships. We might not appreciate what we have because we never really had to fight for it.
    Thatís why I think that as a rule we are none the happier than people 30 years ago used to be.

  2. #2
    pyoung is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Help me correct a CPE practice essay

    Dear diegoami

    Your essay can be improved both mechanically and substantively. First, the mechanics:

    Quote Originally Posted by diegoami View Post
    Write an essay expressing your views on the points raised. Write your answer in 300-350 words in an appropriate style.

    "Tonight's programme is about money. In many parts of the world people have more money than they had thirty years ago. They may have more possessions, but they are not always happier. The first guest believes that money can buy happiness, but in the studio audience we may have some people who believe that it is possible to be happy without much money."

    Essay

    Nobody can argue against the fact that living standards have increased (improved) a lot in the last thirty years. We are much better off than we used to be. We have access to mobile phones and the internet. We eat better, we live longer, we drive better cars and so on. But we can never be sure whether we are actually happier than people who lived thirty years ago. Happiness isnít something you can measure, after all. And in this essay I wonít be able to give a definite answer either.
    There are very few people who would argue that money is not important in our society. Money is important for housing, food, health, leisure and so on. Lack of money is most likely to make you unhappy. But as the number of people who live in poverty has decreased dramatically so has the number of people who canít help being unhappy.
    But There are many other reasons why you could be unhappy. You may be disabled, you may have lost a loved one. These are problems which cannot be solved just by throwing money at them.
    Of course, these are extreme situations. For most of us, money is just a tool that, in the right hands, can help us make our lives better. A very nice proverb says : A fool and his money are soon parted.
    I agree with that, and believe that money is not going to make a fool happy.
    Money and consumer goods are just tools, after all. Today we have many more tools than our fathers
    used to have had. But we may be not as good at using them, in my opinion, because we are a little spoilt and didnít have to go through the same hardships. We might not appreciate what we have because we never really had to fight for it.
    Thatís why I think that, as a rule, we are none the happier than people thirty years ago
    used to be.
    Now, a few words about the structure and content:

    I would strongly suggest against telling the reader what you cannot do in your initial paragraph. Keep you purpose positive.

    Please be sure that you provide specific examples to support your statements. For example, what factual evidence do you have that living standards have improved in the last thirty years? You do say that 'we' have access to technology, that 'we' eat better, etc. Who are 'we'? I am afraid that, the claim in your opening sentence notwithstanding, many people could argue the point.
    You come close to saying that, while having money can make life easier for people, it is not a direct causative factor of happiness. This would be a good point to develop.
    Again, if you are going to say that 'we' are spoilt and haven't had to endure the same hardships as previous generations, be sure you state the population you are referring to. This statement is far from true for people is many parts of the world.
    So, to sum up, be positive about your thesis, clear about your references, and sure of your claims.

    I hope this is helpful,

    Petra

  3. #3
    diegoami is offline Newbie
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    Re: Help me correct a CPE practice essay

    Thank you for your feedback Petra !

    second try :)

    What makes people happy ? Answering this question is hard, but there is a question which is much easier to answer – what can make people unhappy ? Poverty and lack of access to food, housing, health care or even leisure can. Over the last thirty years, as the number of people who live in poverty has decreased in most western European countries, so has the number of people who could not help being unhappy.

    Are people in Europe happier now than they were thirty years ago? I don’t think a definite answer can be given. Life expectancy and buying power has increased. Many more consumer goods and services are available now, for instance mobile phones and the internet. But more and more people feel lonely or lack a purpose in their life. Money has its limits and won’t solve all psychological problems.

    What is money, anyway ? Money is a tool that, put in the right hands, can help us make our lives better. But it will be no use to someone who cannot be helped. As the proverb says, a fool and his money are soon parted.

    That’s why I think the happiest people are the ones who are well off and have worked hard to make their fortune. On the other hand there might be people who were born in rich families, but are bored or haven’t their emotional needs fulfilled. Everybody has heard about the spoilt and lonely rich child who cannot be pleased.

    And of course it is perfectly possible to be happy without having too much money, or anything for that matter, Diogenes or Jesus Christ being a case in point. But even if not everybody can be like them, I think any of us has heard about some happy family living merrily in modest conditions.



  4. #4
    pyoung is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Help me correct a CPE practice essay

    Quote Originally Posted by diegoami View Post
    Thank you for your feedback Petra !

    second try :)

    What makes people happy? (no space between 'happy' and '?') Answering this question is hard, but there is a question which is much easier to answer Ė what can make people unhappy? Poverty and lack of access to food, housing, health care or even leisure can. Over the last thirty years, as the number of people who live in poverty has decreased in most western European countries, so has the number of people who could not help being unhappy.

    Are people in Europe happier now than they were thirty years ago? I donít think a definite answer can be given. Life expectancy and buying power have increased. Many more consumer goods and services are available now, for instance
    , mobile phones and the internet. But more and more people feel lonely or sense lack a purpose in their life. Money has its limits and wonít solve all psychological problems.

    What is money, anyway ? Money is a tool that, put in the right hands, can help us make our lives better. (But it will be no use to someone who cannot be helped. not sure what this means) As the proverb says, a fool and his money are soon parted.

    Thatís why I think the happiest people are the ones who are well off and have worked hard to make their fortune. On the other hand, there might be people who were born into rich families, but are bored or havenít their emotional needs fulfilled (or: haven't learned how to fulfill their emotional needs). Everybody has heard about the spoilt and lonely rich child who cannot be pleased.

    And,
    of course, it is perfectly possible to be happy without having too much money, or anything for that matter, Diogenes or Jesus Christ being two cases in point. But even if not everybody can be like them, I think most of us have heard about some happy family living merrily in modest conditions.


    Dear diegoami:

    Your task, as I understand it, is to comment on these two points of view: 1) money can buy happiness, and, 2) it is possible to be happy without much money.
    You have brought up some good ideas on both viewpoints. I think your task in your next draft will be to concentrate on organization. It is useful to lead your reader through your thoughts in an orderly way. Right now, I feel a bit bounced back and forth from one side to the other.

    In your first paragraph, for instance, you introduce the idea of happiness. You say that the causes of unhappiness may be easier to understand. You name primarily economic factors as these causes. But then you say that, although the poverty levels have dropped, the rate of unhappiness has increased. This contradiction is confusing.

    Later, you make a very clear statement that 'the happiest people are the ones who are well off and have worked hard to make their fortune.' It would be good to support your argument and emphasize why hard-earned wealth may be a cause of happiness. Instead you write about 'the spoilt and lonely rich child who cannot be pleased.'

    Lastly, your final paragraph should not introduce anything new. It should be a summation of your main points.

    I would love to read your third draft! Please do not be discouraged at having to revise. Remember: 'No writing is ever perfect. It's just due (to the teacher, the examiner, the publisher, etc.).'

    Best wishes,

    Petra

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