Prompt #8 from June 2006

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

People are often told to obey the rules. In reality, these rules are not permanent: what is right at a given point in time may be declared wrong at another time and vice versa. The world changes so rapidly that rules are out-of-date almost as soon as they are created. People cannot rely on established guidelines to determine what they should and should not do.

~ Adapted from: Gregory D. Foster

Are established rules too limited to guide people in real-life situations? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

Prompt #7 from June 2006

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

We measure our progress as a civilization by what we see as advances in technology, which seem more significant than such concerns as education and the condition of the natural world. Still, I would prefer to be a part of a community that judged itself on the happiness of its members rather than on the development of new technology.

~ Adapted from: Thomas Moore

Does a strong commitment to technological progress cause a society to neglect other values, such as education and the protection of the environment? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

Prompt #6 from January 2006

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

Every important discovery results from patience, perseverance, and concentration--sometimes continuing for months or years--on one specific subject. A person who wants to discover a new truth must remain absorbed by that one subject, must pay no attention to any thought that is unrelated to the problem.

~ Adapted from: Santiago Ramon Cajal, Advice for a Young Investigator

Are all important discoveries the result of focusing on one subject? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.