Pearson Adult Learning Centre


Up for a Challenge?Certificate Tests  Two Sample Essays

Certificate Test 

The two essays were written in the English 10 classes on Wednesday, November 24, 1999. Each one follows the proper structure and word count. Students helped with ideas and sentences; the teacher (quickly!) did the writing.

Topic: Would you prefer to live in a high rise or in a house? Explain why.

The Advantages of a House

The way we live is important to our life. In a large city, people can choose from high rise living or detached houses. Each of these choices has pros and cons. Living in a house has three major advantages: access to a yard, larger interior spaces, and more personal freedom.

One of the reasons I would prefer to live in a house is because of the yard. Houses with yards can have a garden. For example, every spring we can enjoy the purple crocuses, the yellow daffodils, and the red tulips in our garden. Another good thing about a yard is it can be a playground for the children. There, they can have swings to play on whenever they wish. Unlike high rises, houses have yards that we can use for gardening or as play spaces for the children.

Another reason to prefer a house to a high rise is for the larger interior space. If we would like to invite a large number of guests for a party, a house can accommodate these people easily. Furthermore, each person living at a house can have his or her own bedroom. In addition, houses often can have a spare bedroom for guests as well. The larger inside spaces of a house make me prefer it as a place to live.

The most important reason, however, is the freedom we get by having our own house. If we want to have a dog or a cat, for example, we can, but many high rises have rules that do not allow pets. We can also decorate our house any way we want. If we like a pink house, we can paint it that colour. One other freedom is to be noisy whenever we want; in a high rise, rules often forbid noise after 9:00 p.m.. Having a house is freer than living in a high rise.

Freedom for ourselves, more space, and our own yards are the chief reasons we prefer to live in a house instead of a high rise. Whatever we want to do, it seems easier when we have a house: enjoy our garden, accommodate our guests, have a noisy party. Before deciding on where you live, remember to consider the advantages of a house.

Topic 2: Explain the chief reasons why the crime rate is high in our community.

The "Why" of Crime

Lately, the crime rate has been increasing. Most of us know someone who has been a victim of a crime. Lots of people suffer broken car windows, for example, when someone steals a few quarters from the ashtray. Three of the chief reasons for the high crime rate in our community are lack of punishment, use of drugs, and rate of poverty.

One of the chief reasons for crime in our community is the lack of effective punishment for the criminals. When a criminal breaks and enters a house and is caught not much happens to them. First, he is charged with a crime, and then released into the community until his court date. If he is found guilty at that time, usually he is fined, not jailed. Even if he goes to jail, it is often for a short time. This is not enough punishment to keep someone from repeating his crime.

Another chief reason for the crime is drugs. In Vancouver, heroin is expensive to use and buy. This drug is very addictive, so drug users must buy some every day. Most of these people are not working and so have no money. The easiest way to get money is to steal it from people who do. Many of the break and enters, for example, are done by drug addicts who need to make some quick money. As long as there are drug addicts in our community, there will be lots of crime.

Lastly, our communities have a problem with poverty and this is connected to crime. Often, poor people have not enough money to buy things for their families. Sometimes, poor people might choose to sell drugs to make some extra money to buy food for their kids. Other times, women may sell their bodies as prostitutes in order to get enough money to live. Poor people in our community are sometimes forced to do bad things in order to survive.

Ineffective punishment, frequent drug use, and the prevalence of poverty are some of the reasons for the high crime rate in our community. The conditions in our communities are a direct cause of this problem. Unless we look at the roots of the crime, we will continue to suffer it more and more.






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