1. Sample essay:
Every week millions of people buy lottery tickets, hoping their small investment will make them rich. They often believe that if they won a million dollars, their troubles would be over. If they actually got the money, would their dreams come true?
Whether people live "happily ever after" when they win the lottery probably depends on what their dreams are. Money can buy some things but not others.
Cash buys houses, cars, and college educations; it pays for medical treatment and clears up overdue bills. Money also purchases travel and new experiences. A million dollars could allow someone to quit a tough, boring job and try for something better. It could provide a feeling of security.
On the other hand, winning so much money could actually cause some problems. A person who quit working might eventually become bored or lose some self-respect. Family members might squabble over what should be purchased. Long-lost friends, relatives, and even complete strangers are likely to want a handout. The winner must then decide whom to help and whom to offend.
Despite all these drawbacks, I would rather win the money than not. The difficulties of having to manage a million dollars are troubles I would like to have.
2. Sample essay:
"After the baby is born, things will never be the same." People say that to expectant parents-and they are right!
It will be a long time before those parents can again sleep late in the morning. A baby wakes early, screaming for food. The toddler thinks 6 a.m. is the right time to start the day. After that come early school mornings.
It will be years before the parents can go anywhere together on the spur of the moment. Every outing must be planned ahead so that a baby-sitter can be found. The budget will be stretched, the work load will get heavier, and by the time parents can be alone, they may be too tired to talk.
Still, people want children. Why?
One reason is that children are a link to the future. They will probably be here after the parents are gone. In addition, their children will live after them.
A deeper reason for wanting children, perhaps, is that the more people we have to love, the more fulfilled our lives can be. By giving to a child, people enrich their own lives. In the end, we live not only for ourselves, but for others.
3. Sample essay:
It hurts to look at a paycheck and see how much of it was taken out for income tax. That money could have paid some important bills. It is easy to dream of doing away with the income tax and keeping all that money for ourselves.
If there were no income tax, however, the government would have a lot less to spend. The money we send to Washington seems to fall into a black hole and disappear. Actually, though, many people depend on it. The money pays the salaries of government employees, who provide services from drug control to highway building. It supports our military defense. Also, much of the money is returned to people in the form of student loans, veterans' benefits, and payments to farmers, for example. The government has been working to cut its budget lately. With every cut, someone complains loudly.
So if the income tax were eliminated, other taxes would have to make up for it. Paying those other taxes would also hurt. Sales taxes fall most heavily on poor people. Taxes on manufacturers only result in higher prices to consumers.
Income taxes are not fun to pay. But doing without them would be worse. In my opinion, income taxes should be made as fair as possible. Then we each must "bite the bullet" and do our share.
4. Sample essay:
Television has changed both the way we spend our time and what we know about the world. Some of the changes brought by television have improved our way of life, but others have made it worse.
People today on the average spend several hours a day watching television. In times past, they...
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