Muet Essay About Health

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HOW TO WRITE GOOD MUET ESSAY INTRODUCTIONS

A lot of students do not score well in MUET writing because they may be unaware of the Academic Writing Format. Those who know about it find it hard to verbalise it or get it down on paper, as such, their intros might not follow the appropriate formal writing style that is preferred for MUET level.

Anyway, here is a short lesson on intro writing from me.
The key, as always, is to keep practising.

What makes a good introduction?
Divided into 3 parts.
1. Current Situation/Commentary
2. Stand
3. Thesis Statement/Outline

What should each part consist of?

PART 1
1. Current situation/Commentary should include a HOOK,
which is a statement or question that can HOOK OR GRAB your attention.

Examples of HOOKS
a. Facts/Data/Statistics (News articles, data from graphs/surveys etc)
b. Questions (Rhetorical questions related to the issue)
c. An Anecdote (Story that is related to the issue)
d. Examples (Various related examples)
e. Contrast (Describing the opposite of a given situation, eg. topic: Money, opposite: No Money)
f.  Projection (Imagining the future)

Basically, you may use any of the hooks above but make sure the tone of your essay is FORMAL.

Example of Hook (f-Projection)
DO NOT WRITE: 
Imagine if there are no people to clean up rubbish, everywhere got rubbish so dirty and many people would get sick because so many diseases until everyone die. 
DO WRITE:
Imagine a world without a cleanup crew, rubbish would be piling up high everywhere and diseases would spread like wildfire to threaten the very existence of mankind.
PART 2
2. Stand
Refer to the question and focus on the key words to develop your stand.
Use these phrases to guide you:
a. In my opinion, I strongly/totally/completely/absolutely believe/feel/agree/disagree that...
b. From my perspective, I ...
c. From my point of view, I ...
d. It is my opinion that...

Your stand can also help you organise your essays in terms of paragraphing.

IF YOU CLEARLY AGREE/DISAGREE
: use a 5 paragraph format
INTRO
AGREE 1
AGREE 2
AGREE 3
CONCLUSION
or
INTRO
DISAGREE 1
DISAGREE 2
DISAGREE 3
CONCLUSION.

However, I am inclined to give the 'thinkers' a higher band if they can
compare and contrast ideas using the 6 paragraph format as shown below.

INTRO
AGREE 1
AGREE 2
DISAGREE 1
DISAGREE 2
CONCLUSION
or
INTRO
AGREE 1 vs DISAGREE 1
AGREE 2 vs DISAGREE 2
AGREE 3 vs DISAGREE 3
AGREE 4 vs DISAGREE 4
CONCLUSION

*NOTE that 5 paragraphs are the bare minimum, 6 is suggested,
but those with excellent proficiency should NOT let the number of paragraphs hold you back.
Conversely, the danger of writing too much is it is 'self-penalising'
as you will make too many errors esp if you run out of time and cannot edit your writing.


PART 3
3. Thesis Statement/Outline

This is by far the MOST IMPORTANT part of the introduction as it foreshadows
what the writer will focus on and gives the examiner
an idea of how well the writer can organise his/her essay.

For low bands, a simple Outline is enough. Use this template to help you.

In this essay, I would like to discuss advantages/disadvantages/reasons/causes/strategies which are __________, __________ and ___________.

or

In this essay, I would like to focus on the *________________, ______________ and ______________.
*can be replaced with:
a. causes, effects and solutions
b. pros, cons, solutions
c. advantages, disadvantages, suggestions
d. benefits, drawbacks, ways to overcome
e. etc.

For higher bands, omit the 'I' and replace with more formal structures.

In light of this, there are many reasons/causes/effects/advantages/disadvantages to this issue namely ______________, _______________ and ______________.

or

There are many facets to this issue but let us focus on the ____________, ___________ and _________ of ______________________(issue).

or etc.


SAMPLES OF INTRODUCTIONS FOR EACH HOOK TECHNIQUE.
Now that you're learnt the theory, let's put it to practice. To show you how this works, I've used one question, and written 6 different intros but all with the 3 part format which I've discussed.

There is a question at the end of this section and you may try your hand in writing your own 6 versions of the introduction... practice makes perfect!!!

Nov 2013 Writing Question 

"The most important factor which contributes towards a person's success is himself." 

Do you agree with the statement ? Justify your stand, giving relevant examples where appropriate. You should write at least 350 words. 

a. Facts/Data/Statistics (News articles, data from graphs/surveys etc)

According to an article in Forbes magazine on World's 100 Top Successful people, 90% of people become successful based on their unique individual characters rather than talent alone. This means that people who have the same great talent - take singing for example - are both capable of becoming successful but the one who has the characteristics fans like such as friendly, well-groomed with high self-esteem and creativity are more likely to achieve superstardom compared to an introverted singer with low self-confidence and charisma. It is my humble opinion that I absolutely agree with the statement that the most important factor which contributes towards a person's success is himself. We can analyse this issue in terms of the human factor which are his innate qualities, his drive for success and his ability to sustain success. 


b. Questions (Rhetorical questions related to the issue)

Is talent enough to achieve success? How is it possible for a set of twins who are both equally good in singing, yet only one becomes a successful singer while the other does not? Can a person's character determine his or her ability to achieve success in life? From my point of view, the answer lies in the fact that it is indeed the person himself which contributes towards his own success. In this essay, I would like to discuss how a person's innate talent, his drive to succeed and his motivation to stay at the top are the reasons that differentiate every one of us therefore controlling our success metres. 


c. An anecdote (Story that is related to the issue)
There was once a farmer who had triplets. He could not decide which son should inherit his property so he gave each of his three sons the same sum of money and told them to achieve success. The first son used the money as a dowry and managed to acquire the chief's daughter as a wife. The second son used the money to bet on horses but lost it all. The third son bought cows with the intent of breeding them, milking them and making butter and cheese of which he would sell at the market. Finally, the farmer chose the third son because he was the only son capable of 'growing' his investment. The point of all this is to show that when the playing field is leveled, and there is equal opportunity, success or failure is determined by the decisions each individual makes. Therefore, I strongly agree with the statement that the most important factor which contributes towards a person's success is himself. In light of this, there are many aspects of the person himself which contributes to his success, namely his aptitude, attitude and drive to succeed. 


d. Examples (Various related examples)
Donald Trump is renowned the world over for his acute business acumen as testified by his Trump empire. His entrepreneurship skills have been commonly mimicked but rarely replicated as many aspire to become like him but seldom achieve the level of his success. The secret of his success is his unique character which is driven by his desire to rise above all, including himself. There are other examples of extremely successful people who have achieved success not solely based on talent but their individual characteristics such as Mark Zuckerberg and our own Datuk Tony Fernandez to name a few. From my perspective, the most important factor which contributes towards a person's success is indeed himself. This can be proven in terms of his own talent, his character and motivation to remain successful. 

e. Contrast (Describing the opposite of a given situation, eg. topic: Money, opposite: No Money)

A person born into an affluent family, when taking over the father's business manages to run the business down the ground. The question then arises as to why the son failed to follow in the footsteps of his father when everything was handed to him on a silver platter. Simply put, he might have inherited the same genes but this does not predetermine his individualistic characteristic which in turn contributes to his ability to succeed or in this case, fail. Similarly, a person born into a poor family with not much given to him, can scrape the barrels and claw out of his poverty and make a success of his life unlike his parents or siblings. The sheer determination to succeed gives him the necessary elixir to lift him out of his fate and create a new and brighter future for himself. Hence it is my steadfast opinion that the environment does not play the most crucial factor in determining success, but it is indeed the person himself what contributes to his rise or fall. To discuss this issue, let us look at the three aspects of success, namely a person's aptitude, attitude and desire to sustain success. 

f. Projection (Imagining the future)
If every one of us could be successful, would this world not be full of successful people? The very fact that not everyone in this world today is a success story strongly implies that there are many factors that contribute to a person's success but it is each individual himself that gives him the cutting edge. In my opinion, I completely agree that the most important factor which contributes towards a person's success is himself. There are many facets to this issue but let us focus on a person's own ability, character and determination that will lead to his or her success. 


Right... so what do you think of the 6 different approaches? 
Which do you like the best? 
Which suits your writing style the best? 

As mentioned earlier, below is a sample exam question that you can try writing introductions for. Write at least 3 different versions of the introductions using any of the 6 hooks taught previously. 

"The most important thing in life is health." Do you agree with the statement? Justify your stand, giving relevant examples where appropriate. You should write at least 350 words. 

If you really want to challenge yourself, you could use the first essay topic on success and try to disagree with it or discuss both for and against it (come up with a 6 paragraph organisation). You will need to figure out what are the external factors that leads one to success. 

As usual, write the sample intros out and post in the comments below.. waiting to hear from both teachers and students! Happy penning! 





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Most people are able to get all the nutrients they need by eating a varied and balanced diet. However, if you therefore choose to take vitamin and mineral supplements, be aware that taking too much or taking them for too long can cause harmful effects.

 

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that our body needs in small amounts to work properly. Those who do not take enough vitamins and minerals daily through the consumption of food may suffer from vitamin deficiency and may have a higher risk of developing illnesses, therefore the need for food supplements.

 

There are advantages and disadvantages of taking food supplements

 

Advantages

1. Food supplements in addition to consuming food enable us derive our daily dose of vitamin and minerals.

 

2. Vitamins and minerals help protect the body from diseases, hence supplements can offer added “insurance” that one is meeting daily recommendations of vitamins and minerals needed by the body, especially in those who do not eat a healthy, balanced diet.

 

3. Supplements can contribute to improved muscular strength, endurance and overall physical performance, they are therefore commonly taken by athletes to improve their performance.

 

4. Some supplements are used in combination with drugs as a method of complementary or alternative treatment for health conditions.

 

5. Food supplements can also prevent a variety of diseases and health conditions. For example, pregnant women are advised to take folic acid to prevent birth defects. Taking a 400 microgram folic acid supplement before and during the early days of your pregnancy is the best way to protect your baby against conditions like spina bifida, where one or more of the bones in the spine is not fully developed. Also, because all pregnant and breastfeeding women, particularly teenagers and young women, are at risk of vitamin D deficiency,  they are advised to take a daily vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms. Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium in the body, which helps to keep bones and teeth strong and healthy. This also provides your baby with enough vitamin D in their first few months.

 

Disadvantages

1. One potential drawback of vitamin and mineral supplements is the cost. Planning and preparing healthy, nutritious meals is usually less costly than purchasing a quality supplement.

 

2. Food supplements can cause adverse side effects. Consuming excessive amounts of vitamin A in supplement form, for example, may cause liver damage, reduced bone strength, headaches and birth defects. Large doses of certain vitamins and minerals can cause nausea, vomiting, nerve damage, weight loss, muscle weakness, and other illnesses.

 

3. Taking supplements may increase the risk of mega dosing. It's impossible to overdose on food, so the likeliest way to consume excess vitamins and minerals is through taking supplements.

 

4. Mixing certain vitamins and minerals with each other can interfere with absorption. Dietary supplements may interact with prescription medications and make it more difficult to manage medical conditions. To avoid this, speak to your doctor before taking dietary/food supplements.

 

5. Supplements are less healthy than food, for example, while B-complex supplements provide many nutrients present in whole grains and legumes, they do not provide valuable amounts of protein and fiber present in these foods.

 

Consuming food supplements do have advantages and disadvantages, therefore to be safe, it is better to speak to your doctor before taking them.

 

 

Researched and Written by Elizabeth SamCoffie (former Animashaun)

 

Reference

Livestrong.com (2012), ‘Advantages and disadvantages of Food Supplements’

http://www.livestrong.com/article/459604-advantages-disadvantages-of-food-supplements/

Accessed 6/06/12

NHS Choices, ‘Vitamins and Minerals’

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/vitamins-minerals.aspx

Accessed 06/06/12

Nutrition@suite101, ‘Benefits and Risks of taking Vitamin Supplements’

http://suite101.com/article/benefits-and-risks-of-taking-vitamin-supplements-a137472

Accessed 06/06/12

Start4life, ‘Suppersupplements- vitamin D and folic acid during pregnancy’

http://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pages/vitamin-supplements-folic-acid-pregnant.aspx

Accessed 06/06/12

 

 

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