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Books are dead. Argue for or against this point of view.

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"Books are dead." Argue for or against this point of view. In 2010, Waterstones Book Company reported sales of approximately 3 million copies of the penultimate instalment in the 'Harry Potter' series. To put it into perspective, 83% of the population own one of J. K. Rowling's masterpieces, and many thousands more have read her works of art. The British public have shown through the power of purchasing their interest in books. Every book bought in this country only adds testament to the fact that books are most certainly alive and kicking. Of Mice and Men, Lord of the Flies and The Bell Jar. Three books still included in the GCSE English literature curriculum. Three books, with a combined age of over a hundred year, that are still going strong. ...read more.


A study conducted by the Oxbridge Literature and Sociology research team has produced results that only play testament to the idea of immortal literature: 1 in 2 people have used inspiration from a book they have read to make important life decisions and 78% of the English population say that reading a book is in their top five favourite activities. How can it be said that books are fading from society when such an overwhelming number of people value reading a book so highly? Conversely, one may say that technology is overriding the traditional paperback. They may say this, but through opinion only. As the aforementioned statistics show, this view is not held in the slightest by the majority of the British population. Nor is it endorsed by the increasing number of book stores in the UK: approximately 3 stores are erected every month around the country. ...read more.


So when confronted with the statement "books are dead," remember that a book will have contributed to the vast majority of your knowledge. Books are not, and never will be ready for dismissal: where there's a demand, there's a source. Literature is immortal; it is in a constant cycle of re-incarnation as time progresses. Hence, it is safe to say that the reading of books is not becoming extinct. In fact the polar opposite is true. Books aren't dead. Old literature lives on with an enigmatic legacy and new literature blossoms as we speak. 79% of people involved in the aforementioned study believe that reading books contributes largely to intelligence, wisdom and ultimately success in life. Books are not at the end of their evolutionary journey; they're still revolutionary in today's culture. So lets embrace all their worth and push aside the undertakers, for literature is the physical expression of emotion, and emotion is what makes us unique, valuable and potently human. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This is an absolutely outstanding essay. Backed up with tonnes of statistical facts (helping to solidify the objectivity of the article and also indicate to the examiner there is evidence of external, independent research that has been conducted to achieve ...

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Response to the question

This is an absolutely outstanding essay. Backed up with tonnes of statistical facts (helping to solidify the objectivity of the article and also indicate to the examiner there is evidence of external, independent research that has been conducted to achieve these figures) and spots of humour, this is a sensitively-written and well-expressed argument for the perpetuity of literature, new and old. Where the candidate makes a fair and wise compromise between those who agree and those who disagree by presenting a secondary point of view ("Conversely, one may say that technology is overriding the traditional paperback"), they show evidence of a capability to confront opposing views head-on and rational work around them, without the need to resort to outright ranting or a shameful ignorance of something so obviously challenging to that which they are discussing.

The structure is brilliant, introducing the topic without resorting to tried-and-tested methods or question regurgitation, they get stuck right in and hit home hard with important facts straight from the off. From therein, there is a sound structural integrity that sees the candidate deal with important points about the importance of books, providing evidence for this argument in the form of sales figures of popular series and the demand for book shops all over the country. Then concerning the counter-argument is where the candidate earns even more marks, deftly approaching an opposing view and working their way around it.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis here is brilliant. The candidate shows skills of up to an A* grade for GCSE easily. There is an adept use of language and an obvious understanding of how to use it to precisely shape what we want to say. The candidate comes across as objective, rather than subjective - very important for effective arguments - and they even drop in humour, dismissing the more ridiculous books like auto-biographies from Z-List celebrities - a notion we can all agree with. The argument techniques featured include a wide variety of rhetorical questions, statistics, syntactic parallelisms, repetition voice of the expert and many more, all unifying together seamlessly in this essay, which neither feels awkward nor forced - just true.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is fantastic. There is such a deft use of English that it's hard to believe this is the work of a GCSE candidate. There is plenty of indication of an ability to understand and use complex words and apply them to effective analysis to pinpoint the exact meaning intended, and the constantly shifting grammar syntaxes help the candidate show the examiner the ease at which they can vary sentence length to ensure their essays remain interesting and thoroughly engaging.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 26/07/2012

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