1. The benefits (key word) of the Internet (topic word) have been overrated (key word). Do you agree (question word)?
Recommended Approach – This question demands that candidates assess/evaluate the value of the positive aspects/effects/qualities/characteristics of the Internet. As such, the candidate has to be very knowledgeable about the benefits of the Internet, going beyond specific examples of web apps, social media etc. and being able to make valid claims about the broad impact of the Internet (macro perspective).
If the candidate agrees with the statement, he must argue that the positive aspects of the Internet have been overstated or assigned excessive value.
If the candidate disagrees with the statement, he has to argue that these benefits have been assigned appropriate value or even undervalued.
Though the points in the right column are true, each benefit has in turn resulted in severe negative consequences.Cost – While communication through the Internet is practically free, the true cost is that of our privacy.Efficiency – The Internet is perhaps too effective as a means of communication, so much so that people now seek refuge away from it to escape the deluge of information and pressing demands made possible by email and other forms of electronic communication.Effectiveness – The effectiveness of the Internet as a medium of communication has conceivably reduced the need and desire for personal interaction.Globalisation and Connectedness – One of the most immediate and grave threats arising from the globalisation and connectedness made possible by the Internet is that of cybersecurity.
| The Internet has been touted as a revolutionary medium of communication in terms of cost, efficiency, effectiveness and reach, and has facilitated globalisation, thus making the world more connected than at any other point of time in human history.
| The rise of the Internet as the memory of the world has had a deleterious effect on the physical memory of humanity. We are less capable of remembering and recalling basic facts because we are reliant on digital memory. In addition, the sheer volume of available information is overwhelming and has perhaps encouraged a retreat from knowledge.
| The Internet has become the world’s memory and library, surpassing even the great library of Alexandria. Never has so much information and knowledge been made so available to so many people.
| Though the rise of companies like Amazon and Apple, especially with regard to its music arm, attest to the formidable presence of the Internet as a significant force in business and commerce, e-commerce via the Internet has had a calamitous effect on traditional businesses, particularly local businesses who possess neither the scale nor the reach of Internet-based companies.
| The Internet has also emerged as a major medium and forum for business and commerce, and will in the near future overtake traditional retail and business outlets in terms of revenue and profit.
2. Televison (topic word) is a true mirror (key word) of modern society (key word). Comment (question word).
Recommended Approach – This question demands that candidates grapple with the claim that television as a medium accurately reflects or portrays the defining features/characteristics/qualities of society as we know it currently. As such, candidates are expected to be cognisant of these features and to make the case that television does or does not portray them accurately, and to what extent.
Candidates should centre their points/arguments on the broad characteristics/qualities of television as a medium and not on specific genres or television programmes.
Yes, it is.
| No, it isn’t.
The increasingly niche programming of television mirrors the increasing fragmentation of society into myriad subcultures.
| Ultimately, television traffics in entertainment. As such, whatever is portrayed on television is a hyperbolised version of...
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