This model essay aims to provide some useful guidance for writing an insightful and impactful argumentative essay on an A-Level essay question. The essay is periodically interjected with Teacher’s Comments (TC) to allow a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the content.

Question Analysis

  • Keywords to take note: key, major, today
  • Different levels of analysis:
    • Level 1: Yes, the key solution is technology
    • Level 2: No, the key solution is not technology
    • Level 3: No, technology alone is insufficient. It should be complemented by other equally important factors such as effective government administration as well as strong, positive cultural and societal influences.

Fully-Guided Model Essay

Technology, which is the application of science used to satisfy endless human desires has played a key role in solving the many pertinent issues that are plaguing our society today. [TC: Interesting description of technology] In the 21st century, where technology is extremely advanced and increasingly ubiquitous, it has indeed served as a major force in remedying some of the major crises such as global warming, epidemics and pandemics, and global terrorism that have beleaguered our world today. [TC: Good effort shown in acknowledging the usefulness of technology and describing the major issues] However, relying on technology alone may prove to be grossly insufficient in defusing these crises and it should instead be complemented by other equally important factors such as effective government administration as well as strong, positive cultural and societal influences. Hence, I do not entirely agree with the proposition. [TC: Good. Clear stand is given and viable alternative solutions are proposed.]

Indeed, technology plays an important role in solving dire environmental problems such as global warming and rampant  deforestation that are damaging the world. Global warming has posed many problems for mankind. Take for example, the widespread melting of polar ice caps. This not only has grave consequences for humans, wildlife, and plants; its most serious impact may be on rising sea levels. By 2100, it is estimated that our oceans will be one to four feet higher, threatening coastal systems and low-lying areas. Deforestation has been another major environmental issue that mankind faces. Many natural environments have been cleared to pave the way for urbanisation and additionally, because of the forces of globalisation, it has exacerbated the present environmental concerns. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) over the past 30 years, natural environments have declined nearly 30%, with the population of freshwater species nearly halved and the natural forested areas reduced by 10%. [TC: There is too much focus on the environmental problems/issues. There should be more coverage on how technology can solve these issues] Technology, In this case, has helped to mitigate some of these issues at hand. For example, a group of researchers from George Washington University claim to have achieved at a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society to be able to develop a technology to economically convert atmospheric CO2 directly into highly valued carbon nanofibers for industrial and consumer products. It is said to be able to reduce the level of carbon dioxide down to the pre-industrial level in the next decade, reversing the effects of global warming. [TC: Avoid the use of terms such as ‘claim’ and ‘it is said’ as they will weaken your evidence and your argument here.] Such a device not only converts harmful greenhouse gases into useful products for consumers to use, its scalability and high land-use efficiency also take pressure off deforestation. Such cutting edge technology presents a new age where technology has become truly  indispensable in  alleviating environmental problems. [TC: Good evaluation and link]

Despite its instrumental role, technology can only realise its full gains if people are willing to embark on this journey together to address the environmental woes.[TC: Good rebuttal] Indeed, populist pressures can harness their huge power to influence authorities to take actions against errant companies or individuals who partake in disastrous environmental programs. For instance, according to a report by McKinsey & Company, having recognised that these environmental problems are systemic. through their activism, the Chinese people are pushing the government to do more and are laying the foundation to transform China’s environmental protection laws. As a first step, the Chinese people have clearly understood that prudent environmental policies depend on open and accurate environmental data. As a result, the Chinese media – the Communist government’s mouthpiece – has been fervently  producing eye-opening, in-depth investigative reports on a myriad of environmental problems from air pollution to  water pollution. This evidently shows how critical is the people’s voice in the piece of action in saving the shared environment. 

Moreover, with the support of capable government leadership, technology has immensely mitigated the dire effects of  the epidemics that proliferate in the world today. Many of the diseases today are extremely malignant, having a fast rate of transmission and alarming levels of casualties as a result.  Furthermore, it has translated into a heavier burden on an individual in their medical cost and a decrease in labour productivity should the disease spread to many people. For example,  a scourge of the world is smallpox where an estimated 300 million people died from it in the 20th century alone. Such a death toll vividly shows the severity of the disease outbreak that can threaten the survival of mankind if no proper safeguards are put in place  Fortunately, technology has given rise to many new vaccines that manage to successfully contain and eradicate the host of  contagions that have occurred throughout over the last century. For instance, Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Switzerland’s Cytos Biotechnology AG announced that the first healthy volunteer has been dosed in a Phase 1 clinical trial with their H1N1 influenza vaccine candidate based on Cytos’ proprietary bacteriophage Qbeta virus-like particle (VLP) technology where the safety and immunogenicity of this novel vaccine candidate and its potential to protect against H1N1 influenza infection will be evaluated.[TC: This example is too technical and it does not show how technology mitigates the epidemic. Consider this instead: within 5 to 6 months after the outbreak of The H1N1 virus, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline produced a vaccine made by growing the virus in hens’ eggs, then breaking and deactivating the virus. Approved by the World Health Organisation, the vaccine has henceforth been used globally to save innumerable lives. Although such timely medical treatments have been paramount, the aversion of an apocalyptic crisis would have not been successful without the effective government administration manifested in the use of contingency plans. At the end of the 1960s, while smallpox was still endemic in Africa and Asia, vaccination campaigns, surveillance and prevention measures aimed to contain epidemic hotspots and to better inform affected populations made huge unprecedented contributions to surmounting the epidemic. Through all these efficacious strategies and collaborative efforts of countries, smallpox was officially declared eradicated in 1980 and is the first disease to have been fought on a global scale. This sterling result has evidently shown how imperative is effective public planning in the medical field  which ultimately led to the complete eradication of the malady.

In conclusion, while technology is an important key to solve major crisis in the world, it is no panacea. We have to rely on other equally vital elements such as societal influence and competent government administration to bring sustainable answers to the pressing world issues of modern day. [TC: Good. Clear stand is reiterated.] 

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