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Write an essay (of about 150 words) about a memorable experience in which forgiveness or a smile worked to clear up misunderstanding or improved the relationship between you and someone else.


Write an essay (of about 150 words) about human relationships in our society. The following hints might serve as a guide:

a. The problems existing in the relationships between people in our society.

b. The negative results such problems may bring about to our society.

c. What you can do to establish a harmonious society as a student.



In my middle school years, I had a best friend. We talked about everything. And we loved singing songs together. Once, however, there was a bitter quarrel between us and we stopped talking to each other. It was obvious that both of us wanted to keep the friendship, but neither had the courage to break the ice. It went on like this for months.

Then, one day we were asked to write about friendship. I wrote in my composition what friendship meant to me and the misunderstanding that had separated us. It was given the top mark, and I was asked to read it in class. When I ended my presentation with the words from our favourite song, my friend was singing along. All misunderstanding was cleared and once again we were best friends. To break down the walls between people is easy; all it takes is a little forgiveness!

(150 words)


We are living in a world of distrust. We live behind cold security bars; we do not talk to strangers, let alone go out of our way to help them; we live in fear of fake products. In short, fear and feelings of insecurity fill the environment we live in.

All this greatly harms our society. Growing up in such an environment, we tend to feel isolated and care about ourselves only. If things go on like this, "trust", "teamwork", and "harmony" will eventually become terms unheard of.

In my opinion, trusting others and being trustworthy are the two basic principles that we should

follow if we want to improve human relationships. We may not be in a position to change others, but we can change the way others see us by winning their trust in us. Mutual understanding and love are the pillars that support a harmonious society.

(151 words)


In Text A, Helen Keller reminds us of a common phenomenon, "It is human, perhaps, to appreciate little that which we have and to long for that which we have not." Do you think some college students have a similar attitude toward life? What would you like to say to the students who are not sufficiently appreciative of what they have now but idle away their time on campus? Write an essay (of about 150 words) with the tips given above.


It's natural, and perhaps human, for people to feel overjoyed when given acknowledgement and honour. However, in Text B the author has more than just happiness to share with us about her success and honour. What is it then? Do you get the message the author tries to convey? Think about, for example, your admission to college. Did you receive support, help, and encouragement from your family members, teachers, and friends? When looking back on your journey to the college, what do you want to say to them? Write an essay (of about 150 words) to share your feelings with your classmates.


Today, many college students are from single-child families. Growing up in such environments, they tend to take for granted what they have. Some even develop bad habits and character flaws such as

self-will, lack of responsibility and selfishness.

In my opinion, taking a listless attitude toward life is extremely harmful to them. With such a negative attitude, they fail to appreciate the advantages they enjoy. They waste away their precious time, seeking pleasure in running after pop stars or indulging in computer games. In the end, they may have to leave college without having acquired any useful skills or knowledge.

Sometimes I think it is good for us to think more of the young people who are still struggling for their lives and education. Such an attitude would certainly impel us to cherish more our college life. And life would be more meaningful if we treat it with a gentleness, a vigor and keenness of appreciation. (155 words)


Being admitted to college was an important turning point in my life. I would never have been able to make it without the help and support of my parents, teachers and classmates.

Throughout the time I was preparing for the entrance examination my parents were always there to back me up. They allowed me to make my own decisions about which major I wanted to pursue. What's more, they had full confidence in me.

I was lucky enough to have had fine teachers and kind classmates. My teachers were patient and competent to explain the problems I did not understand; my classmates helped me and encouraged me all the time. We shared our hopes and anxieties together. That was a memorable time in my life!

I didn't achieve everything alone. I owe a lot to those who have helped me to get where I am. (147 words1)

Write a narrative essay (of about 150 words) about your pursuit of a dream or someone's experiences in making his / her dream come true.


People may have different opinions about the key factors for success. Write a short essay (of about 150 words) and share your opinions with your classmates.


Li Hui, my friend in high school, was born into a worker's family. She began to dream of becoming a cartoon artist from her childhood. To her disappointment, her parents strongly opposed her career choice, because the cost of her education would be too high for the poor family, and they were worried about the job opportunities for a cartoon artist. However, Li Hui would not change her mind. She worked hard to perfect her skills and searched persistently for ways to realise her dream. Just before she finished high school, the chance came: a famous art school was holding a cartoon drawing competition. The first three winners would be given a scholarship to study cartoon drawing at the school. Li Hui told herself not to let the chance slip through her fingers. She readily participated and won the second place. She is now studying there and I feel certain that her dream will come true.

(156 words)


In my opinion, before a person becomes successful, he or she should fully understand the basic elements of success: competence, determination and optimism.

For a person to succeed, he or she has to face great competition and excel in his or her chosen career. The person needs to demonstrate and prove his or her competence in dealing with problems. Without

competence, the person can neither stand out among the crowd nor attract the attention of those who hold the keys to the doors of opportunity and advancement.

Yet ability alone cannot guarantee success. Often enough, things do not go the way we have planned and failure is unavoidable no matter how intelligent or capable we may be. In such cases one needs to remain firm and optimistic, always believing that hard work will eventually pay off. If the person gives up halfway, success will never knock at the door.

(149 words) 1)

Having read the two passages in this unit, you may have come to a better understanding of life and the times when pessimistic and optimistic thoughts take turns to affect your behaviour. Write a letter of encouragement (of about 150 words) to one of your high school friends who failed in the college entrance examination. Tell him or her about your new understanding of the need to remain optimistic.


The writers of the two texts in this unit convey to us the message that we need to look at the positive side of anything that comes to us and that we need to take an optimistic and positive attitude toward life. Write an essay (of about 150 words). The following hints may be of some help:

a. What is meant by "thinking positively"?

b. What is the connection between success and optimism?

c. How can we keep an optimistic and positive attitude?


Dear Weihua,

I know you are still feeling upset about your results in the college entrance examination. I've just read an article about how pessimistic and optimistic thoughts can affect our behaviour and I'm now sending you a copy, hoping that it will help you step out of the shadows.

Naturally, failing the college entrance examination can be very depressing, yet if you continue to dwell on the past, you will never be able to pick yourself up and focus on what is more important for now and the future. Life is full of trials and anyone may suffer setbacks. We must take an optimistic attitude towards the things we have to deal with. Optimism and positive thinking are powerful forces. Good things do come true if we picture them often. Please do have confidence in your potential. Just work hard and prepare for another chance.

You will make it.


Janet (152 words)


Thinking positively means allowing your mind to be filled with optimistic feelings, and always hoping for the best though still aware of the difficulties that might be involved.

The human mind is powerful; thoughts of optimism and pessimism can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Though it might seem impossible to some, positive thinking and success actually have a cause-and-result relationship. The reason is that a person with positive thinking will always broadcast goodwill and confidence and that kind of radiating attitude will take a hold on everybody. Gradually, people's attitude will shift towards more trust and respect. This not only opens up more opportunities for the individual, but it also feeds back emotionally, and the cycle continues.

Though the shaping of a positive or negative personality often happens subconsciously, it is possible to control such processes consciously. A person can try visualizing favourable situations, whether it is remembering a contest won as a child or imagining getting that job offer so long sought after. Over time circumstances will change accordingly.

(169 words)


Many stories have demonstrated to us that character is something that gives life meaning and depth, and we can enjoy true happiness only by making character the guideline of our lives. Have you had any experience or read any story that conveys the message? Write an essay (of about 150 words) based on your understanding of the importance of character.


Based on what you have learned from both Texts A and B, write an essay (of about 150 words) about the moral condition of our society. Your essay may cover the following points:

a. Some cases in which mutual trust in our society is lacking.

b. Consequences of the absence of mutual trust.

c. What we can do to improve the situation or to enhance mutual trust.


A widespread belief in modern society is that with talent, personal effort and luck alone a person can succeed, regardless of character. However, history has proven over and over again that the morally defective cannot be truly successful, even if they at times enjoy some temporary glory.

A typical example is found in the story of four brilliant Cambridge students. They were all talented and eventually worked their way up to very important positions in the British government, with one even ending up working in Buckingham Palace. During and after World War II, however, they betrayed their country by giving away national secrets to the Soviet Union, which damaged the interests of Britain in many ways.

Eventually what they had done was uncovered. Three of them fled the country and ended up in exile; the fourth lost his knighthood in disgrace. "Intelligent" and "successful" as they once were, they are now remembered as traitors to their country.

(157 words)


As modern society advances, we are growing more suspicious of each other. This is clearly reflected in our reaction to advertisements. Instead of seeing advertisements as a source of reliable information, we tend to doubt the truth they claim and always assume that the producers are trying to trick customers into buying their products.

One of the most serious consequences of such absence of mutual trust is the constant doubt and anxiety within our own minds. If we see everyone else as a potential enemy, we can no longer make new friends; if we regard all information passed on to us as lies, how can we make use of such sources effectively?

Mutual trust is the glue that holds human society together. As students, we should try to foster mutual trust and help build up a moral society by our own deeds. If we are honest to others and foster mutual trust, we shall soon see the difference.

(158 words)


Based on Text A and what you've discussed in "Voicing Your Views", write a short essay (of about 150 words) entitled "A Creative Person" in accordance with the following outline:

a. A creative person I know

b. The traits that can be found in him / her


Some sayings in our life sound so familiar and natural to us that we take them for granted without a second thought. Do you realize that when you take them as "absolute truths", you are locking your mind and creativity? Write a brief comment on such a saying in about 150 words.


A Creative Person

My physics professor is a very creative person. His research project for his doctoral dissertation dealt with a very complicated physics problem at a time when many others thought it was impossible to solve it. But he creatively introduced a new concept and finally resolved the theoretical and experimental contradiction.

He possesses many unique traits. He is very energetic and hard-working. He chairs the Physics Department and teaches many hours a week. Meanwhile, he is in charge of the university's technology research. Obviously he is an efficient worker. My professor can be eccentric, once he shocked the whole class by saying "Good physics, everyone" instead of "Good morning, everyone". But above all, my professor has a sincere interest and a strong passion in his research field. No wonder he is highly respected by both his colleagues and his students.

(140 words)

Popular Sayings May Become "Mental Locks"

To cultivate a creative mind, one needs to chip away at one's "mental locks". Some of the "mental locks" are shaped by popular sayings, which sound so familiar to us that we tend to take them for granted. Instructive as they may be, these common statements may restrict our freedom to think.

"Look before you leap!" We make this remark to caution someone to think carefully before making a decision or taking an action. It may seem sound advice, but it may also put him or her in a passive position. He or she may just keep "looking" round and without making a "leap". Similarly, we may say to the same person, "Don't let the chance slip through your fingers!" Then, the person may be motivated to act promptly, regardless of the consequences.

In either case, the personal may fall victim to popular sayings. So, if we want to come up with a new idea, we must break up the "mental locks" that close our minds.

(166 words)

The questions listed below may serve as an outline.

1) What does a team player mean?

2) Why do we need team players?

3) How do we make ourselves team players?

A team player is someone who can work well with other people in a team. But it is not enough just to get along with others. A true team player must be more positive and constructive than just following the herd; he or she must also be able to play an active part in decision-making.

Our society demands team players because by gathering all our various strengths together, we can accomplish more in a shorter time. It is because of teamwork that most businesses are able to function properly.

To become team players we must learn to compromise. When our views conflict with the general view of the team we must restrain our egos and listen to what others say. We should learn how to deal with criticism in a mature way; be honest and be aware of others' feelings.

(144 words)