My essay

How do movies or television influence people’s behavior? Use reasons
and specific examples to support your answer.

I believe movies and television affect a society in a multitude of ways. They can change people’s behavior in both a constructive and destructive way.
In a way, television producers resemble cooks that prepares food for people’s mind. They can prepare a healthy dish made of fresh, nutritious ingredients or an unhealthy spiced-up fast food which tastes good but does harm. Sex and violence are examples of these spices which if used in excess, can influence the taste of the food in an unhealthy manner. As a matter of fact, the same way a badly prepared food can upset the stomach, television programs can affect our discretion negatively. For example, this media can be used to provoke hatred and animosity in society, the same way that Nazi created propaganda poisoned a nation. In these films Jews were portrayed as filthy which were spreading disease.
Furthermore, television programs shapes our ideals through creating role models. In this process, ideals are defined for different subgroups of the society and everybody is encouraged, and in a way trained to chase them. The way celebrities are born and the how they are constantly held in the spotlight by media exemplifies this. They are introduced to the society as beacons showing the path towards perfection. Needless to say, this whole process is designed and implemented to generate revenue for media companies and to promote products.
On the other hand, TV programs can contribute to the growth of a culture. If a society’s growth is not blocked by an external obstacle like war or dictatorship, a culture modifies its path after exposure to its faults. TV can actively contribute to this process by becoming a place to explore problems and to find solutions.
To summarize, television can affect a society’s behavior by defining ideals and delineating the path to reach them. It can be a place to identify and correct errors and contribute to the growth of a culture. It can also be destructively used to spread hatred and to target certain groups.

TOEFL listening lectures: Which fact is true of Edward O. Wilson?

Hi, your writing was very good. Your vocabulary and grammar are excellent with only a few errors. Your structure was a little confusing to me though. It seems like for this type of prompt you could have one paragraph with the good influences and one with the bad influences or you could have three ways of influence and say how each one could be bad or good. You have sort of a hybrid, with two bad influences and one good influence, I guess, but it was a little hard for me to figure this out. I think a more detailed and specific thesis sentence and topic sentences might have been useful to guide the reader a little better.

Thanks for reviewing the essay. Regarding the word “discretion”, I meant “the power to differentiate”. Please check the second meaning below:

the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information.
“she knew she could rely on his discretion”
synonyms: circumspection, carefulness, caution, wariness, chariness, guardedness; More
the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation.
“it is up to local authorities to use their discretion in setting the charges”
synonyms: choice, option, preference, disposition, volition; More

So you are trying to use discretion here as “our ability to differentiate between right and wrong”? I don’t think you can use it that way. Discretion is more the freedom to choose, it really doesn’t say anything about whether you will make a good choice.

Makes sense. I guess I’d better use the descriptive form “the power to differentiate right and wrong”.

Or you could say “our sense of morality” or just “our morals” or “our values”.