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China Daily Website

What's the buzz

Updated: 2013-06-17 08:21
( China Daily)

The choice of essay topics in the national college entrance examination has always been a hot subject of discussion. Which essay topic did you like most in this year's exam? Below are the opinions of some of China Daily's readers:

A good essay topic should inspire examinees to express their own thoughts, rather than use literary works as examples to form their answers. I think the essay topic for Shanghai students was good. The younger generation in China is growing up expecting a lot more from parents, teachers and society. Besides, youngsters are told to undertake important responsibilities for people around them rather than themselves. As a result, they forget their own interests and pursuits. That's why the essay topic for Shanghai students was a welcome change. But the essay topics for Beijing and Guangdong students were ambiguous and confusing.

A READER, Guangzhou, Guangdong province

I think the essay topic for Guangdong students (about people's attitude toward receiving help from others) was the best. First, the three poor families' different attitudes toward the help they received from philanthropists offered three different themes for examinees to write on. Second, all the three angles were comprehensible. For example, an examinee could focus on the spirit of gratefulness or resilience and how not to bow down to the demands of life. The essay topic allowed students to give shape to their personal experiences on answer sheets. But I think the essay topic for students at the national level limited the areas students could write on.

A READER, Chengdu, Sichuan province

I preferred the essay topic for Shanghai students, because it was about "something more important". It reflected the situation most people encounter in their lives. The pursuit of fame and fortune is becoming common among people today. In the process, they are ignoring the pursuit of emotional and spiritual happiness. Being practical in mundane matters is understandable, but that does not mean we should ignore our spiritual and intellectual pursuits.

A READER, Hefei, Anhui province

The essay topic I liked most was from the Hubei province. It cites examples from life that probably most people never pay attention to. It uses quotes from Tao Te Ching (or Daodejing) by Lao Tze, the founder of Daoism. The question links life's details with traditional literature which makes people think about the value of true literature at a time when bestsellers and pulp fictions are becoming even more popular. The essay topic also teaches us a lesson: We need to be firm as well gentle according to demands of the situation.

A READER, Wuhu, Anhui province

The essay topic for Beijing students was well chosen. It was a dialogue between a scientist and a litterateur, who give their views on what Thomas Alva Edison would have thought about mobile phones if he were to reappear in the 21st century. The scientist says Edison would marvel at the myriad functions of mobile phones, while the litterateur thinks that he would be surprised at the influence mobile phones have had on people's communication, thinking and concepts. The topic dealt with the relation between technology and society, which required students to use their imagination as well as experience to give shape to their essay.

LIU JUNJIE, Changsha, Hunan province

As a sophomore, I think the essay topics for Beijing and Guangdong students were good. Most science students prefer an essay topic that offers them various aspects to write on. Also, the essay topics for Beijing and Guangdong, which were about technology - about the way people communicate and the different attitudes of people toward receiving help from others - were provoking, especially at a time when many people are glued to their mobile phones even at family reunions and when the wealth gap is widening.

MOGU, Beijing

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