Sample Texts

Below you will find two texts that you have to compare and write your essay about.

Chasing the yankee dollar

The concept that money brings happiness is flawed and naïve for two fundamental reasons.  Firstly, being rich is only relative to the spending power of others within our circle, so inevitably we compare ourselves to this cohort.  In other words, the desire is not necessarily to be wealthy but wealthier than others.  In addition to this, we set ourselves goals, such as the purchase of a car or the acquisition of a house;  on attainment of such achievements we feel a sense of satisfaction.  Yet, this is short-lived, and the endless cycle requires new goals and targets to make us happy; inevitably these methods will never bring happiness.

It isn´t just the money

It is widely accepted that the happiest countries are also among the richest, but the reason for this is not immediately obvious.  A glance around society proves that money in isolation does not bring happiness.  It is clear that people don´t derive genuine fuilfilment from the shallow hoarding of consumer products, or even the purchase of high-end goods.  However, whilst wealth on its own might not engender a feeling of happiness or satisfaction, what it does do is to facilitate access to products and services that promote a sense of well-being and education.

Sample Answer

Read the model answer and pay particular attention to the comments 1-12 (see section on Tips)

The pursuit of happiness and wealth are two dreams and concepts that occupy much of humanity, but to what extent are the two interconnected? Can it really be argued that the acquisition of money and material goods is a prime signifier of fulfilment? Both texts (1) discuss the nature of these concepts, but from a different perspective.(2)

The first passage (3) argues that people chase riches to feel superior to others and to attain a given target (4).  I personally feel (5) this will resonate with many people because we are conditioned by society to believe that this is what gives our lives meaning.  Having possession (6) of more and more items generates a temporary feeling of satisfaction, and acquiring there in the pursuit of status leave the ever-present fear  that other people will surpass our efforts.

In contrast, the second text (7) proposes that the interconnected nature of wealth and other services such as education and health means that inevitably money does not result in happiness (8).  Whilst (9) we might not exactly feel euphoric in the midst of some medical procedure or when standing in line outside the classroom door, I would agree that (10) having sufficient prosperity to take advantage of these services is a vital part of our sense of well-being.  Were these services stripped away (11) or put beyond the reach of affordability; the negative impact on our mental as well as physical health would be considerable.

In conclusion, it could be argued that flash cards and mansions allow limited progress along the path to happiness.  However, if those fundamental services, which are facicilitated by money and taken for granted by us all, were ripped from our grasp, I have not doubt the levels of contentment would fall (12).