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Useful Expressions (I)

This essay discusses the advantages and disadvantages of ...

A matter of great controversy at present is ... with supporters
maintaining that ... while opponents claim that ...
As for me, the advantages are more than the disadvantages.
Both advantages and disadvantages will be outlined below.
The ... has not been without drawbacks/negative aspects,
Firstly, Additionally, More specifically, though, ...
In practice, ...
Finally, In conclusion, although the idea of ... may seem
attractive, there are aspects of it, which have to be
considered. It is still an unanswered question.

Introduction/Opening Paragraph
A matter of great controversy at present is TV with supporters
maintaining that media entertains and educates us while opponents
claim that news isolates people. As for me, the disadvantages are
more than the advantages.
Structure of a Paragraph

Linking word
Expression of opinion

First and foremost (1), I can say without hesitation (2) that TV is
used to manipulate people (3). To elaborate on this (4), it is
indisputable the fact that information can be controlled (5) on the
grounds that the news is not always objective (6) as governments
(and most commonly oppressive regimes) might censor the
information (7).

Additionally, it is my firm belief that news seems to praise violence
and there is no doubt in my mind that children adopt aggressive
behaviour. To put it in another way, there are too many violent films
and it is a sad reality to see a child trying to imitate the film.
Moreover, it is a commonly held belief that watching TV makes
people passive. To elaborate on this, TV series restrict family
communication due to the fact that there is a big variety of soap
operas so everyone chooses their own series. I am convinced that
there is no interaction and, as a result, people sit on a sofa and give
their whole attention to a programme they watch thus becoming
coach potatoes.
Conclusion/Closing Paragraph
All in all, for the above mentioned reasons, watching TV makes
people passive and many TV programmes do have a lot of


It is wise to ...

Those who think it is a good ideat suggest that ...

All in all, the idea of ... does not seem advisable.

... is a highly debatable subject which always causes great


On moral grounds, ...

From a psychological point of view, ...

... is a matter which continues to be discussed at great length.

All things considered, I believe that ... is preferable to ... .

In conclusion, ...

In conclusion, there is a fine line between ...

A good idea is ...

No less important is ...

Similarly, ...

Although it is true that ..., I feel that the idea of ... can only be

In my view, ...

As we advance towards the 21st century, I tend to believe that


The main reason why I believe this is the fact that ...

There is no reason to doubt the fact that ...

Another factor that will lead to life being better in the future is
the fact that ...

If this attitude continues, it is very likely that ...

The main argument in favour of/against ... is the fact that ...

To what extent is it morally acceptable to ...?

One solution to the proble of ... is to ...

Another importan measure that should be taken is to ensure

that ...

Finally, the fact that ... cannot be overlooked and for this
reason ...

To sum up, ...

Those who are in favour of it are quick to point out its many
advantages, while those to whom it does not appeal fail to see
anything positive about it at all.

However, there are also disadvantages associated with ... , the

main one being ...

Taking everything into account, ... can be an enjoyable

experience as long as ...

But is this necessarily a good thing?

A point in favour of ... is the fact that ...

This can lead to ...

In conclusion, although ... can have a beneficial effect on ..., it

seems that ...

It is obvious that sth should be done to tackle this problem.

Another way of tackling the problem of ... is to focus on some

of the reasons why it occurs.

To sum up, even though short-term solutions to the problem of

... can be effective, the only way to completely get the society
rid of it is to deal with the underlying causes. For example, ...

The ... is a topic about which scientists have been debating for

The former stress the .... whereas the latter argue that ...

Opponents of this view strongly argue against this activity,

questioning whether ...

Fortunately, though, there are several solutions which could

lead to a huge reduction in the number of ...

For this problem we should start by trying to raise public


By putting into effect these solutions, we stand a good chance

of helping not only to ... but also to ... and as a consequence
lay the way for a better future.

Do you believe that criminals can be rehabilitated and become

useful members of society? Why or why not? Discuss your point of

Criminals Back in Society


Deserve a second chance

Are rehabilitated and can become useful to society again

Are reunited with their families and friends

In prison, they are encouraged to learn skills or even study to

get a degree


Once back in society, they are often discriminated against

Are left with a stigma, which can cause psychological


Cant find serious jobs because of their criminal record

Have become hard and are left with physical and emotional

Many people believe that television has negative influences on

children. Do you agree or disagree with this statement. Discuss your


Consolation for elderly people

Brings the whole world into your home

Offers sound, picture, knowledge with no effort at all

The most popular means of entertainment

Inexpensive entertainment for all tastes in the privacy of you



Too violent films

Makes people passive

Tends to alienate people

Dictates public taste

Creates false ideas about life

Restricts family communication

Intrudes peoples lives

Seems to praise violence

Used to manipulate people

Information can be controlled

Most programmes are of a poor standard

It is not healthy to be an only child. Do you agree or disagree?

Why? How many children do you think a couple should have?

Be An Only Child

Has the luxury of having its parents attention all the time



Parents put childs interests before their own

Parents shower child with love and affection


Be overprotected

Psychological problems (loneliness)

Tends to be spoilt

Relies too much on its parents

The burden of taking care of parents lies exclusively on the


Do you believe animals should be used in medical experiments and

research for the good of mankind? Why or why not? Discuss your


Animals as important in the lab as scientists

We need guinea pigs to try out what researchers have come

up with

Scientists need to try out their discoveries before they

administer them to human beings

Better to sacrifice animal life than a human one (the lesser of

two evils)


Animals have soul; feel pain

Wrong to cause animals pain and suffering whatever the


Cruel, immoral, inhumane treatment

Do you consider ambition to be a positive or negative quality? Why?

Describe your views.


Having ambition means you know where you are going in life

Gives you sth to look forward to

Without amibition, you are a lost soul


Being too ambitious can make you do dishonest things

An overly ambitious person can be very pushy

Ambition can destroy your reputation

Honesty is the best policy. Do you agree with this statement? Why?


Being honest you are respected and people trust you

People look up to you

People ask you for advice

You are well liked and popular


Being honest often puts you in difficult situations

Finds you in trouble than if you told a white-lie

You may hurt peoples feelings

You tend to be too straightforward

A career must provide a person with both job satisfaction and a

good standard of living. Which do you consider most important?


You gain greater financial status

You gain respect by doing your job properly

You gain independence

You achieve a high standard of living


You tend to neglect your family

You may have to travel a lot

Your marriage may suffer

You may have a better income than your spouse (in the case
of a woman) which causes arguments

What do you look for in a friend? Which qualities are of most

importance to you?

A friend must

Be honest

Be trustworthy

Listen to you carefully

Be willing to help

Have humour

Not have vice for you

Not be jealous of you

The legalization of soft drugs would help solve and take away some
of the mystery surrounding drugs. Do you agree with this
statement? Why or why not?

Legalization of Soft Drugs


They would be checked by doctors; legal supply; free disposal

Plantations would become extinct

People would not think that they would be sth illegal so they
would not use them so much

The hype would die down; people would lose interest


More people would like to try them; curiosity

Even soft drugs can have bad effects on your health in the
long term

Enhances and propels the institution of drugs instead of

reducing it

Which drugs would fall under the category of soft drugs?


Global market; free trading of goods

Political and cultural barriers recede, permitting a more unified

and common society

Free movement of all populations

Ability to relate more easily with the rest of the world


Possible loss of national identity and characteristics

High influx of refugee immigration


Protects people from dangerous concepts and minors from

violence, foul language, inappropriate material

Can create and restore order and standards

Protects women and children from sexual exploitation and


Generally maintains importance of more values, culture and



Violates the fundamental right of freedom of expression

Has the potential to be abused or become an oppressive tool

that hinders growth

Everyone has the right to choose what they read, see, hear
and no limitations should be placed

Surveillance cameras

Provide individuals a sense of security; they provide a

deterrent against crime: save time, ease traffic congestion


Their use should be controlled

People live in constant fear of being watched every minute,

every second and everywhere

Information could be twisted to victimize some groups

Working Mothers


Self-fulfilment of having a career: believe their children will be

more self-sufficient and mature

Work for their own emotional well-being; happy mothers,

better mothers

Employment protects women against monotonous housework

Reliance on both partners for financial and emotional support

Stay-at-home mothers

Staying at home eliminates child care expenses

Accessible to her children at all times

Assured her children are raised in a healthy environment

Recent reports conclude that children who spend much of

their first four years in childcare are more aggressive and
disobedient than those who stay at home with their mothers

People should marry before the age of 25 so they have time to have
children. Do you share this view? What is your opinion? When
should people marry? Why?

Be Married at the Age of 25


More time for your children

Better communication because parents are able to understand

their childrens needs & problems

No generation gap

Parents will have more modern ideas

Grow up together as friends


Most of them divorce early


Parents may have to rely on others to bring their children up in

order to be able to pursue their careers

Their finances are inadequate to provide for their children

(education, other activities, clothes, etc)

Drugs are becoming more and more common in many countries.

What are some of the problems associated with drug abuse and
what are some of the possible solutions?


Broken families

Too much pressure

Teens are rebels, opposition to the establishment

Believe that drugs make them unique, acceptable



Effect on parents (distress, pain)

Effect on family

Effect on work (productivity, punctuality, career)

Criminal problems (theft, smuggling, underworld, gangs)

Medical problems (addiction, overdose, clinics, detoxification,

hospitalization, counselling)


Education, school, awareness, campaigns, advertising

Counselling, treatment, advice, helpline

Close family relationships

Good environment, leisure, sports, friends

Employment, meaningful activities