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Writing Task 2: It is essential to learn history

Write about the following topic:

Some people think that studying history is a waste of time while others think it is essential for us to learn history.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer 1: [Opinion: it is essential for us to learn history.]

People have different views about learning history and using the knowledge of history to shape the future. Although some people argue that studying history has nothing to offer, others opine that examining history has a great prospect for discovering our past and using the knowledge to shape our future. This essay investigates both views, but I am personally inclined toward the latter viewpoint.

According to some people, learning history is a waste of time and energy. They believe that learning technology and science can bring significantly more benefits to humankind and the knowledge could be utilised for future development. History, on the contrary, has no utilisation in our daily life, according to them. For instance, science students can experiment and build helpful tools and devices, and this can lead to magnificent future inventions while pupils from history majors are imposed to memorize dates and events from the past.

But this is not the whole picture according to many others. Learning history not only tells us about past events but also prepares us for the future. We can not expect to avoid a large-scale catastrophe if we do not know why it happened in the first place. In the 19th century, for example, Ireland suffered the blight of potatoes, known as the Irish Potato Famine, and it happened because the Irish were largely dependent on potatoes. Had they planted another crop, this could have been avoided. However, this unpleasant history has taught us a great lesson – to cultivate a wide diversity of crops. Finally, teaching history in school helps foster patriotism among the youth which is quite important for a bright future generation.

In conclusion, people learn important lessons from experience and to build a prosperous nation, we must learn from our history which offers the greatest experience of all. Without knowledge of history, scientific discoveries alone cannot bring a wide range of advantages.

[Written by – Faisal Abda]

Sample Answer 2: [Opinion: studying history is a waste of time.]

History, according to many, is the gateway to the past and a reflection of the future. Others, however, see very little value in learning history and emphasize the study and practice of more important subjects and fields like science, arts, technology, engineering and so on. I possess the opinion that studying history is not useful, and we should better utilise our time by learning technology and science, and important life skills.

On the one hand, history offers us the opportunity to learn about our past society, civilisation, important national and global events, outcomes of major decisions, wars, social changes and so on. It helps us plan for a better future as the lessons learned from history can help us avoid catastrophes or plan for a brighter future. For instance, we can learn what triggered a major war or how a natural disaster caused havoc to people from history. Such knowledge and insights are important to prevent future conflicts and disasters. Moreover, many historical facts and findings inspire us to invent or discover new devices or theories to accelerate scientific and social progress.

On the other hand, most students study and memorise important dates, names of people, events, causes and results of something etc. when they study history. People, outside of the academic arena, also study history mostly for the sake of learning about past events. Such studies have little significance in the practical world. Knowing how ancient people used to survive has almost zero value in survival in the modern world. So goes for the inventions as well- learning about past inventions has very little to do with inventing something novel. Moreover, human history is full of human conflicts and wars, and learning about them may discourage people from respecting our very civilisation. This is why, I wholeheartedly believe that people should invest more time learning and researching science, technology, engineering, and arts to bring about positive changes in their lives as well as in the society they live in. 

To conclude, history can give us some details of the past which has very little value, in my opinion, to shape the future. It is more practical to learn and hone our knowledge and skills in science, arts and technology for a better future.      

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