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The two essays were written by the teacher during a test essay exercise for the English 10 classes. Each essay is on a different topic. Second essay: A Life without TV

Topic A: How can a person reduce the chances of his or her home's being broken into by burglars? Explain.     

Reducing the Incidence of Burglary

     Property crime is one of the fastest growing categories and one that affects the individual deeply. However, an individual homeowner need not only worry, he or she can take concrete steps to reduce the chances of a burglary occurring in the first place.

      The first step is to form a Block Watch in your neighbourhood. One of the problems we face in a modern life is not knowing our own neighbours. As a result, our neighbours do not know our habits, nor even our address or phone number. Once, on my block, I saw a strange man waiting at the front of my neighbour’s house. With my Block Watch map, I was able to find the telephone number and was told by that neighbour that the man was a student who lived at their home. Having a Block Watch helps us to know our own neighbours and to watch out for them and thus will reduce the incidence of burglaries.

     Another step, related to the first one, is making one’s home more unattractive to burglars. In the Block Watch program, people learn what burglars like; in fact, we are encouraged to “think like a burglar.” One thing burglars like is privacy. If your house has a lot of trees or bushes around the windows, the burglar will find it very convenient and private for his illegal activity. If, instead, most of the easily broken into windows and doors are visible to the neighbours, the chance of being seen will increase. Thus, the burglar will tend to try to find an easier target, as the home will be less than attractive from his point of view.

     Finally, making sure your home looks “lived in,” especially when going on vacation, is a useful deterrent to burglary. We all must go away sometimes, even if it is only to go to work for the day. Most hardware stores, for example, have large displays of light timers to help you make it look like someone is home. Make sure to use several: a kitchen light in the morning and evening; the living room at night; a bedroom for later on. Also, leave a radio on while you are out, and be sure to tune it to “talk” radio. The sound of human voices, heard from outside the home, is sure to make many burglars think twice about entering. A lived in look is an essential tool for thwarting burglars.

     Reducing the incidence of burglary requires an active step-by-step approach from the homeowner. Instead of worrying about it, it is better to avoid it altogether, by enrolling in a Block Watch, burglar proofing your home, and making it seem like you are always at home.

Word count: 455 total (including title). Introduction: 43 Conclusion: 45 Body 1: 117 Body 2: 115 Body 3: 130

Topic B: If you were forced to live without television, how would you spend the time you normally spend watching TV? Discuss.

A Life without TV

     Apparently, in Canadian homes, there are now more televisions than refrigerators! This startling fact makes it hard to imagine a life without TV. In any case, my life would surely be different if I were forced to live without a television.

     Although I walk often and exercise faithfully, I believe that, without a TV, I would do more of these activities instead. Lately, for example, the Stanley Cup hockey playoffs have been on TV almost every night. And every night you can find me, plopped down in front of the tube, watching. If I had no TV to keep me inside, then I would surely go out more often to take a brisk walk around Queen Elizabeth Park. Or, perhaps you would find me on the floor doing a refreshing set of Pilates exercises. So, exercising would replace some of the time I normally spend on watching TV.

     Another activity that would replace my TV watching time would be reading good books. I read a great deal already, and sometimes I even read while the TV is on! However, if I had no TV to distract me, I would definitely replace some of that time with reading. One neglected pleasure in my life is the reading of good (and long) novels. The way my time is divided among TV, Internet, and family, reading time is sometimes limited. To read a novel is time consuming, so without the time spent on TV, I could easily fit more reading into my life.

     Perhaps the most important activity I can see replacing my TV watching time would be an increase in the time I spend communicating with my family. It is of critical importance to communicate with children, for example, and even more so during their adolescence. Without a TV, conversations could happen more naturally: perhaps I could even combine one of those exercise walks with talking with my kids. I read somewhere once that husbands and wives often talk together for fewer than 20 minutes each day; lacking the distraction of a TV, then, could help my marriage by allowing my wife and I more time for communication! Thus, no TV would increase my family’s communication.

     To be forced to live without a television would free up many hours for exercise, reading, and family communication. Imagining my life without a TV, it seems to me that it would be more positive than negative. So, perhaps I should now reconsider the idea of buying a second TV!

Word count: 418 (including title) Introduction: 41 Conclusion: 50 Body 1: 107 Body 2: 102 Body 3: 114


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