While others are groaning over a possibly apocalyptic US election result, I'm just going to share another freestyle essay and a self-critique. 'Freestyle' means no plan, just pure improvisation over a 90 minute time limit. And, yes, I do in that span of time allow pauses to compose my thoughts and make edits along the way.
The essay question as follows:
To what extent are foreigners essential to a country's progress? Discuss with reference to your society.
The essay here:
And the self-critique:
Clearly not a standard essay for the General Paper. With no plan, I let the scope of this essay go out of control and ran into trouble bringing the argument back into focus. The definition of 'foreigners' was difficult to nail down as the concept is more abstract than I had anticipated. While the simple idea of a foreigner is someone born outside of local borders, the conception of 'foreigner' is just as telling of a mindset as it is a place of birth. Besides, how does one discuss a relative thing like 'progress'? So many things to establish even before I can begin to make a case. By the time I got to make 'reference to your society', it was really the tail end of what I could manage within the time allotted. As such, the conclusion tries to make a point I hadn't had time to fully develop, ending on a hyperbole with little to no substantiation. And, yes, some evidence is contrived as well. As for balance, well, a resource is either essential (absolutely must have) or not essential (can live without it) and cannot be partially essential (which makes no logical sense at all). I chose to argue 'essential'. Being decisive motivates a stronger argument than being placatory.