Sample essay questions and suggested reading
Here are a few sample essay questions for you to think about. Remember that you get 40 minutes to write a maximum of 750 words – ideally about 500-600 words. We also have sample answers to some of these questions. See download links at bottom of this page.
- How should judges be appointed?
- Make the best case you can for public funding of the arts. Answer
- Does it matter if some animal and plant species die out? Answer
- ‘It is right that students should contribute to the cost of their degrees.’ Do you agree?
- What disciplinary sanctions should teachers be allowed to use?
- ‘We must be prepared to sacrifice traditional liberties to defeat terrorism.’ Discuss.
- Should the law require people to vote in general elections?
- Should private cars be rationed? If so, how?
- What is ‘political correctness’ and why does it matter? Answer
- There are more essay topics on our practice tests.
As part of your preparation you may also like to look at some materials on critical thinking. Here is a selection. Some of them include exercises that can help you develop your LNAT skills.
A. Fisher, Critical Thinking: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press 2001) ISBN 0521009847
R. van den Brink-Budgen, Critical Thinking for Students (How to Books 2000) ISBN 1857036344
N. Warburton, Thinking From A to Z (Routledge 2000) ISBN 0415222818
P. Gardner, New Directions: Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking(Cambridge University Press 2006) ISBN 0521541727 (mainly for those who have English as a second language)
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Hi guys, I'm applying to two LNAT universities - Durham and Bristol. I have my LNAT next Saturday (6 days ). I got AAAA at AS and I'm predicted A*A*A at A level and I'm averaging between 26-30 for most of the LNAT practise papers, I've just given a practise essay a go and was wondering if someone would give it a quick read and tell me if it's decent enough to be classed as a good LNAT essay. Here it is, thanks:
Do you think that depictions of sex and violence in the media should be more heavily censored?
The depiction of sex and violence in the media is a somewhat controversial topic, with the majority of the populace –albeit normally over-fifties, believing that the current system, of permitting uncensored material after 9PM to be flawed. These people desire stricter controls on the more mature aspects of television, with some ‘radicals’ desiring its complete removal. Conversely, those with an interest in media featuring such material, such as ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Family Guy’ and ‘South Park’ to name a few, consider these views as ridiculous and unnecessary. I am one of these individuals, and whilst the opposing side carry some validity to their points,I see the counter-argument as either ill-informed or overly cautious.
The greatest argument opposing the increased censorship of certain material is freedom of speech and freedom of the individual. While this may be seen as an over-exaggeration, I believe that through living in an established Western Democracy, we should set an example as the bastion of freedom to other developing countries. What do I mean by this?By censoring the violence and sex of many popular television shows, films, and some forms of literature, we are reducing the freedom of both creators and viewers/readers – a policy seen in current and former totalitarian states, such as Stalinist Russia, or Kim-Jong-Un’s North Korea. While this could be seen as an exaggeration, the concept is the same, and if we want to truly become a nation of individual liberty, we must overthrow all restrictions on our creativity. From an economical perspective, who are we to limit the profits of film makers, magazine editors or anyone else with vested interests in the mature sectors of media? They, like all of us, must earn a living, and I believe it to be unfair to impose boundaries that they are not permitted to cross.
Many of those in favour of censoring sex and violence in the media fear the effects of exposing children to such behaviour. This argument partially stemmed from a teenager murdering a taxi driver as he saw it on the popular video game ‘Grand Theft Auto’. I see it differently, however. I consider video games of a ‘vulgar’ calibre as more of a stress relief than a creator of homicidal thoughts. Furthermore, no one is forcing parents to expose their children to such material, if they genuinely fear the effects of the more ‘adult’ forms of media on their children’s wellbeing and state of mind, then why not simply invest in software to block certain television channels/websites? Is it really necessary to enforce a nation-wide restriction on the media following complaints from a small number of disgruntled parents? Similarly, the material featured in many of these television programmes are bound to be seen by children during their maturation,so why should it matter when/how they are exposed to it?
I believe that imposing restrictions on sex and violence would be another example of metaphorically wrapping children in cotton wool. Those in favour of censorship seem to be forgetting that almost all examples of sex and violence in television, film and literature are fantasies, and children are not as simple-minded as one may think. While Ido agree that exposing children under ten to the most extreme and graphic crevices of modern day media would be a bad idea – putting it mildly, I consider children over ten to have the mental capacity of knowing the difference between right and wrong. I think that slowly introducing them to these more mature themes could exemplify this knowledge and actually have beneficial effects.
Frankly, I am strongly against the imposition of heavy censorship of media. I believe that doing so would limit the individual liberties of the populace and would not respect our freedom as aWestern nation. While I do think that exposing children under ten to more extreme examples of sex and violence would be a mistake, I consider this to bethe parents’ problem, as it is their own fault if their children witness the moreextreme elements of the media.
I'm in the same boat as you, only you got better AS's than me so I don't really know how qualified I am to critique your essay but from my opinion it looks really good. You balance the argument, provide substantiated evidence such as your referencing to North Korea and it reads well.
P.S Good luck for the LNAT!