Ok, it’s been a while, so let me post another essay example for you. I have been away at another English camp, then I had two weeks of lessons to catch up on so I didn’t have any time for any posts/vids/pods or anything else, something I will try to remedy shortly.
This essay comes out of a lesson I gave to one of my students to illustrate a tricky question, a “To what extent” question type, about how a person’s worth is measured. I had some trouble thinking of reasons and examples for this one, you will probably notice as you read. However, as I tell my students, your ideas and reasons and examples can be quite boring, as long as you meet the criteria the examiners are looking for. And in this instance I think they do. I won’t write anything further, just have a look at the question, and check out the answer. See what you think. If you have any qs or comments, send me a message anytime, firstname.lastname@example.org is the address.
A person’s worth nowadays seems to be judged according to social status and material possessions. Old-fashioned values, such as honour, kindness and trust, no longer seem important.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
It could be argued that the values of a previous era such as honour and trust are not important in today’s world, and that what is valuable now are the things we own and our status in society. I agree completely with this statement, and will show that the rise in consumerism, and celebrity worship are the two main factors behind this shift in values.
Firstly, as we are living in an increasingly materialistic and consumer driven society how people are judged depends on what they own. That is to say, as living standards rise more people can afford to buy expensive goods such as clothes and mobile phones, etc, and these possessions are taken as a symbol of status. For example, a recent survey by the US Education Dept in 2016 showed that 80% of teenagers judged their classmates on what brand of mobile phone they owned. This research suggests that for many people material belongings are a considerable measure of social importance.
Additionally, as the internet increasingly takes over modern life, especially social media, more people are obsessed with appearance. For many people this means that so-called celebrities are taken as role models based on their looks and lavish life styles, and this is seemed as something desirable in many peoples eyes. The proof of this is in the fact that for a considerable number of young people, such sites as Instagram and Facebook take over their lives and posting selfies becomes an important part of their self-worth. A recent survey by Google showed that 85% of millennials posted a selfie on the internet everyday and the number of likes they received are seen as a sign of social value and status.
In conclusion, it would seem that society’s values have indeed shifted towards materialism and new standards of “status”. In my view this is a sad fact in today’s world, and until consumerism and the temptations of social media are curbed this shift is likely to continue.