Read the two texts below.
Write an essay summarising and evaluating the key points from both texts.
Use your own words throughout as far as possible, and include your own ideas in your answer.
Write your answer in 240–280 words in an appropriate style.
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The Pursuit of Happiness
In some parts of the world, the whole issue of happiness has risen high on the agenda over recent decades. Whereas previously, people in general might have been resigned to the idea that ‘life can be tough’, these days a great many seem to feel that being in a permanent state of happiness is the natural way of things, and furthermore something to which they are entitled. Paradoxically, research indicates that people are not actually any happier than they ever were, however high their standard of living may have become. Instead, many people are permanently dissatisfied, feeling that life has fallen short of their expectations.[/one_half]
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The Danger of Happiness
It has been a given that the more people have, and the more comfortable they are, the happier they will be. Not so, according to research. It would seem that once the basic survival essentials of life, such as income and accommodation, have been taken care of, it is a natural human inclination to turn inwards, to analyse your feelings and situation, to compare how things are with how you think they should be. If life is not a struggle and your time is not occupied simply with getting by against the odds, you might expect to be happy. Instead, it would seem, people spend a lot of their time thinking about how much happier they ought to be.[/one_half_last]
Write an answer to one of the questions 2–5 in this part.
Write your answer in 280–320 words in an appropriate style.
A friend has arranged for you to go and stay with someone/a family who they know well at their home when you travel to their country a few months from now. You have never met the person/family and have decided to write a letter to them before your visit, introducing yourself, expressing gratitude for their agreement to accommodate you and describing what you intend to do during your stay with them.
Write your letter. You do not need to use any postal addresses.
As a contributor to your college website, you have been asked to write a report on changes that the college proposes to make to their catering facilities. In your report, explain what changes are proposed, when they will be carried out and what effects they will have on students at the college.
Write your report.
An English-language magazine has asked readers to send in articles about clubs that they are members of. Write an article about a club that you belong to, describing what kind of club it is, why you joined it, what you do there, and why you enjoy being a member of it.
Write your article.
Write an answer to one of the following two questions based on one of the titles below.
(a) Sue Monk Kidd: The Secret Life of Bees
The English book club to which you belong has asked you to imagine writing a letter to the author of a book you have read and found interesting. You have chosen to write to the author of The Secret Life of Bees stating briefly why you liked the book and asking about what inspired the author to write it, the author’s intention in the book and any aspect of it that you wonder about.
Write your letter.
(b) Harold Pinter: The Birthday Party
A literary magazine has asked readers for reviews of plays that they found humorous. You decide to write a review of The Birthday Party. In your review, describe briefly what makes the play humorous, summarise its main comic moments and explain what you personally found most amusing about it.
Write your review.