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20 Essay Writing Topics/Questions | C1 Advanced (CAE)

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C1 Advanced (CAE) Essay: Example Topics / Questions
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An essay is the first part of the C1 advanced writing and it is obligatory. You need to answer the question with between 220-260 words. In the text, you need to analyse a question using different points of view. It is a semi-formal/formal text and should be impartial until the conclusion. What the examiner wants to see is a balanced argument that is both interesting and easy to read.

How to write an C1 Advanced (CAE) essay?

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C1 Advanced (CAE) Essay: Example Topics / Questions

Below is a sample list of academic essay writing topics/tasks for C1-level (advanced) students. You can use them to practice writing English essays or to simplyy prepare for the Cambridge exam

Your class has attended a panel discussion on the subject of TV shows that feature members of the public, such as reality TV shows and talent competitions. You have made the notes below.

Aspects of reality and talent TV shows

  • entertainment for viewers
  • influence on young people
  • effect on participants

Some opinions expressed in the discussion:

‘These programmes are just harmless entertainment and there is nothing wrong with them.’
‘The influence these programmes can have on young people can be very bad indeed.’
‘People who take part in these programmes can be damaged by the experience.’

Write an essay for your tutor discussing two of the aspects in your notes. You should explain which aspect you think is the most important regarding these TV shows and provide reasons to support your opinion.

You have watched a documentary about what causes young people to start committing crimes. You have made the notes below.

Reasons why young people commit crimes

  • lack of control by parents
  • absence of opportunities in life
  • influence of friends

Some opinions expressed in the documentary:

‘Without firm discipline from parents, some children are likely to get into trouble.”
‘It’s not surprising that young people who feel they have no chance of a good life turn to crime.”
‘The bad influence of people they mix with can cause some young people to take up crime.’

Write an essay for your tutor discussing two of the reasons in your notes. You should explain which cause you think is the most important for young people committing crimes and provide reasons to support your opinion.

Your class has attended a panel discussion on what are the greatest advantages of digital and computer technology for people in their everyday lives. You have made the notes below.

Advantages of digital and computer technology in everyday life

  • communication
  • access to information
  • shopping and services

 

Some opinions expressed in the discussion:

‘Being able to contact anyone at any time in any place is obviously the greatest advantage.’

‘The fact that people can instantly look up something and find out about it, or learn something new, is the greatest advantage.’

‘You don’t need to go out or spend a long time buying or paying for things and that’s the greatest advantage.’

Write an essay for your tutor discussing two of the advantages in your notes. You should explain which advantage you think is the greatest for people in their everyday lives and provide reasons to support your opinion.

Your class has been discussing whether school/college leavers should be forced to do unpaid work if no paid jobs are available. You have made the notes below:

Arguments for and against forcing young people into jobs that are not paid:

  • it gives young people the chance to gain valuable work experience.
  • it would benefit society if more young people worked for the local community.
  • companies would be exploiting young people as a cheap source of labour.

Some opinions expressed during the discussion:

“If the job needs doing the company should be prepared to pay for someone’s labour.”
“Such a scheme would build confidence in young people who would otherwise be idle”
“It would force young people into dead-end jobs”

Write an essay discussing two of the arguments made for and/or against making young people do unpaid work. You should explain which argument is more important, giving reasons in support of your answer.

You class has watched a documentary about the need for nations to fund space exploration. You have made the notes below:

Advantages of spending public money on space exploration:

  • countries work together to further our understanding of the universe
  • we may discover raw materials.
  • possible new living space for the world’s growing population.

Some opinions expressed in the documentary:

“It’s human nature to want to understand where we come from.”
“We should stop exploiting natural resources.”
“The world’s growing population needs further space to live.”

Write an essay discussing two of the advantages given for space exploration in your notes You should explain which reason is most important, giving reasons in support of your answer.

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Your class has had a discussion about the importance of the Internet in our lives. You have made the notes below:

Reasons why the Internet has become so important:

  • the opportunity it offers to buy and sell online.
  • the ease with which we can keep in contact with friends or relations.
  • its use as a study tool.

Some opinions expressed in the discussion:

“Social media allows me to stay in contact with family members all over the country.”
“You can shop around, read reviews and get good bargains on the web.”
“The Internet offers me an enormous library to help with my studies.”

Write an essay discussing two of the reasons given for the importance of the Internet. You should explain which reason is most important, giving reasons in support of your answer.

Your class has had a discussion about the negative effects of globalisation on local culture. You have made the notes below:

Effects of globalisation:

  • the dominance of the western music/film industry.
  • the loss of national identity.
  • the undermining of values of local culture.

Some opinions expressed in the discussion:

“We don’t want to see the same culture wherever we travel.”
“People are free to enjoy whichever music, films or fashion they wish.”
“Young people are losing the sense of values their parents had.”

Write an essay discussing two of the effects listed in your notes. You should explain which effect is more important, giving reasons in support of your answer.

Your class has watched a documentary about the decline in the number of local buildings with historic interest. You have made the notes below:
Factors behind the decline include:

  • a lack of space within inner cities for commercial and residential developments.
  • the fact that these buildings are not seen as worthy of preservation by town planners.
  • insufficient public funds to support the preservation of these buildings.

Some opinions expressed in the documentary:

“We need to preserve old buildings for future generations.”
“Buildings with a local historical interest can be good for tourism.”
“Some of these buildings no longer serve a purpose and should be replaced with modern alternatives.”

Write an essay discussing two of the reasons given for the decline in such buildings in your notes. You should explain which factor is more important, giving reasons in support of your answer.

You attended a debate at a local community centre at which a proposal to launch a new local TV station was discussed. You have made the notes below:

What would be the benefits of a new local TV station?

  • news
  • community events
  • local businesses

Some opinions expressed during the debate:

“TV is dying. Everyone uses the internet.”
“Will younger people engage with local television?”
“TV service can’t just become a vehicle for wall-to-wall advertising!”

Write an essay, discussing two of the benefits in your notes. You should explain which benefit you think would be most important, giving reasons in support of your answer.

You attended a college debate that discussed ways of encouraging more people to be more environmentally friendly in their energy use and production. You have made the notes below:

How can individuals protect the environment through their home energy policy?

  • Subsidised solar panels
  • Free insulation
  • Replacement heating system

Some opinions expressed during the debate:

“Governments should be doing this, not individuals!”
“Heating old, cold buildings helps nobody.”
“Solar panels take decades to pay for themselves!”

Write an essay, discussing two of the ideas in your notes. You should explain which idea would help protect the environment most, giving reasons in support of your answer.

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You attended a lecture at a local business centre where the advantages of working from home were discussed. You have made the notes below:

How can working from home be beneficial?

  • Effects on traffic
  • Less office space required
  • Happier employees

Some opinions expressed during the lecture:

“People working alone at home go crazy!”
“Face-to-face meetings are crucial.”
“Will everybody have this privilege?”

Write an essay, discussing two of the benefits in your notes. You should explain which benefit would be most important, giving reasons in support of your answer.

You attended a debate at the town hall which discussed how new government money for the town should be spent. You have made the notes below:

How should the new government money be spent locally?

  • Reduce local taxes by 1%
  • More sports facilities
  • New books and teachers for schools

Some opinions expressed during the debate:

“We pay too much tax, a tax cut helps everyone!”
“Having a healthier local population is more important than money.”
“I don’t play sports, what’s in this for me?”

Write an essay, discussing two of the proposals in your notes. You should explain which proposal would help the town most, giving reasons in support of your answer.

You attended a meeting at a local school where possible new additions to the curriculum were discussed. You have made the notes below:

What subjects can we add to our school curriculum?

  • computer programming
  • home decoration and repair
  • Latin

Some opinions expressed during the meeting:

“We need to consider those who won’t go to university.”
“Learn Latin and you’re halfway to learning any other language.”
“We need to prepare our children for the modern world they live in!”

Write an essay, discussing two of the subjects in your notes. You should explain which subject would help students most, giving reasons in support of your answer.

You have listened to a radio discussion programme about what can be done to increase participation in sports by people of all ages. You have made the notes below.

Ways of increasing participation in sports

  • facilities
  • advertising
  •  famous sportspeople

Some opinions expressed in the discussion:

“Campaigns involving famous sportspeople are very effective because they are role models for young people.”
“If people know what is available to them, more of them might take facilities”
“What people need to get started in sports is enough free or cheap up sports.”

Write an essay for your tutor discussing two of the ways in your notes. You should explain which way you think is likely to be the most effective for increasing participation in sports and provide reasons to support your opinion.

Your class has attended a lecture on what governments could do to minimise the use of fossil fuels, You have made the notes below.

Methods of minimising the use of fossil fuels

  • recycling
  • increasing taxes on petrol
  • increasing use of nuclear energy

Some opinions expressed in the discussion:

“Is the technology for recycling adequately developed?”
“Increased taxation will not be a sufficient deterrent.’
“Nuclear energy is too risky.”

Write an essay for your tutor discussing two of the methods in your notes. You should explain which method you think is more important for governments to consider, and provide reasons to support your opinion.

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You recently heard a discussion about the benefits of school uniforms. These are the notes you took.

Pros and Cons:

  • Shared identity.
  • Expensive for parents.
  • Discrimination

Notes on Opinions expressed:

  1. Could give students a positive identity boost.
  2. Some parents may not be able to afford them.
  3. Students with cheaper uniforms could face discrimination

Write an essay discussing two of the ideas in an appropriate style.
You should explain which idea you think is more important, giving reasons to support your opinion.

You recently heard a discussion about the behavioural problems of some children. These are the notes you took.

Solutions:

  • Stricter teachers.
  • Parental responsibility.
  • Government action.

Notes on Opinions expressed:

  1. Teaching is difficult if too strict.
  2. Parents should exercise control.
  3. Government should introduce Laws to make parents liable for their children.

Write an essay discussing two of the ideas in an appropriate style, using 220 – 260 words.
You should explain which idea you think is more important, giving reasons to support your opinion.

You recently heard a discussion about the low level of reading skills in schools. These are the notes you took.

Solutions:

  • Extra reading work at school.
  • Reading time with parents.
  • Special teachers.

Notes on Opinions expressed:

  1. No extra time available at school.
  2. Parents have very busy lives.
  3. Difficult to organise.

Write an essay discussing two of the ideas in an appropriate style.
You should explain which idea you think is more important, giving reasons to support your opinion.

Your class has attended a panel discussion about the ‘race to space’ and who should be funding it. You have made the notes below:

Who should be funding the race to space?

  • private companies
  • the government
  • we should not spend money on this

Some opinions expressed in the discussion:

  1. In the future, we will need a new planet to live on
  2. The race to space is important for scientific development
  3. It’s a waste of money to explore space.

Write an essay discussing two of the ideas in an appropriate style.
You should explain which idea you think is more important, giving reasons to support your opinion.

You recently heard a discussion about bullying at school. These are the notes you took.

Responsibility:

  • Teachers.
  • Students.
  • Police.

Notes on opinions expressed:

  1. Teachers should control their environment.
  2. Students should be taught about the dangers
  3. The police should offer protection.

Write an essay discussing two of the ideas in an appropriate style.
You should explain which idea you think is more important, giving reasons to support your opinion.

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