Sunday, February 11, 2007

Example of an essay giving an opinion

Humans are not born bad or evil but they become bad because of their environment. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

(Some) people are good and some are not so good; some do bad things to other people and behave badly generally, while other people behave well and treat people well.

Some people believe that we are bad because of our environment – the things that come to influence us throughout our lives, and some people believe we are the way we are because of our birth – that it is our genes that determine whether or not we will be bad people.

There are three main reasons why I believe that our environment and our experiences are the main factors in determining what kind of people we are.

The first reason is that inherently bad people can sometimes be born into good families, and good people can come from people who do not behave well. People can be good or bad irrespective of their family background.

For example, ordinary decent families can and do have members of the family that behave badly: are violent, untrustworthy or nasty. Similarly, well-behaved individuals can have dishonest parents and siblings, and yet still be honest, virtuous and have a kind, generous disposition.

The second reason why I believe that experience of life is the greatest and most influential factor in determining a person’s behaviour is that the environment consists mainly of people, and it is in reacting to people and how people react to you that ultimately influences what kind of person you become.

Meeting with nothing but kindness and generosity in one’s fellow man will most probably make you into a kind and generous person yourself. The reverse is also true; people living in neighbourhoods where levels of criminal activity are high, will most probably indulge in such activities – being evil is a learned behaviour.

My final reason for thinking that environmental influences rather than inherited traits contribute most to the ethical and moral dimension of a person’s character is that bad people can become nicer, more considerate people, if they continually come into contact with people who set a good example to everyone.

History is full of people who behaved well and were models of proper behaviour; acting with wisdom, generosity and honesty, and who engendered these qualities in everyone they met.

In conclusion, there are three main reasons for believing that evil, badness, nastiness and dishonesty stem, not from one’s birth, but from that person’s life in the world: good parents can have badly behaved children; societal environment is all around us, and finally that people can and often do change.

If we understood the way these influences worked upon each and every one of us, we might come nearer to building better, more just forms of society, in which happiness was more important than wealth.
Robert L. Fielding

NB. This is a model essay for my students in Level 2 Writing and does not necessarily reflect my own opinion on the topic. RLF.


At 11:56 PM , Blogger cool_rinie said...

what is the difference between giving opinion and giving direction ?


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